- (Photograph: Twitter/The Game)
Jayceon "The Game" Taylor released his fifth studio album Jesus Piece on Tuesday and admitted that he has faced some backlash for an album cover bearing the likeness of Jesus Christ donning a red bandana.
In a recent interview with Vibe TV, Taylor descibed reaching out to artist Mike Saputo to create the controversial album cover that had some people up in arms.
"I went to Mike Saputo and I gave him my vision, I wanted black Jesus on the cover with a red bandana on Jesus' face. You know, he thought I was crazy," the 33-year-old rapper recalled. "We got into a little war of words and he was like 'I don't know if I can do this.' I was like 'man stop being a (expletive) it's art man, just do the cover I want. I appreciate your work, I'm a big fan."
However, Taylor said Saputo still wasn't sold on the creation after the album art was finished.
"And at the end of the day he said (expletive) it and he did it," the rapper revealed. "I put it out, I talked to him after that and he was like '(expletive) I'm in trouble.'"
According to Taylor, the Roman Catholic Church got involved with the project and attempted to scrap the artwork for his deluxe album cover. However, the rapper said he was prepared for the backlash.
"The Roman Catholic Church called Interscope and it got really crazy. That was my plan," The Game said. "That album cover was always the deluxe album but I put it out first because I knew what it was going to do controversy-wise. It did what I wanted it to do and everyone was pissed off."
Although he admitted that the Catholic community was unhappy with his album artwork, the rapper said the Roman Catholic Church was "cool."
"Representatives called Interscope and reached out to the art department...saying how it was wrong and we had to change it. I don't want to say (expletive) the Roman Catholic Church I mean you know, they're cool," the rapper said. "They got popes and everything down there, a whole bunch of stained glass windows, good Catholic people and I love Jesus too."
Aside from his record label and the Roman Catholic Church, The Game said some stores had reservations about carrying his album because of the controversial artwork that came along with it.
"Of course Walmart and Target didn't want to put it out they're saying we had to change it," he told Vibe TV. "But now they're both taking it and that's how it goes."
Despite some of the controversy stemming from the content and artwork associated with the rapper's fifth studio album, Taylor has been vocal about being a Christian. The rapper recently opened up to Connecticut radio personality Jenny Boom Boom about his Christian faith inspiring him to create "Jesus Piece."
"I'm calling it 'Jesus Piece' 'cause last year in August I got baptized and so I've been going to church, but I still been kinda doing me out here," the rapper told the radio personality. "I still love the strip club and I still smoke and drink. I'm faithful to my family, so I wanted to make an album where you could love God and be of God, but still get it poppin' in your life."