New year, same game: for the ninth time, US rapper The Game has called off a performance for Kiwi fans.

The 44-year-old rapper was booked to perform at hip-hop and R&B festival Juicy Fest’s second tour stop in Wellington’s Hutt Park on Friday afternoon. However, festival organisers have confirmed to Stuff he will not make the show.

The Game, whose real name is Jayceon Taylor, had already pulled out of the festival’s first show in Christchurch on Wednesday due to passport problems.

In a video message, The Game said he’d been working for 9 or 10 months with US immigration to retrieve his passport.

“It’s nobody’s fault but mine, and I’ve been grinding. I’m real, real close to having my passport in the next few days. The only thing that got in the way was this holiday weekend,” he said.

A post on the Juicy Fest Facebook page on Monday said The Game was “packed and ready for NZ – and yes, he has his visa”.

”However, due to a personal hold up, his arrival may be delayed a day or two and the worst case scenario is that he misses the Chch show. If he does, he’ll come back at the end of the festival tour for a headline show.”

In March 2023, The Game pulled out of two shows in Auckland and Christchurch alongside Ice Cube and Cypress Hill a week prior to the performances, with concert organisers citing “last minute commitments”.

His 2017 performance at Auckland’s Logan Campbell Centre was called off weeks after it was first announced, after the rapper told fans not to buy tickets as he wouldn’t be attending.

Australian promoters Tour Squad told Stuff they planned to take legal action against The Game to prevent him from getting “away with burning another promoter”, and in 2021, the rapper was ordered by an Australian Federal court to pay more than AD$500,000 in damages over the cancelled tour.

The Game and his requested 15-person entourage backed out of the tour deal after promoters refused to fund a $3.21m documentary the rapper and his team were hoping to make, according to The Daily Telegraph.

A year prior, the Hate It or Love It hitmaker was a no-show after being scheduled to perform at Raggamuffin Music Festival after claiming he wasn’t let through customs.

Raggamuffin organisers denied The Game’s excuse, saying “The Game was 100 per cent approved to enter New Zealand. His management and I know this as fact”, and describing the cancellation as “deeply [disappointing].”

The rapper has also missed 2007’s Roc Tha Block, and a 2013 performance at Auckland’s The Powerstation, as “terms & conditions of hiring the venue were not completed, as required, by promoters”, according to the venue’s website.

So far, The Game has only fulfilled two of his eleven scheduled New Zealand performances: a 2009 show in Porirua, and a headlining show at Spark Arena in 2012.

Juicy Fest has two more shows in Auckland and Tauranga scheduled for New Zealand, before finishing in Australia.

The festival had also earlier announced that Krayzie Bone couldn’t make the tour, so Bizzy Bone would now represent Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.

“We’ve been optimistic about Krayzie Bone’s health and recovery but current advice is that he shouldn’t travel internationally to perform and the rest of the group want to be by his side and return in 2025 when they can all do together,” their Facebook post said.

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