Sha Money XL Recalls G-Unit's First Studio Sessions, Recording "50 Cent Is The Future"

Sha Money XL weighs in on the era when G-Unit was just getting started, including physically duplicating every copy of "50 Cent Is The Future."

Sha Money XL has been credited as an architect of G-Unit in its nascent stages. The Vice President of A&R at Def Jam, Sha Money was an essential part of G-Unit's rise to the top, an era he recalled in a recent interview with XXLMag.com.

"[50 Cent] did freestyles for every DJ. That was our whole model; we’re going to be on everybody’s mixtape," said Sha Money, referring to 50 Cent's much-heralded revolutionizing of the mixtape game. "And those mixtapes had one artist on all their songs as a tradition at that time, which is what we changed. 50 and I collected all the freestyles that were individually given to Doo Wop, Cut Master C, Clue, Envy, Enuff, Flex, and Kay Slay. Look at all of them; they’re all different freestyles for each one of those DJs I just said to you. Collectively they played mad different niggas shit."

Sha Money explained how G-Unit employed visuals in their rise to fame as well. "I had met this dude Don Morris. He works for The Source right now; he was the Creative Director for XXL at the time. I met him at the photo shoot, had his number, and homie hooked it up. We did another photo shoot we paid for, and he did the whole layout with me in his apartment in Manhattan. The whole shit with the stars around it, the picture of 50 with the custom-made wife beater, Yayo and them with the Air Forces—the whole coordination. 50 took his time to think about it. The artwork with the red, white, and blue, that whole shit was conceptualized, thought out, planned to perfection."

Sha Money XL continued, recalling how green the original G-Unit trio - 50 Cent, Tony Yayo, and Lloyd Banks - were when it came to the recording process. "Yayo—it’s funny because I remember the first time he hit the booth and I heard him rap, I’m like 'Why he sound so fucking—he sound crazy!' So I went in the booth, and then I see him rapping on the other side where the microphone and the mesh are. He was rapping from the other side! I was like, 'Nah, bro you got to stand right here.' He didn’t even hit the booth up. So I was like, 'Damn, these niggas is fresh like that.'"

"The mic was in their hand at the DJ’s crib, they did it like that. This was their first time them being in the studio recording vocals. Banks and them used to go to this other studio too, but it wasn’t like what I was doing."

Finally, Sha Money recalled the legwork required to get 50 Cent Is The Future out into the streets. "The first dropping of that mixtape, the first time it touched land, I physically duplicated all those CDs in my man’s basement. That’s when I was sleeping there. Took it to Canal Street, Brooklyn—in my trunk. Canal Street, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and all those boroughs. And once it leaked, once it hit the streets, you know the duplication was like blue magic. That was me dropping it off, that was me personally."

RELATED: 50 Cent Talks New Album, Explains Why G-Unit Was Dropped & Possibility Of Working With Game

15 Comments

  • propcomedianbooger

    lots of hype on this rapper that rapper well to see the hick hillbilly rapper just go to,, ridiculous new tunes

  • Anonymous

    sha money dropped mmg from def jam ggg-unit

  • Sco*

    Who..........wait for it.........the fuck cares?.....I mean really, G Unit is the epitome of irrelevant.....

  • Anonymous

    sha push ross album back again the singles suck ggg-unit

  • Rn506

    Hey HipHop DX.. Yayo & Banks are not the original G Unit, Bang Em Smurf & Domination are... twitter @Noles506

  • BLACK

    YO I COULDNT UNDERSTAND HALF OF THIS INTERVIEW

  • Anonymous

    "Who from New York is poppin" Fair point. Problem is the West Coast has always been ahead in terms of production, and churning out songs that people could bump 24/7. Most NY hip hop is about lyrical ability, thus it's easier for most to fade away because being lyrical doesn't mean what it used too. There should be a balance; both coasts having their just due, but time hasn't been good to NY rappers.

    • Anonymous

      game did what in 05? you mean the g-unit machine

    • FUCK THE WETSIDE NIGGER I'M FROM THA EAST GODDAMNIT!!!

      Wet Coast hip hop is bullshit New York hip hop be the best if you from New York I wanna love you if you from the W fuck you and your family

    • Anonymous

      west is dead, we need kendrick lamar and black hippy to ressurect it like Game did in '05

  • Anonymous

    Ahhh... the good ol days. Sha understood real music. 50 still doing good, but G-Unit as a whole NEEDS Sha's guidance.

  • milehighkid303

    MOST hated group of ALL time yet there success is unherald in a sense. I REALLY never understood why these guys were hated and still are, 50's music is still Hip Hop and as a group they were NYC/Hip Hop through and through, too much side switching with ANYthing G-Unit affiliated. I'll never be ashamed to say I was/still am a fan and was before MANY knew who they even were. Dudes music still pops, but Yayo got worse when his ass got out of jail(n was never great in the first place)but none the less there are ALWAYS going to be people in this Hip Hop community that will find something ill to say about them.....wish Sha was still with them as the exec producer.

  • Anonymous

    I always see people saying 50's music is wack he fell off Jimmy wont put out a 50 album but he will sign this Chief Keef kid Peoples taste in music has changed Who from New York is poppin Who

  • Anonymous

    Remembering back to a time long ago when people actually wanted to listen to 50 Cent. Now he records songs in a studio by himself. Jimmy walks in, shakes his head, and the album gets delayed another year. Money can't buy green lights.

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