It’s rare to get an email from a G-Unit executive inviting you to a private interview and listening session for 50 Cent and G-Unit, especially the day before the event. As it happened, I received such an email Tuesday, August 19.
Honestly, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity in my opinion. So I cleared my schedule and made the drive from Northeast Philadelphia to Manhattan on August 20. After sitting in three hours of traffic, paying $40 to park and making the three-block hike, I made it to Shade 45, 20 minutes late. But this is a Hip Hop event, so technically I was 30 minutes early.
At Shade 45 Studios, MTV’s Rob Markman hosted an exclusive interview and listening session with G-Unit to preview their upcoming music. The interview will air Monday, August 25 at 10:00 pm on Shade 45. In the meantime, here are a few takeaways from Rob’s interview with 50 Cent, Tony Yayo, Lloyd Banks, Kidd Kidd and Young Buck. The guys covered all things G-Unit including nearly a dozen new, unreleased tracks.
Kevin Gates & Ca$hout Are G-Unit Fans
Bread Winners Association representative and 2014 XXL “Freshman Class” member Kevin Gates dropped in for the occasion. He dapped up both Young Buck and fellow New Orleans native Kidd Kidd. There’s a few loose dots from the ‘90s and early aughts connecting the trio, as Buck languished on the Cash Money roster with former group-mate D-Tay before connecting with G-Unit. Similarly, Kidd Kidd also logged time under the CMR banner alongside Lil Wayne, Gudda Gudda and T-Streets as a member of Lil Wayne’s ill-fated Sqad Up crew. Meanwhile, Gates turned down an opportunity from Birdman, but still lists him as a mentor of sorts. The Ca$hout spotting was somewhat random, but the creator of the 2012 hit “Cashin’ Out” was welcomed and snapped a few pics with Kidd Kidd and Young Buck.
G-Unit’s Rift Was Cause By Lack Of Communication
Wednesday’s group session was the first interview with the full group in years. Between 50 Cent’s 2008 leaked phone call, which featured Young Buck sobbing and more recent remarks where Fif’ compared G-Unit to spoiled milk, many figured G-Unit was done for good. Count Tony Yayo among them. The “Gun Powder Guru” said he figured things were a wrap, but vividly recalled listening to Get Rich or Die Tryin’ in 50’s grandma’s crib and riding around in a van with bullet proof vests. As it turns out, at Wednesday’s listening session, 50 proclaimed, “The only thing that could break up the Unit again is me.” For the record, Buck says he feels no emotion—good or bad—about the taped conversation from six years ago. He added that it was a real moment for him, and people hyped it up to be more than it really was. 50 says he taped the exchange because they had the convo over and over, so he wanted to have it recorded since they rehashed the same thing so many times. Given the fan response to the Summer Jam reunion and subsequent musical releases (“Nah I’m Talkin’ Bout” has over 4 million combined YouTube views), it appears the only thing the guys will recording will be music.
50 Cent Says G-Unit Has Recorded Over 40 New Songs
From “G-mixing” Hit-Boy’s “Grindin’ My Whole Life” to Drake’s “0 to 100,” 50 Cent, Tony Yayo, Lloyd Banks, Young Buck and Kidd Kidd have kept the new viral material current. The crew says “Ahh Shit” was a spur of the moment decision spawned by watching coverage on Michael Brown and the Ferguson, Missouri protests on CNN during numerous studio sessions. 50 says he also personally reached out to Drake to get the “0-100” beat. But more original material is on the way including the Havoc-produced “Watch Me” and “Changes,” which features 50 addressing his dealings with Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine and how selling headphones tarnished the relationship. The track also features 50’s trademark candor, with Fif’ detailing how his former lawyer didn’t show up to Chris Lighty’s wake. Other standout tracks include “I Don’t Fuck With You,” “Digital Scale,” “Dead A Pussy Nigga,” “The Plug,” “Big Body Benz” and “Ease Up.”
G-Unit Still Pulls No Punches
Remember when “Poppin’ Them Thangs” dropped and 50 rhymed, “After the VMAs my baby mama cussed my ass out / I kicked her ass, we back friends like Puffy and Steve Stoute?” If the recent Floyd Mayweather quotes didn’t make it clear, G-Unit is still brutally honest in and outside the booth. Among the night’s choice quotes, 50 Cent said Eminem is probably crazier than him and compared Em to the big brother in the movie Alpha Dog.
“If Eminem isn’t Hip Hop, I don’t think I am,” 50 added. Other notable factoids from the Shady/Aftermath days included 50 revealing Dr. Dre made him say the same lines over 500 times on the Get Rich or Die Tryin’ song “Heat.” According to 50, the track was offered to Busta Rhymes, Rakim and others, but he ended up taking it.
Lloyd Banks, who didn’t say much the entire night, explained that he had no issue with Bobby Shmurda using his “Jackpot” beat (courtesy of Jahlil Beats) for the song “Hot Nigga.” 50 Cent said the Schmoney Dance originator needs some work as an artist, but as far as the issue of reusing the track, there’s no animosity on G-Unit’s end.
“I don’t feel any type of way, we did it all the time,” Banks said, referring to how G-Unit took other rapper’s beats and made songs to them.
Michael Trampe is a Social Media & Marketing guru from Philadelphia, PA. Prior to joining HipHopDX in 2007, Trampe has been a DJ, owned and operated a recording studio, managed producers and artists & worked promotions for TDE (Top Dawg Entertainment). You can follow him on twitter @MikeTrampeTV.