|Labels||G-Unit, Interscope, EMI|
|Associated acts||Eminem, D12, DJ Whoo Kid, Sha Money XL, Obie Trice, Mobb Deep, DJ Drama, Joe|
|Past members||The Game
G-Unit is an American hip hop group originating from South Jamaica, Queens, New York formed by East Coast rappers 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo. The name of the group is short for Guerrilla Unit.
- 1 History
- 2 Albums
- 3 Labels
- 4 Various ventures
- 5 Controversy
- 6 Discography
- 7 Awards
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Early years and formation
Rise to fame
Rapper 50 Cent signed to Interscope Records. Due to the success of his commercial debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin', he was granted his own record label. This was when G-Unit Records was created.
The group continued to work hard and released several mixtape series which earned them a lot of attention in the rap industry. The most prominent of these being 50 Cent Is the Future, God's Plan, No Mercy, No Fear and Automatic Gunfire. G-Unit has also started a mixtape series with their DJ, DJ Whoo Kid, called G-Unit Radio. G-Unit gained more popularity when a remix to 50 Cent's "P.I.M.P." was released, featuring Snoop Dogg and G-Unit.
But before the group had a chance to record its debut album, Tony Yayo was sentenced to prison for a gun-possession charge as well as bail-jumping. During Tony Yayo's prison sentence, the group signed Tennessee rapper Young Buck.
At Tony Yayo's prison sentence, G-Unit recorded their debut album, Beg for Mercy. The album was quickly released on November 14, 2003 to combat bootlegging and had significant commercial success. Tony Yayo made only two appearances on the album, both on songs that were recorded before his arrest.
Bang'em Smurf was very closely affiliated with them before they signed to Interscope Records. He claimed that before 50 Cent saw mainstream success, the two recorded a mixtape from which they would earn $5 each, they sold 400,000 copies. 50 Cent allegedly never gave Bang'em Smurf his share. In addition to this Bang'em Smurf claimed that 50 Cent did not contact or bail him out while he was in jail. This led to him and his close friend, Domination, no longer wanting to be affiliated with the group. Domination was never an official member of G-Unit but was a close friend of Bang'em Smurf during his G-Unit days. After the two had a brief feud with 50 Cent and G-Unit in 2003, Domination and Bang'em Smurf were no longer associated with G-Unit.
The Game was originally placed into G-Unit by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. However after a while, tensions began to rise between The Game and 50 Cent. 50 Cent claimed that The Game was being disloyal to the group because he did not want to get involved with the feuds with Fat Joe, Nas, and Jadakiss even going as far as to say that he wished to work with them. 50 Cent also felt that he did not receive proper credit for co-writing some of the songs on Game’s debut album. For more information see G-Unit vs. The Game feud.
On April 7, 2008, in an interview with Shanna Leviste on New York's Hot 97 FM, 50 Cent stated that Young Buck was no longer a member of G-Unit but he is still signed to G-Unit Records. 50 Cent cited problems involving excessive spending and Young Buck's public claim to not being paid royalty checks.
In 2003, the group's debut album, Beg for Mercy, was released. However, while the album was being recorded, Tony Yayo was sentenced to jail on charges of gun possession. Therefore, he only makes two appearances both on pre-recorded tracks. His face is seen on the brick wall of the album cover because he could not be photographed on account of his jail sentence. Beg for Mercy sold 2.3 million copies in the U.S. and 4 million copies worldwide. The only featured guests on the album were R&B singers, Joe & Butch Cassidy. Production came from Hi-Tek, Dr. Dre, Scott Storch as well as others. 50 Cent also produced the record.
Their second album, T.O.S: Terminate on Sight, was released on July 1, 2008. While the album was being recorded, internal conflicts arose between Young Buck and 50 Cent, which resulted in Young Buck being kicked out of the group, but still signed to G-Unit Records. Young Buck still appeared on songs previously recorded with the group, but was credited as a featured artist. As of August 8, 2008, the album has sold 185,000 copies in the United States. Along with Young Buck, Mavado guests on the album, while production came from Swizz Beatz, Street Radio, Tha Bizness, Rick Rock, Polow da Don and others.
After fulfilling their contract with Interscope Records it was announced EMI Label Services has signed a deal with 50 Cent’s label, G-Unit Records, in which EMI will distribute and promote releases on the G-Unit roster in North America.
The G-Unit Clothing Company was established in 2003, when 50 Cent teamed up with Marc Ecko (the founder of Eckō Unlimited), to create a line of clothing and accessories inspired by 50 Cent and fellow members of G-Unit.
G-Unit has founded G-Unity Foundation Inc. (often called simply G-Unity), a public foundation that provides grants to nonprofit organizations that focus on improving the quality of life for low-income and underserved communities.
In early 2005, a feud between The Game and G-Unit began. Even before The Game's first album was released and their feud became public, there was tension between The Game and 50 Cent. Soon after The Documentary's release, 50 Cent felt that the rapper was disloyal for saying he did not want to participate in G-Unit's feud with other rappers, and even wanting to work with artists with whom G-Unit were feuding, such as Nas and Jadakiss.
50 Cent also claimed that he was not getting his proper credit for the creation of the album. He also claimed that he wrote five of the songs, but The Game denied that. During that dispute, a member of The Game's entourage was shot after a confrontation at the Hot 97 studio in New York City. After the situation between them escalated, 50 Cent and The Game held a press conference to announce their reconciliation. Fans had mixed feelings as to whether the rappers created a publicity stunt to boost the sales of the two albums the pair had just released. Nevertheless, even after the situation had apparently deflated, G-Unit continued to feud with The Game who responded during a performance at Summer Jam and launched a boycott of G-Unit called "G-Unot". The phrase G-Unot is a pun on the group's name, and a pejorative term to refer to the group. It is short for "G (Gangster) You Not". 50 Cent has since registered the G-Unot trademark for himself which has in turn prevented The Game from using it anymore.
After the performance at Summer Jam, The Game responded with "300 Bars and Runnin'", an extended track aimed at G-Unit as well as members of Roc-A-Fella Records on the mixtape You Know What It Is Vol. 3. 50 Cent responded through his "Piggy Bank" music video, which features The Game as a Mr. Potato Head doll and also parodies other rivals. Since then both groups continued to attack each other. The Game released two more mixtapes, Ghost Unit and a mixtape/DVD called Stop Snitchin, Stop Lyin.
50 Cent's rebuttal was "Not Rich, Still Lyin'" where he mocks The Game. In addition, G-Unit started to respond on numerous mixtapes and new G-Unit member Spider Loc began insulting The Game in various songs. The Game responded with "240 Bars (Spider Joke)", a song mainly aimed at Spider Loc, but also addressing Tony Yayo and rap group M.O.P., and on the song "The Funeral 100 Bars".
In October 2006, The Game extended a peace treaty to 50 Cent, which was not immediately replied to. However, a couple days later, on Power 106, he stated that the treaty was only offered for one day. On The Game's album, Doctor's Advocate, he claims that the feud is over on a few of the songs. The feud seemed to have gained steam after Tony Yayo allegedly slapped the fourteen year old son of Czar Entertainment CEO, Jimmy Rosemond. The Game responded with "Body Bags" on his mixtape, You Know What It Is Vol. 4. G-Unit have released a song named "We On Some @#!*% " which is aimed at Czar Entertainment as well as Cam'ron and Fat Joe. In June 2010 Game expressed that he would not object to a G-Unit reunion. After the G-Unit reunion idea circulated around the internet a Facebook group was launched to help encourage the G-Unit comeback.
Before signing with Interscope Records, 50 Cent had been in disputes with rapper Ja Rule and his label Murder Inc. Records. 50 Cent claimed that the feud began in 1999 after Ja Rule spotted him with a man who took his chain. However, Ja Rule claimed the conflict stemmed from a video shoot in Queens because 50 Cent did not like Ja Rule "getting so much love" from the neighborhood. A confrontation occurred in a New York studio where rapper Black Child, a Murder Inc. artist, stabbed 50 Cent, which resulted in him having three stitches.
Since then, Black Child made a diss towards 50 Cent, called "You the Wanksta". In the song, Black Child talks about shooting 50 Cent, stabbing him, and other things, "I got a lot of living to do before I die, and I ain't got time to waste, shoot this @#!*% in his face. How you call your self ferrari you dont ride like me in da hood every day ready to die like me."
Cadillac Tah can also be heard dissing 50 Cent, on "Snitch in Da Club".
The exchange of insult tracks released from both parties culminated into Ja Rule releasing Blood in My Eye, which was an album that mostly insulted 50 Cent. Ja Rule eventually tried to squash the feud with 50 Cent by using minister Louis Farrakhan in a televised interview. However, the attempt at peace lost credibility as the interview was scheduled a day before Blood in My Eye was released. As a result, most fans, along with 50 Cent, dismissed the interview as a blatant publicity stunt. Because of the ongoing feud between the two, 50 Cent's labelmates Eminem, Dr. Dre, Obie Trice, D12 and Busta Rhymes have also become involved and have also released tracks which insult Ja Rule.
Ja Rule later released R.U.L.E. with the successful single, "New York", featuring Jadakiss and Fat Joe in which Ja Rule took subliminal shots at 50 Cent. This single prompted 50 Cent to enter a feud with the two featured artists (see article on "Piggy Bank" for details).
Although it seemed that the feud was over, Ja Rule returned with a track entitled "21 Gunz". In response, Lloyd Banks and 50 Cent released the track "Return of Ja Fool" on Lloyd Banks' mixtape Mo Money in the Bank Pt. 4, Gang Green Season Starts Now.
There was a lot of things I wanted to say, and I didn't want there to be any bitter records on the album. Because I'm not bitter about anything that happened [in the past few years].
50 Cent pointed out that Fat Joe painted a target on himself for partnering up with Ja Rule in a song where Ja Rule insulted 50 Cent. 50 Cent recorded the track "Piggy Bank" in which he attacked Fat Joe. Fat Joe responded with a track entitled "My Fofo" and although he said that he would not respond, he made three more tracks, "Massacre of Fifty", "Victim", and "Whip Your Head". 50 Cent and Tony Yayo took more shots at him on "I Run NY". Even though things died down, at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards, Fat Joe mentioned that all of the police presence in the venue was "courtesy of G-Unit" which related to his lyrical accusations that 50 Cent was a "snitch". 50 Cent and Tony Yayo retaliated on set later in the show at the end of their performance by shouting obscenities towards Fat Joe and Terror Squad, which were censored by MTV. Tony Yayo claimed Fat Joe ran from them at the VMAs. Also, Pistol Pete (a non-rapping member of Terror Squad) appeared on The Game's "Stop Snitchin, Stop Lyin" DVD and disrespected Tony Yayo, Chris Lighty (owner of Violator Records who had ties with 50 Cent), and James Cruz (50 Cent's manager) and claims he chased Tony Yayo near a jewelry store. Lloyd Banks, Spider Loc, and Young Buck have also been insulted by Fat Joe. In 2007, the feud was continued in interviews and by affiliates from both parties. The feud has begun once again in 2008 with songs and videos being released from both parties. 50 Cent also released a mixtape entitled Elephant In The Sand, which is a mock title of Fat Joe's album Elephant In The Room. The front and back covers contain photos of Fat Joe on a beach. This wasn't taken lightly by two of Fat Joe's closest brothers in MC Lyrical Master C and Grandmaster T, who had previously collaborated with 50 Cent on his hit record "Money in the Bank".
A feud between 50 Cent and Cam'ron began when 50 Cent was on Hot 97 giving an interview and Cam'ron called in. Cam’ron asked 50 Cent whether he had the power to stop records from being released on Koch Records and 50 Cent said that he does in some respects. As the conversation escalated into an argument, 50 Cent called Koch Records the "industry graveyard". Cam'ron pointed out that Jim Jones' newest album sold just as much as Lloyd Banks' album did, despite the fact that Dipset is on an independent label while G-Unit is on a major label. 50 Cent took offense to this and said that Lloyd Banks has more money than Lil Wayne and Jim Jones, which makes record sales irrelevant. Cam'ron became upset and rebutted 50 Cent's statements. Most notably, he brought up the poor record sales of the Mobb Deep album, Blood Money. Eventually the debate became so heated that the radio station was forced to end the call. On February 9, 2007, the video of 50 Cent's "Funeral Music" premiered on DJ Kay Slay's Myspace. The video attacked the leader of Dipset. This is not seen as an attack on other members of Dipset, as 50 Cent says "From now on, Jimmy's the boss of Dipset. And Juelz is the Capo. Cam is demoted to soldier. We like Jimmy better anyway". At the end of the video, there is a poster showing a fictional drawing of Cam'ron with a gun saying "50 Cent" on the burial, along with his date of death; being February 8 when the video was released. Cam'ron recently responded with a track called "Curtis" titled after 50 Cent's first name. Cam'ron doesn't state too much, other than claiming he enjoys 50 Cent's shoutouts to Dipset members Juelz Santana and Jim Jones, then goes on to discuss Santana's and Jim Jones' sales on their recent albums. 50 Cent and Young Buck made the song "Hold On" together with a video in which 50 Cent takes shots at Cam'ron. Cam'ron responded with "Curtis Pt.2", which he shot a video for.
- Vibe Awards
- 2004 - Best Group - G-Unit
- AVN Awards
- 2005 - Best Interactive DVD - Groupie Love
- 2005 - Best Music - Groupie Love by Lloyd Banks
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