|Genres||Hip hop, Gangsta Rap, East Coast Hip Hop|
|Past members||The Game|
G-Unit (short for Guerrilla Unit) is an American hip hop group originating from South Jamaica, Queens, New York, formed by longtime friends and East Coast rappers 50 Cent, Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks. The group released their debut album Beg for Mercy, in 2003, which went on to sell over 2,000,000 copies in the US and was certified Double Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The album, which followed the critical and commercial success of 50 Cent's major-label debut Get Rich or Die Tryin', served as a platform for Banks, Buck & Yayo to release their respective solo debut albums, The Hunger for More (2004), Straight Outta Cashville (2004) & Thoughts of a Predicate Felon (2005). In 2008, the group released their second album T·O·S (Terminate on Sight).
During Tony Yayo's imprisonment, the group recruited Tennessee-based rapper Young Buck, who was featured throughout the Beg for Mercy album. In late 2004, The Game was also added to the group, a proposition made by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, to promote the Aftermath/Interscope newcomer. However, due to The Game's "disloyalty" in the eyes of 50 Cent, he was soon removed from the group. In April 2008, 50 Cent revealed Young Buck was no longer a part of the group due to his "excessive spending" and "inconsistent behavior". In early 2014, after Yayo and 50 Cent separately stated G-Unit was no more, the original members of the group reconciled and reunited at Summer Jam 2014, along with Young Buck after his six-year departure from the group. G-Unit Records rapper Kidd Kidd, was also added to the group upon its reformation.
- 1 History
- 2 Other ventures
- 3 Controversies
- 4 Discography
- 5 Awards
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Early years and rise to fame (1999–2007)
The group's founding members, 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo all grew up in the same neighborhood rapping together. 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, 50 Cent signed Tennessee-based rapper Young Buck to G-Unit Records and subsequently added him to the group.
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 were 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 went on to sell 2.3 million copies in the US and 4 million copies worldwide. The only guest appearances on the album were R&B singers Joe and Butch Cassidy. The album's production was handled by high-profile producers such as Hi-Tek, Dr. Dre and Scott Storch, among several others. 50 Cent also served as the album's executive producer.
West Coast rapper The Game was originally placed into G-Unit by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine of Interscope Records. Their plan was to market The Game as a devotee, or a card-carrying member of 50 Cent's "camp.". 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 claimed that he did not receive proper credit for co-writing 2 songs on Game's debut album The Documentary (2005) although it was later revelaed that 50 Cent had only written his own verses.
Second album and dissension (2008–13)
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 was 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. 50 Cent also made claims of "inconsistent behavior" from Young Buck, such as appearing on stage with his former Cash Money label-mate Lil Wayne, then seemingly dissing him on records with G-Unit.
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 had sold 185,000 copies in the United States. Along with Young Buck, reggae singer Mavado appears on the album, while production came from Swizz Beatz, Street Radio, Tha Bizness, Rick Rock and Polow da Don, among several others.
On February 20, 2014, Tony Yayo stated 50 Cent "ain't rocking with [him]" and that G-Unit is over. He also announced his retirement from music stating "Too much stress. I flew the world already. Dropped an album. Time to try new things and the Unit not together. Fuck it." Then after what seemed like condescending comments about Lloyd Banks and Yayo in multiple interviews, on April 25, 2014, 50 Cent said that due to the recent inside-fighting, G-Unit is currently "dismantled." However, on June 1, 2014, G-Unit reunited at the 21st annual hip-hop fest Summer Jam with 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, Young Buck, and G-Unit's newest member, Kidd Kidd. The following day, G-Unit released a song titled "Nah I'm Talkin' Bout", a remix of HS87's "Grindin My Whole Life", making their comeback official. On June 3, 2014, G Unit released a remix to Canadian rapper Drake's "0-100", re-titling the song "Real Quick". On June 4, 2014, 50 Cent announced they were working on a studio album and revealed plans to release it by late November 2014.
On June 12, 2014, G-Unit continued their release of new music with a remix of American singer Trey Songz' "Ordinary". On June 16, 2014, G-Unit released a song titled "They Talked About Jesus". The song, which only features verses from Banks, Buck and Yayo, heavily samples "Tearz", by East Coast hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan. On June 17, 2014, G-Unit premiered the music video for "Nah I'm Talkin' Bout". On June 25, 2014, 50 Cent announced they would be releasing a mixtape prior to the album. On June 27, 2014, G-Unit released a remix to Jeremih's "Don't Tell 'Em". On August 25, 2014, G-Unit surprised fans with an extended play (EP) titled The Beauty of Independence, which was released at midnight, via digital retailers.
After the first EP, the group released music videos for "Watch Me" and "Changes". G-Unit planned to release album in November, but after releasing The Beauty of Independence was announced that the album was divided into two parts, which first part is The Beauty of Independence and second is The Beast Is G-Unit. The group planned to release The Beast in late October, but the EP was pushed back in 2015. On November 10, 2014, was released deluxe version of The Beauty of Independence contains two new songs "Ease Up" and "Big Body Benz" (music video for "Big Body Benz" was released on November 21, 2014). On November 17, 2014, was released first song from The Beast Is G-Unit titled "Bring My Bottles". The music video for "Bring My Bottles" was released on December 28, 2014. On January 20, 2015, was released the cover art for their second EP The Beast Is G-Unit, via social media. On March 25, 2015 G-Unit appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, the same day that Jimmy "Henchman" Rosemond was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of G-Unit associate Lowell "Lodi Mack" Fletcher.
In August 2016, they released the Lost Flash Drive with unreleased songs.
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 under served communities.
In early 2005, a feud between The Game and G-Unit began. Even before The Game's first album, The Documentary, 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, The Game confronted 50 Cent at the Hot 97 studio in New York City and members of The Game's entourage began shooting at 50 Cent and other members of the G-unit entourage, causing them to flee the building and causing Hot 97 radio security to shoot a member of The Game's entourage. 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, 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 Records artist 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".
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 Shit " 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 the stabbing, Black Child has 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 nigga 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 on the song "New York". 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 in songs after this, he made one more track, "Victim" which 50 Cent is purportedly the subject of as well as a guest appearance on Rick Ross' Mafia Music remix. 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.
When asked about the 50 Cent and G-Unit situation in an interview Fat Joe said he will no longer be responding and that he has left it to his close friend Pistol Pete and his crew Kill all Rats to handle. Pistol Pete 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 jewelery 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. 50 Cent also released a mixtape entitled Elephant In the Sand, which is a mock title of Fat Joe's album The Elephant in the Room. The front and back covers contain photos of Fat Joe on a beach. in response Kill all Rats released a mixtape titled Gay-Unit hosted by Fat Joe.
The feud between 50 Cent and Fat Joe ended in 2012 when 50 Cent approached Fat Joe's trailer at the BET Awards where he was confronted by Fat Joe's entourage he told them he wanted to make peace out of respect for Chris Lighty however Fat Joe was unsure of his intentions until later that day when they shook hands while appearing on stage together amongst other past and present Violater artists at the BET Awards segment that paid tribute to the label's founder Chris Lighty who died that year.
In 2014 Fat Joe gave a track titled Free to DJ Kay Slay to use as he was working on his final album and told him he can do whatever he wants with it. In light of the 2012 BET Awards Kay Slay decided to get 50 Cent to do a verse for it and put his on his mixtape The Rise Of A City. Although Fat Joe was unaware Kay Slay was putting 50 Cent on his track he approved stating unity is good for hip-hop. That same year, Tony Yayo shouted out Fat Joe, saying that there was "no beef".
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 responded with a track called "Curtis", titled after 50 Cent's first name, Where he claims 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.
- Beg for Mercy (2003)
- T·O·S (Terminate on Sight) (2008)
- The Beauty of Independence (2014)
- The Beast Is G Unit (2015)
- Vibe Awards
- 2004 - Best Group of The Decade
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