Tony Yayo

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Tony Yayo
Tony Yayo in 2008
Tony Yayo in 2008
Background information
Birth nameMarvin Bernard
Born (1978-03-31) March 31, 1978 (age 43)
New York City, U.S.
GenresHip hop
Years active1997–present
Associated acts

Marvin Bernard (born March 31, 1978),[1] better known by his stage name Tony Yayo, is an American rapper and hype man. He is best known as a member of G-Unit, a hip hop group he formed with his childhood friends 50 Cent and Lloyd Banks. Yayo released his debut studio album, Thoughts of a Predicate Felon, in 2005, which debuted at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. His stage name is derived from the 1983 film Scarface, referencing the main character Tony Montana, and Yayo, the slang word for cocaine.

Early life[edit]

Yayo was born Marvin Bernard in South Jamaica, Queens, New York City to Haitian parents, the youngest of three children.[2] Bernard's parents divorced when he was 16. As a child, he met his lifelong friends Lloyd Banks and 50 Cent, and the trio eventually formed a group, G-Unit, and began working on music together, releasing a number of mixtapes in the early 2000s, including 2002's 50 Cent is the Future, No Mercy, No Fear, and God's Plan.[3][4]

Music career[edit]


While Yayo was incarcerated in 2003, G-Unit boss 50 Cent was granted his own record label, "G-Unit Records" by Interscope after the success his debut studio album Get Rich or Die Tryin'. 50 immediately signed G-Unit members Yayo and Lloyd Banks to the label, and eventually Young Buck was signed and added to the group as the official fourth member. G-Unit released their first official group album Beg for Mercy in November 2003, which went on to be certified 4x Platinum in the United States of America.[5][6] The album was released whilst Yayo was in prison serving time on weapons charges, but Yayo was still featured on the album. The second G-Unit album T.O.S: Terminate on Sight was released in July 2008 and went on to sell 102,000 copies in the first week.

Solo career[edit]

Tony Yayo performing at Villanova Hoops Mania in 2005

Though his appearances on numerous mixtapes during and upon his release from prison announced his return on a street level, it was not until the release of his debut single, "So Seductive" featuring 50 Cent, that Yayo received widespread recognition. In August 2005, Tony Yayo released his debut studio album, Thoughts of a Predicate Felon, debuting at No. 2 on the Billboard 200.[7]

Tony Yayo has confirmed that work is in progress for his second studio album.[8] No official name for the album has been decided yet. The first single from the album is "Pass the Patron", and it features 50 Cent. The album will be released with G-Unit Records / EMI who will both promote and distribute the album. On March 2, 2011, Yayo released the second single of off his upcoming album called, "Haters". The song features Shawty Lo, 50 Cent, & Roscoe Dash. The single was released onto after being premiered on Hot 97 by Funkmaster Flex. The single rapidly started to gain success on the urban radio charts and soon debuted on the Billboard Hip-Hop/R&B chart.


Tony Yayo was signed to Interscope Records in 2003, where he released his debut album Thoughts of a Predicate Felon. He was later dropped from the label in 2009. Lloyd Banks announced a deal was signed with 50 Cent's label, G-Unit Records on Friday, August 13, 2010, on MTV News, in which EMI Label Services would distribute and promote releases on the G-Unit roster in North America including Yayo's untitled second album.

Legal issues[edit]

Felony jail time[edit]

Along with 50 Cent, Yayo was arrested on December 31, 2002, for weapons possession. He had a Glock 20 handgun and a Colt AR-15 in the trunk of his car. When police discovered that Yayo had an outstanding warrant for a previous charge, Yayo was sentenced for bail jumping and spent all of 2003 in prison.[1] Yayo served time in the Lakeview Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility and was paroled on January 8, 2004.[9] The next day, he was arrested for possessing a forged passport and served time in federal prison until February 24, 2004.[10] When Yayo was incarcerated, G-Unit and Eminem began a campaign called "Free Yayo". Yayo has said he was unaware of all the attention the campaign was getting until he saw Eminem wearing a "Free Yayo" T Shirt on stage at the 2003 Grammy Awards.[11][12] The first song Yayo appeared on after being released from prison was "Ain't No Click'" from Lloyd Banks' debut album The Hunger For More on June 2004.

Assault charge[edit]

On March 24, 2007, Tony Yayo was arrested for allegedly assaulting the 14-year-old son of Jimmy "Henchmen" Rosemond. Tony Yayo and 50 Cent were accused of approaching the child, with members of their entourage, and pushing him against a nearby wall. This was when Tony Yayo reportedly slapped the boy several times and said "Fuck Czar Entertainment". Tony Yayo has pleaded "not guilty" and 50 Cent has since proven his innocence with video footage showing him at his Connecticut mansion at the time of the alleged incident.[13]

Tony Yayo made his first court appearance on the morning of April 25, 2007, in New York. The case was adjourned to July 24. Tony Yayo's lawyer has expressed his belief that Yayo is innocent and commented on the situation in an interview with MTV:

After a thorough investigation, I steadfastly and adamantly state to you that Tony Yayo did not slap anyone. I am hopeful that when [authorities] complete their investigation, they will come to the same conclusion. Yayo, as a father, understands the allegations and would never do anything to harm a child.[14]

On April 18, 2007, the house of Tony Yayo's mother was "sprayed with bullets". The attack is believed to be in connection with Tony Yayo's house arrest. Yayo references the attack on the G-Unit song "Straight Out of Southside", off T.O.S., the group's second album.[15]

On July 24, 2007, Tony Yayo attended a court hearing regarding his alleged assault. The prosecution offered him a nine-month prison sentence if he pleaded guilty which he rejected.[16]

Prosecutors dropped the charges in February 2008.[17] The mother of Rosemond's son sued 50 Cent and Yayo two months later.[18]


Studio albums
Collaborative albums


Year Title Role Notes
2009 Kiss and Tail: The Hollywood Jumpoff[19] Himself
2010 Morning Glory[20] Himself
2011 S.W.A.T.: Firefight Carlos
2012 One Blood[21] Brinks
Video Games
Year Title Role Notes
2005 50 Cent: Bulletproof Himself Voice role and likeness
2009 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand Himself Voice role and likeness
Year Title Role Notes
2004 The Howard Stern Show Himself
2005 Jimmy Kimmel Live! Himself Season 4, episode 96
2007 MTV Cribs Himself
2008 50 Cent: The Money and the Power Himself "Chose Your Crew Wisely"


  1. ^ a b Jeffries, David (2005). "Tony Yayo > Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved November 13, 2009.
  2. ^ Reid, Shaheem. (January 15, 2010) Tony Yayo, DJ Whoo Kid, More Haitian Artists Discuss Earthquake – Music, Celebrity, Artist News. MTV. Retrieved on 2011-07-31.
  3. ^ "Tony Yayo – Biography, Albums, Streaming Links – AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  4. ^ "Tony Yayo talks about life in G-Unit, prison". Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  5. ^ Lamy, Jonathan (December 18, 2003). 2003 Ends With a Bang!. RIAA. Accessed July 10, 2007.
  6. ^ 50 Cent Biography: Contemporary Musicians Archived May 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. eNotes. Accessed July 18, 2007.
  7. ^ "Search". Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  8. ^ Steve Raze (November 5, 2007). Lloyd Banks & Tony Yayo: Shooters, Part 2 Archived November 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. AllHipHop. Accessed November 6, 2007.
  9. ^ "Inmate Population Information Search". New York State Department of Correctional Services. Archived from the original on September 21, 2009. Retrieved September 26, 2009. Department ID Number: 03-A-2339
  10. ^ Patel, Joseph (February 25, 2004). "Tony Yayo Pleads Guilty To Passport Fraud". MTV News. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  11. ^ What I Gotta Do. Xxlmag.Com. Retrieved on July 31, 2011.
  12. ^ "Tony Yayo – Biography & History – AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  13. ^ Rich Rock (March 24, 2007). Tony Yayo Arrested For Teen Assault, Young Buck Release Distracted Archived May 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. SOHH. Accessed July 29, 2007.
  14. ^ Tony Yayo's lawyer Commenting on Alleged Incident. MTV. Accessed July 29, 2007.
  15. ^ "Home Of Tony Yayo's Mother Sprayed With Bullets". April 20, 2007.
  16. ^ Update: Tony Yayo Rejects Deal In Rosemond Assault Case, "It's Not Even A Good Offer For A Guilty Person," Says Lawyer Archived September 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. SOHH. Accessed July 29, 2007
  17. ^ "Tony Yayo Cleared Of Child Assault Charges". Rap Basement. February 14, 2008. Retrieved February 5, 2011.
  18. ^ Rodriguez, Jayson (April 9, 2008). "50 Cent, Tony Yayo Named In Assault-And-Battery Suit Involving Jimmy Rosemond's Son". MTV News. Retrieved February 5, 2011.
  19. ^ "Kiss and Tail: The Hollywood Jumpoff". July 14, 2009. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  20. ^ "Morning Glory (2010)". Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  21. ^ "One Blood". July 6, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2018.

External links[edit]