This is my Sandbox.
Rise to fame
The group's founding members, 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, and Tony Yayo all grew up on the same block, they rapped, hustled, and sold drugs together. When 50 Cent was spotted and signed to a label, both Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo worked hard on mixtapes in order to gain attention, as artists, themselves. 50 Cent was then dropped from his label due to him being shot 9 times in front of his grandmother's house. They saw 50 Cent as too much of a risk to keep.
50 Cent was raised in Queens NY, by his grandmother. When he began rapping, he did nothing more that freestyle over instrumentals, in a friends basement. A friend then introduced him to Jam Master Jay. Jay then helped the young star to produce his first album, although it was never released. He then began to work with the Trackmasters, it was around this time that he was signed to Columbia Records. It was while he was signed to this label, that he recorded Power of the Dollar. When Columbia found out he had been shot nine times, he was released from his contract.
He then continued to make mixtapes, to get the word out. He made some of these mixtapes with his fellow friends, Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo. One of these mixtapes, Guess Who's Back?, eventually found it's way to Eminem, while he was filming his movie, 8 Mile. 50 was then signed as a joint venture to ShadyAftermath. After he had released his debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin', Interscope, granted him his own label, G-Unit Records.
While 50 had met Jam Master Jay, his childhood friends, Lloyd Banks, and Tony Yayo, were also making names for themselves on the local circuit. And while they were not featured on Power of the Dollar, Yayo, because he is older than Banks, did accompany 50 while touring with various artists. While they were touring, Banks continued to make a name for himself back in NY, to promote buzz on himself and the group. He hooked up with local producers and started to make a name for himself on mixtapes.
Starting to rap at 12, record at 14, "Young Buck" as he was dubbed, because he was selling drugs at a young age and making decent money, started out with Baby and his Cash Money crew. It wasn't long before Buck met 50 backstage at a concert. He was signed soon after that as a member of G-Unit.
After the success of Get Rich or Die Tryin'', 50 Cent was granted his own record label through Interscope. Himself and his manager, Sha Money XL, then formed G-Unit Records. He first signed G-Unit and then other artists including The Game and Olivia. After the well-publisized departure of The Game 50 Cent signed Spider Loc, Mobb Deep and M.O.P. to the roster.
With G-Unit finally in the mainstream, they began to work on their debut album, Beg For Mercy, however on December 31 2002, Tony Yayo was arrested on weapons charges. This was before the debut album of G-Unit, and as a result, his contributions to the album were limited. He was eventually released, but only after the group had made his name known by, at various times, wearing "Free Yayo" shirts promoting him, even if he wasn't appearing with the group.
Whilst work began on The Game's debut album, The Documentary, problems began to escalate between 50 and Game. 50 Cent claimed that The Game was being disloyal to the group because he did not want to get involved with the feuds between G-Unit and other rappers, even going as far as to say that he wished to work with them. 50 Cent also felt that he did not receive enough recognition for the writing of tracks on The Game’s debut album. This resulted in what is arguably the biggest feud since the feud between Nas and Jay-Z. For more information please see G-Unit vs. The Game.
G-Unit is now preparing for the second group effort, entitled, T.O.S: Terminate on Sight. This album is set to be released during the third quarter of 2007. Many artists from G-Unit Records will be appearing on this album, as well as artists from affiliated companies, such as Shady Records and Aftermath Entertainment.
- Reid, Shaheem (February 28 2005). 50 Drops Game From G-Unit; Shots Fired at Radio Station. MTV. Accessed July 29 2007.