G-UNIT GROUP BIOGRAPHY: (See below for seperate member bio's)
Y'all heard of him? Right?? 50 Cent, the Hard East Coast gangsta rapper, shot 9 times, massive hits like "In Tha Club", ye thought ya would have, and well you should also know practically every East Coast hardcore rapper has a posse to back him, and 50 Cent is no different, with G-Unit as his particular crew. The Unit began as a trio comprised of 50, Lloyd Banks, and Tony Yayo (often with the accompaniment of either DJ Whookid or Cutmaster C as their DJ), and this particular lineup resulted in a series of popular mixtapes: 50 Cent Is the Future, God's Plan, No Mercy, No Fear, and Automatic Gunfire.
G Unit was formed by 50 Cent, with life-long friends Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo a few years ago, while 50 was shopping for a record deal. Banks and Yayo—who had established themselves as the premier emcees in their Southside, Queens neighborhood via local mixtape appearances—were more than formidable rhyme partners; they were trustworthy confidantes and road dogs. “Yayo and I were taking all of the meetings with 50,” says Banks. “We came up with the G Unit concept because 50 didn’t want to shop himself simply as an artist. Who better to be in a group with than someone you trust on all levels?”
Before the group had a chance to record its debut album for Interscope in the wake of 50's breakthrough with Get Rich or Die Tryin', Yayo was sentenced to prison for a gun-possession charge. The G Unit rap troupe expanded to include Nashville, Tennessee’s Young Buck, a former affiliate of New Orleans’ Cash Money Records who originally struck an alliance with the G Unit while on tour. Buck had impressed 50 and the G Unit during a rhyme cipher to the point where they made a promise: whoever secured a record deal first would come back for the other. “I was always more aligned with Juvenile than the rest of Cash Money,” says Buck. “When his situation stopped working for him over there, I stopped dealing with them as well because my loyalty was to Juvie. And 50 was man of his word. As soon as he got on, he extended an invitation.”
50'sdebut album from Aftermath/Shady Recs was the album "Get Rich Or Die Trying" this including groundbreakin jointz such as "In Tha Club", which here in tha UK was unstoppable, that shit rose stright to the top and recieve great play on MTV and radio. "P.I.M.P.," which also featured Snoop Dogg and got heavy rotation on MTV was another hit from the album. Meanwhile, G-Unit recorded their debut album, Beg for Mercy, over the course of 2003, and Interscope finally rush-released the album on November 14
Since 50’s signing with Shady/Aftermath, G Unit has blossomed to include a Reebok-sponsored line of athletic shoes, a clothing company in partnership with Ecko Unlimited and a record label through Interscope Records.
The first release from G Unit Records is the G Unit group album, Beg for Mercy. A well-rounded affair, Beg for Mercy features hard-edged street commentary on rugged numbers like “Betta Ask Somebody” and “I’m So Hood.” There are mid-tempo dancefloor grooves—the Joe-assisted “I Wanna Get 2 Know You” and “Groupie Love”; assaulting moments of menace— Sha Money XL’s battering title track, Dr. Dre’s slow-burning “G-d Up” and the cataclysmic “G-Unit.” Tony Yayo, behind bars but not forgotten, appears on “Groupie Love” and “I Smell Pussy”.
“When we put this album together, we wanted to accomplish a few things,” says 50. “I wanted to showcase my growth as an artist over the past year; to talk about some of the things that have changed as well as some of the things that haven’t. But, as G Unit, we wanted to also make an album that can stand against some of the best rap albums ever made – not just the best group albums ever made. I think we did that.”
50 CENT BIOGRAPHY: (See below for other member bio's)
Why, despite being blackballed by the industry and without a major-label recording contract, did peoples attractions turn to Jamaica, Queens' realest son, 50 Cent, like the flies to shit. 50 Cent, born Curtis Jackson 26 years ago, is the real deal, the genuine article. He's a man of the streets, intimately familiar with its codes and its violence, but still, 50, an incredibly intelligent and deliberate man, holds himself with a regal air as if above the pettiness which surrounds him. Couple his true-life hardship with his knack for addictive, syrupy hooks, it's clear that 50 has exactly what it takes to ride down the road to riches and diamond rings. 50 is real, so he does real things.
Born into a notorious Queens drug dynasty during the late '70s, 50 Cent lost those closest to him at an early age. Raised without a father, 50's mother, whose name carried weight in the street (hint, hint, dummies), was found dead under mysterious circumstances before he could hit his teens. The orphaned youth was taken in by his grandparents, who provided for 50. But his desire for things would drive him to the block. Which in his case was the infamous New York Avenue, now known as Guy R. Brewer Blvd. There, 50 stepped up to get his rep up, amassing a small fortune and a lengthy rap sheet. But the birth of his son put things in perspective for the post adolescent, and 50 began to pursue rap seriously. He signed with JMJ, the label of Run DMC DJ Jam Master Jay and began learning his trade. JMJ would teach the young buck to count bars and structure songs. Unfortunately, caught up in industry limbo, there wasn't much JMJ could do for 50.
The platinum hitmakers Trackmasters took notice of 50 and signed him to Columbia Records in 1999. They shipped 50 to Upstate NY where they locked him up in the studio for 2 1/2 weeks. He turned out 36 songs in this short period, which resulted in "Power Of A Dollar," an unreleased masterpiece that Blaze Magazine judged a classic. 50's stick up kid anthem "How to Rob" blew through the roof and playfully painted him as a deliriously hungry up-and-comer daydreaming of robbing famous rappers. But 50 and the fans were the only ones laughing. Unable to take a joke, Jay-Z, Big Pun, Sticky Fingaz, and Ghostface Killah all replied to the song. "It wasn't personal. It was comedy based on truth, which made it so funny," says 50 Cent.
In April of '00, 50 was shot 9 times, including a .9mm bullet to the face, in front of his grandmothers house in Queens. He spent the next few months in recovery while Columbia Records dropped him from the label. 50 didn't fold, he flew. Right into the zone. He banged out track after track, despite no income or backing, with his new business partner and friend Sha Money XL. The two recorded over 30 songs, strictly for mix-tapes, with the soul purpose of building a buzz. 50's street value rose and by the end of the spring of '01 he'd released the new material independently on the makeshift LP, "Guess Who's Back?". Beginning to attract interest, and now backed by his crew, G-Unit, 50 stayed on his grind and made more songs. But it was different this time. Rather than create new songs as they had before, 50 decided to showcase his hit-making ability by retouching first-class beats which had already been used. They released the red, white and blue bootleg, "50 Cent Is the Future," revisiting material by Jay-Z and even Rapheal Saadiq.
That's when the unbelievable happened, and hip-hop history was written. The energetic CD caught the ear of supa MC Eminem, and within a week Em was on the radio saying, '50 Cent is my favorite rapper right now.' Em looked to mentor Dr. Dre to confirm his belief in the young hitmaker, and the good doctor co-signed. Floored by the appreciation of the greats, 50 didn't hesitate in signing with the dream team. In the wake of his acquisition, 50 Cent has become the most sought after newcomer in almost a decade. Not since the summer of '94, when radio would play absolutely anything Notorious B.I.G. related, has hip-hop seen buzz like this.
;Ever the clever businessman, 50 didn't let the opportunity escape him and quickly released another bootleg of borrowed beats, "No Mercy, No Fear." The CD featured only one new track, "Wanksta," which was certainly not intended for radio, but the streets couldn't wait for the official single and within weeks "Wanksta" became New York's most requested record. Thankfully, the stellar cut has found a home on the multi-platinum soundtrack to Eminem's smash movie, "8 Mile." With several huge hits already under his belt, 50 Cent is poised to be the artist to beat next year. He's coming with over ten incredible tracks stashed from last spring and newly recorded winners courtesy of Eminem, who's really cut his production teeth of late, and hip-hop's greatest, highest-selling producer Dr. Dre. "Creatively, what more could I ask for?" he asks jokingly. "You know if me and Em is in the same room then it's gonna be a friendly competition, neither of us wanna let the other one down. And Dre??? C'mon." Promising an LP of the caliber of rap classics like "Illmatic," "Ready to Die," and "Reasonable Doubt," 50 Cent's debut promises to set the pace for hip-hop in coming years. The product of his unrelenting drive, talent and, frankly, his real-ness, 50's official first album promises to do for him just what it says. With his infectious flow and viciously funny I-don't-give-a-fuck personality, there is no doubt that 50 Cent will Get Rich or Die Trying.
LLOYD BANKS BIOGRAPHY: (See below for other member bio's)
Lloyd Banks was raised in Jamaica, Queens by his Puerto Rican mother--his father spent much of his son's childhood behind bars. Like many young men, he found solace amidst the poverty and ruin of his community through ghetto poetry and the work of rappers like Big Daddy Kane and Slick Rick. He dropped out of high school at the age of sixteen, finding the structured environment a hindrance to his developing talent for rhyming. After appearing on numerous local "mixtapes", Banks, along with childhood friends Tony Yayo and 50 Cent formed a crew called G Unit, a group that proceeded to redefine the term "street marketing" with a series of self-released albums that included original numbers and quality artwork. After the creation of G-Unit, Banks went on to have a strong presence on mixtapes. He was named the 2003 Mixtape Artist of the Year, and had released a number of tapes, mainly with DJ and producer DJ Whoo Kid. His releases include Mo Money In The Bank Parts 1, 2, and 3.
Banks stayed on with 50 Cent, appearing on the artist's now classic 2003 debut Get Rich Or Die Tryin'--November of that same year saw the release of G Unit's Beg For Mercy. His long awaited solo debut for G Unit/Interscope Records, Hunger For More, was released in June 2004, and the album included the hit singles "On Fire", "I'm So Fly", and "Karma". The Hunger For More sold over 400,000 copies in its first week, putting him behind only millionaire rap mogul 50 Cent for most sold in the opening week in G-Unit!
In the fall of 2005, an album titled, The Big Withdraw was leaked on the internet and featured an extensive collection of songs ; 23 recordings total. Banks is scheduled to release a second LP on July 18, 2006, titled Rotten Apple. The set also includes "You Already Know (Remix)", a G-Unit remix of LL Cool J's single "Freeze", "Cake", and first single "My House" - with the latter two featuring 50 Cent.
YOUNG BUCK BIOGRAPHY: (See below for other member bio's)
That you've only been hearing about 23-year-old David "Young Buck" Brown for a little over a year has its roots in many different grounds, but lack of determination is not one of them. "I been doing music my whole life," says the Nashville native. "I started rapping when I was about 12 or 13, just playing around with it. Around the age of 14, 15, I was in the studio, serious about it."
But Young Buck also had two feet in the streets, peddling street narcotics in his early teens. "I was the youngest n-gga in the field," he recalls. "There's really no age limit when you out there in those streets. I was out there doing grown-man sh-t." The older hustlers--more specifically one now-incarcerated OG named Priest who was especially close with Buck--would chide him due to his youth. "Sit your young ass down," they'd say. "Pay attention, you young buck motherf--ker." It wasn't long before "Young Buck" became a term of endearment as well as his name.
When Buck was 16, he got word that New Orleans's Cash Money rap troupe was recording in his town and scored a chance to perform for the label's CEO, Brian "Baby" Williams, who had him prove his worth by engaging in verbal combat against Cash Money's baby gangsters, including future Hot Boy Lil' Wayne. Buck's performance was so impressive that Williams offered him the chance to become part of the cash Money stable. Buck accepted, dropping out of high school and relocating to New Orleans for the next four years.
The year was 1997 and the Cash Money Millionaires were a few diamonds away from being the bling kings they are today. "We all lived in a little-bitty apartment," recalls Buck. "Everybody was in struggle, in the grind trying to make it. I was young and felt like it was an opportunity, 'cause they were moving units back then on the underground scene. You could see the potential of them becoming something. I felt like if I wasn't around, maybe my shot would be gone."
Buck dedicated himself to the development of the crew, going as far as to secure props for the label's breakthrough moment, the 1999 video for Juvenile's "Ha," which was shot in the young rhymer's hometown. "The people I used to have around me from Nashville was showing love to the Cash Money clique on the strength of Buck trying to make it; making sure Buck gets to where he gots to go. We provided the cars you see in that video: the yellow Ferrari, the blue Jaguar. Things wasn't all the way right for Cash Money around that time and we respected that. We were blessed to have a little something, so we added to their finesse in the beginning."
But after about four years of waiting on the Cash Money bench, Buck decided to return home. "I came back to the hood and got in those streets and started doing whatever it took for me to provide," he confesses. "I had lost so much time. Financially, I was brand-new. I was on some other sh-t out there trying to get that bread. But you reap what you sow. At the same time I was out there doing my thing, there was another motherf--ker who felt like he could come and do his thing to me. That's exactly how it happened. Motherf--ker come kick in my door at 4, 5 in the morning. I was laying in the middle of the floor. He came standing on top of me with AK or a Mac something. I ain't had no gun so I got my ass off the floor and ran towards the kitchen. It just so happen one of my homeboys, he was awake, he pushed the guy back up out the door. I got shot twice. One of them damned near blew my arm off and another caught me in my upper leg, in my thigh. I had so much illegal sh-t in the house at the time I rode around for 45 minutes to an hour before I even went to the hospital. I damned near lost my life from bleeding so much."
But Buck had also been pushing hard in the studio, and, along with childhood friend D-Tay, released an independent LP, Thuggin' Til The End. Though the record didn't sell many units, Buck gained invaluable experience--especially when he tried to get out of his one-sided contract. "I was young and so eager to make some money as well as get exposed and show my talent," admits Buck. "When I started looking for other opportunities, I realized this dude had paperwork on me that was holding me. I felt like, 'Let me get up offa this here.' He kinda didn't want to make it happen at the time, but we wound up working it out."
Buck's next opportunity came when Baby Williams called him, inviting him back into the Cash Money fold as part of a new group he was putting together. When Buck arrived at the offices, he saw that the label's fortunes had vastly improved. But after about a week of sitting around the office and not running into any of the recording roster, he felt that he was just sitting on a more comfortable bench. "I was ready to get out of there when Juvenile stopped by the office," says Buck. Juvenile, who at the time was having contractual issues with Cash Money's principals, offered Buck a chance to join up in his new venture, UTP Records. "Juvenile was like, 'I can't promise you nothing, but at least you'll be out on something that'll be heard.' I made my decision from there. I had Juvey take me to grab my luggage and I struck out on the road with him and started recoding songs. In the first three days I did about 11 songs."
Buck was living and recording music out of Juvenile's tour bus when UTP met up with 50 Cent and his G-Unit crew in New York City. A freestyle session led to some group collaborations, most notably the street hit "A Little Bit of Everything." "It was like an honor thing for me to meet 50, 'cause I respected his whole story. I was a fan of the n-gga before I even became an artist under his Unit. We started vibing from the beginning. We left on a note of, 'Yo, if this rap situation happens for me or it happens for you, we're both gonna holla at each other.' And through the grace of God, it started taking off for 50. And he came back, like, 'I told you.' Juvenile had always told me, 'If an opportunity comes, take it. I'm doing what I can do, but if it's something that's gonna help you better, do it.'"
Young Buck's first G-Unit appearance came when 50 Cent took "Bloodhound," a Buck solo effort he enjoyed from their first meeting, turned it into a duet and placed it on 50's record-breaking debut, Get Rich Or Die Tryin'. Last year, the G-Unit released Beg For Mercy, which has sold well over 2 million copies to date. Next up for Young Buck is his solo debut, Straight Outta Cashville.
"I got the name from N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton," says Buck. "Straight Outta Cashville speaks for itself. It tells you my way of living up on to this day. I want the world to get a feel of me, showing them the way I am and the way I get down."
Straight Outta Cashville features production from Dr. Dre, Eminem, and Lil' Jon with appearances by G-Unit's 50 Cent and Lloyd Banks as well as Southern hip-hop heavyweights T.I., Lil' Flip, and David Banner. "With me being from the South, I wanted to make this album like a G-Unit South'," says Young Buck. "It's all the way street. You won't really get a lot of the mainstream, lovey-dovey side because that wasn't a part of my life in the beginning. Straight Outta Cashville is just a lot of headbusters."
TONY YAYO BIOGRAPHY:
A street legend before the recording of his debut even started, rapper Tony Yayo is a lifelong friend of 50 Cent and a member of his G-Unit crew. Yayo had been with 50 during his career-building years in the world of mixtapes. Along with 50 Cent, Yayo was arrested on New Year's Eve 2002 on weapons-possession charges. During a background check, police discovered Yayo had an outstanding warrant for a previous weapons-possession charge. Early 2003, he was sentenced for bail-jumping and would remain in jail until the beginning of 2004. During this time, 50 Cent and his G-Unit crew were blowing up. Videos featured the group wearing "Free Yayo" shirts, but Yayo himself was unaware of all the attention he was getting. The prison inmates Yayo shared a television with preferred watching sports to music videos, but when Eminem and 50 where scheduled to make an appearance during the Grammy Awards, he convinced everyone to change the channel. It was the first time he saw a "Free Yayo" shirt -- this time worn by Eminem. Inspired by the shirt, he started working extra hard on his rhymes while keeping in touch with the G-Unit crew let him know he was going to get his chance once he was a free man.
Free Yayo was a movement initiated by G-Unit with the intention of creating a support network for the imprisoned Tony Yayo. For instance, on the G-Unit track Stunt 101 fellow rapper Young Buck says "free yayo"; the video for that same track features "free Yayo" graffiti. The movement got to be much larger than any member of G-Unit had predicted, even with such seasoned artists such as Eminem wearing a "Free Yayo" T-Shirt at the 2003 Grammy awards, and also resulted in the sale of clothing and accessories with writing 'Free Yayo' on them. The movement was responsible for the excitement and anticipation created for the release of the imprisoned G-Unit member. As another result, Tony Yayo's appearances on underground mixtapes greatly boosted sales of DJs such as DJ Clue and DJ Whoo Kid.
Come January 8, 2004, Yayo was back on the streets, but presenting a forged passport to his parole officer a day later put him back in prison for a few weeks. Out again, Yayo was finally able to start work on his debut. Some mixtape appearances on the G-Unit Radio series announced his comeback at the street level while the "So Seductive" single let the rest of the world know in the summer of 2005. In August and while the single was dominating urban radio, MTV, and BET, Yayo dropped his debut, Thoughts of a Predicate Felon.
Tony Yayo's style is known for his rapid-fire delivery, witty outburst and his favorite tradition feuding with other rappers. His signature dance move is rapidly waving his hand in front of his face. The rapper made monikers for his stage name, like Tsunami Yayo or his personal favorite T.O.N.Y. ("Talk Of New York") and Yayo (Spanish slang 'llello') is a word for cocaine.
In 2005 around the time of Tony Yayo's debut album release, 50 Cent officially booted his protege 'The Game' out of G-Unit. This incident caused a long standing feud between the group and the west coast rapper. Since then, Yayo has said and aimed disses at The Game. Yayo claims that The Game looks like 'Mr. Potato Head' and his past is fabricated only to make him look more like a gangster. Yayo explained why being featured on The Documentary only helped The Game bring more appeal to the streets and that his attacks on G-Unit are hypocritical.
Tony Yayo claims that The Game is known for his "break-up to make-up" feuds and his association with rappers G-Unit are currently feuding with. Yayo poked fun at his dating show appearance on TV's Change Of Heart. The Game's disloyalty, as G-Unit puts it, were the reasons to dismiss the rapper from the group.
The Game responded by threatening to sabotage the sales of Tony Yayo's album. He promised his fans to purchase The Documentary and then mail the copy to The Black Wall Street Records offices whereas he'll personally autograph each copy and include an official mixtape.
During a video release for Busta Rhymes, Yayo was again shrouded in controversy after he had a heated exchange with producer Swizz Beatz. After Tony Yayo and his entourage left abruptly, a shooting had occurred leaving one of Busta Rhymes' bodyguards dead. The New York Police Department are investigating the incident. Since the death, Tony Yayo as well as Busta Rhymes have been tight lipped about the incident, forcing the police to subpoena the rappers to testify.
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