50 Cent Says Suge Knight Was Going to Kill Dr. Dre. G-Unit Gets Real with The Breakfast Club (Video)
Today (March 3), G-Unit’s Beast Is G-Unit EP released. 50 Cent’s crew’s second EP in as many years is sure to move the charts around. The best promotion though, is a quality interview with Fif, Tony Yayo, and Lloyd Banks—the core of the Unit since the Columbia Records days. The Breakfast Club continues their strong streak of penetrating interviews with Rap superstars.
Nearly one hour long, this interview seems to cover all, from the crew’s onetime turmoil, to industry conflicts and copycats, to family, even to television and sports. Here’s a run-down:
(6:00) 50 Cent speaks on the new music industry structure. Using O.T. Genesis and “Coco” as an example, Fif explains how hits (which he says are mostly just album cuts by early 2000s standards) start in the club, then go to radio—the exact opposite of the previous model. The conversation moves into the relevance and value of release dates. Always outspoken, this segment finds 50 Cent avoiding the Lil Wayne and Cash Money Records/Birdman conflict. Considering the pair (whom he’s had words with in the past) father and son, Fif says it’s beyond the usual disgruntled business relationship, and could solve itself at any point.
(8:00) The discussion of label turmoil leads 50 Cent into talking about his own iron clad reputation of paying artists, employees and those around him. While Lloyd Banks stays mostly quiet (as is his style), an especially chatty Tony Yayo recalls coming from prison in the early 2000s directly into Manhattan luxury apartments. The Queens, New Yorker says that 5-0 deliberately insulated him from their Southside Jamaica Queens hood, where T-O-N-Y could have found trouble for himself and others. Fans of Beg For Mercy-era Unit will appreciate the colorful anecdotes about Yayo and Banks’ apartments in Battery Park and 25th Street, before getting reportedly kicked out for bad behavior—with each playfully blaming someone else for the misconduct.
(13:00) Later on, 50 Cent opens up about his excitement with music today. The MC who has long championed KRS-One as a Hip-Hop hero says the lack of originality bores him. Still, later in the interview, it becomes abundantly clear how up on the scene that 50 truly is—knowing all the faces, songs, and producers.
(18:00) Having recently run into Fat Joe at a Babyface concert, 50 Cent explains how most beefs within the industry aren’t real. Coming from the Ja Rule conflict—which would bring Terror Squad (Fat Joe) and The LOX (Jadakiss) into the fold by way of “New York”—50 said that Joe concerned him. Given Joe’s place in the street akin to Fif’s own, he talks about his concerns in the mid-2000s, and why he looks at Joe’s current situation (in several ways) fondly.
(19:00) 50 Cent and Tony Yayo run down how status driven Rap can be, pointing to all of the placements that Hit-Boy and DJ Mustard have gotten now versus earlier in their career. The guys run down a list of names of people they helped put on, simply for being dope and original. This includes Rob “Reef” Tewlow, Shade 45’s Program Director and media industry vet, as well as artists like Dangerous, LLC.
(23:00) Talking about the Columbia Records days, and being an opening act on the Ruff Ryders/Cash Money Tour, the crew laughs. Charlamagne asks 50 Cent about signing Young Buck from under Juvenile’s UTP/Cash Money Records situation at the time, and if it was poaching. 50 Cent reveals that he stayed away until it was brought to him that the Hot Boy Juvy was currently trying to poach Lloyd Banks from G-Unit—something that causes a rare chiding laugh from Lambo Lloyd.
(27:00) Here, 50 Cent shows his love of new music. Although he makes some critical comments of Fabolous (something that appears to happen twice in the interview regarding his mixtape vs. album tones and themes), the G-Unit honcho explains working early and generously with guys like Soulja Boy, YG, and Jeremih.
(29:00) The discussion of helping out Soulja Boy at Interscope leads The Breakfast Club to ask about 50’s current relationship with Dr. Dre. Quickly, Fif explains that they don’t speak out of friendship. He adds that he felt like a New York Knick in the L.A. Lakers locker-room joining Aftermath/Interscope (through Shady) in the early 2000s. The MC adds that Game was given too much leeway in how he dissed G-Unit following 2005. Tony Yayo chimes in that the crew defended Dre in the famed 2004 VIBE Awards incident, where the Aftermath founder was attacked as he approached the stage to receive an award. Young Buck famously stabbed the assailant, while Yayo says he risked parole violation to help out the big brother—not receiving love in return.
(30:00) The discussion furthers, as many people associate the 2004 VIBE attack with Suge Knight and Death Row Records. More so than usual, 50 Cent and Tony Yayo open up about Suge. 50 Cent states that he believes Suge Knight was trying to have Dr. Dre killed in 1996, prior to 2Pac’s tragic death. He adds that Dre and many of his associates were especially fearful of their former partner. Fif recalls when Knight arrived, uninvited, to the “In Da Club” video set. While others fled, he says that he and G-Unit, along with Eminem went outside to see what the Compton, California onetime mogul wanted. Fif adds that the late Proof (of D12) was especially fearless of Suge, refusing to shake the man’s hand, and reportedly telling the feared leader that he believed he was responsible for 2Pac’s murder. 50 adds that reputations should not be built around the past.
(35:00) DJ Envy and Charlamagne press 50 Cent about his relationship with his estranged son, which had made tabloid headlines throughout last year. The MC explains the differences in values, and what he was trying to show his son in regards to money.
(38:00) 50 Cent goes into “Empire,” as compared to his own Starz original series “Power.” The rapper explains what he feels was taken from his show, but supports FOX’s blockbuster due to the fact that many of his friends are deeply involved, from Terrence Howard to Timbaland.
(43:00) Following last month’s first official 50 and Troy Ave collaboration, 50 Cent expounds on the perceived disapproval he had of Troy. Acknowledging that detailed mimicry is flattery, 50 says he embraces the Brooklyn sensation, and appreciates the fact that he is given so much credit from the BSB front man. Additionally, 50 says that so many songs are built on others, as he shows how he lifted some melodies from Outkast that he especially liked in making his own foray.
Scattered in between, 50 Cent is asked to debunk a rumor surrounding his longstanding beef with Ja Rule, Irv Gotti, and Murder Inc. Specifically, the mogul is pressed whether it’s true that he tried to buy the onetime Def Jam-distributed label’s name as a medal of victory. Laughing, Fif says no. However, reports of 50 Cent purchasing Ja Rule’s publishing were merely founded upon rumor. Still, 50 Cent says that when he was entertained reading the muckraking, he made a few phone calls to his advisers to see what the publishing would cost. After 50 Cent chides that it would have been a declining investment, he says he decided not to. With Eazy-E and Dr. Dre, Suge and Dre, and 50 Cent and Game having this tactic in their beefs, how would it have played out had Fif made the move?
The lengthy discussion closes with some light commentary on the EP. Out of nearly 50 minutes, less than 10% goes to the music—however, that says a lot about G-Unit’s command. From the sound of things too, it’s going to be a busy year for the strategic Rap icon.
Are you going to buy Beast Is G-Unit?