30 million records have sold based on the quality of music and their presence in hip-hop. Every time something happens with G-Unit, it gets shown in the news, internet blogs, and magazine columns. In fact, they create so much excitement, 50 Cent was able to successfully create competition for MySpace and Facebook. Without any music getting spins, G-Unit stirs up conversation because of interviews or the latest controversy they happen to be involved in. Most guys start doing things to have a buzz for their upcoming album, however, G-Unit can simply talk about the past year's events in interviews and leave plenty of untouched areas.
When they actually have an album coming out, G-Unit's buzz tends to increase even though it seems to have maxed all media attention. G-Unit is so accustomed to drama these days when asked about problems, you don't know if you're hearing someone talk about beef or comedian stand-up. With another member ousted from the group since Young Buck's departure, G-Unit's strength doesn't seem wavered at all.
Promoting the new album, Terminate On Site, G-Unit's Tony Yayo claims that BallerStatus has come to the right people if we wanted to talk to ballers. This is one of the many punchlines that fill their interviews all the while covering the latest topics. Lloyd Banks also joined in on the conversation to add his two cents as well. And why not, what else would you expect from G-Unit?
Interscope Assistant: Tony, we have BallerStatus on the line...
Tony Yayo: Ballerstatus... You on the phone with the right dudes. We ballers over here for real.
Ballerstatus.com: Soooooo... What are we promoting now?
Tony Yayo: We promoting Teminate On Site. July 1st.
Ballerstatus.com: T.O.S., give us a preview of the album's content.
Tony Yayo: You see the climate of music right now and everybody still snapping and rapping. We not mad at that, but G-Unit brings something different from everyone else. We bring that aggressive nature to records. In 2007, we went through a lot. We had all the rumors and everything, but G-Unit is the no. 1 group in the world. We don't touch just the major markets in the U.S., we go to Africa, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Germany. We hit the world. This album, T.O.S., is special for me because I wasn't on Beg For Mercy like that. I was on Riker's Island.
Ballerstatus.com: G-Unit's roster is deep with new names. Will all of G-Unit be on this record?
Lloyd Banks: Collectively, I think the material that 50, Yayo, and I put together is fine where it is. We've learned not to force features just for the sake of doing them. On the production side, we have Polow Da Don, Swizz Beatz ... a lot of new production. We kind kept it to the core since that's what everyone's used to.
Ballerstatus.com: Is seems like right after the magazine feature with G-Unit, then including Young Buck, Young Buck was announced as being kicked out the group. How did things change so fast?
Lloyd Banks: Through simple conversation. As the weeks kept going by, more things kept coming out. The loyalty thing to him associating with enemies of G-Unit. It doesn't take much -- a sentence can ruin a friendship. He's still on G-Unit Records and he'll perform for the label.
Ballerstatus.com: Is it safe to assume that Young Buck won't get the same treatment as The Game upon his departure?
Lloyd Banks: Game's situation was different all together. He was never on G-Unit Records. And at the same time, I never built any kind of relationship with The Game at all. It never had the chance to blossom into a disappointment or develop any kind of shock. With Buck, it's different because he's been around since 2003 and it was a different thing.
Tony Yayo: You know what kills me, it's like the media paints us as the bad guys and make it seem like we kicked him out the group. Everything that happened was caused from Young Buck's actions. G-Unit has collectively sold over 30 million records and it hurts my heart to know that Young Buck would go and do a record with The Game or Fat Joe and he came up with us. I remember when he was down with Juvenile's camp and nobody was really checking for him like that. Me, Banks, and 50 was the hottest things in the world and we wasn't even signed yet. I got locked up and they took him in. But I know one thing ... July 1st, Terminate On Site comes out and we go prove that we the best. Banks for his lyricism, me for my "hypeness," and 50 will be doing what 50 does.
Ballerstatus.com: Looking at The Game and Young Buck being thrown out the group, did you ever consider the fact that your actions could have lead to the same fate by getting locked up among other things?
Tony Yayo: Nah! 50's a real dude. I grew up with Banks, I know 50's grandma and so its a whole different situation. Buck got that same kind of love too. Even though Buck ain't from Southside Queens, he from Cashville. And so do Game ... cause 50 wrote six records for him, but we ain't gone worry about that guy since he got 45 spins on his record right now. Banks is working on his solo project and I'm working on my solo project.
Ballerstatus.com: Speaking of Lloyd's solo album ... Being in G-Unit doesn't allow you to appear weak at any time. Did this factor in with the way you handle the passing of your father at all?
Lloyd Banks: Nah, not really. When I'm in the studio, I'm not thinking about the outside world like that. The subject matter comes from where I come from, but you learn to separate the two. My whole thing is I don't care how the media perceives my actions.
Ballerstatus.com: People expect to hear Kanye West talk about his mother's passing in his music. Would you say Lloyd Banks' fans expect the same when concerning your father?
Lloyd Banks: Yeah, I will say something about my father's passing and I will touch on my mother going through what she's going through. But I have so much to talk about since before I got on, that'll be in this record as well. Because it's hard to get it all in with just 16 songs.
Ballerstatus.com: Back to the Unit, at first the answer for lack of consideration when it came to award shows like the Grammy's was always, "Forget that, G-Unit makes hits." However, the charts doesn't seem to cater to your aggressive content as it did before. Has there ever been a change in the creative process based on that?
Lloyd Banks: That never crossed my mind because everything comes back around in a circle. I think everyone else feels the same way too. We don't ever want to compromise who we are as artists just for record sales. If you switching your formula up just to fit the fad people might not respect you after the trend is over.
Tony Yayo: Like Fat Joe in New York City. He made a whole bunch of down South records. He went away from his core ... I mean he doesn't even have a core. He claims New York, but lives in Miami. (laughs)
Ballerstatus.com: So you won't be running into him...
Tony Yayo: Fat Joe don't want to run into us. Last time I saw Fat Joe, he was running out the awards to be honest with you. Dudes can talk on wax, but when you see them it's totally different.
Ballerstatus.com: That's what makes rap so interesting at times because in the music industry people cross paths just based on award shows or promotional events...
Tony Yayo: Let me tell you something. Dude see me, it's go be a movie. Game, Joe, whoever. I'm a different kind of dude. You can't say you want to kill me on a record and just walk pass me. You can't tell me to do whatever and not expect me to react when I see you. You can ask the rappers, you can ask Benzino, Henchmen, I'm like, "What's up!" Ask em, I just saw Benzino in Miami. These dudes know what's up with me. July 1st, G-Unit, Terminate On Site comes out. I don't know what Buck talking about with these royalties. Banks flipping drops; I got cars on deck; it's nothing.
Ballerstatus.com: On "I'm Leavin'," Banks had a line that read: "Look television caters to pop, not violent hits / The Unit ain't fall off, it's all politics." 50 had a single that was banned because the undertones were too violent. Was that statement a response to that?
Lloyd Banks: Yeah, not only that, but everything! Sometimes when you dealing with a major or even with you're own company (people behind the scenes) only understand the formula that's working. Sometimes when the record sells itself, people get to taking credit for work they didn't do. I'm not going to compromise myself and go to radio and be a different kind of artist because they want us to be. You can just listen to our records that get played on the air; we get censored the most than any other artists out there.