When you talk about East Coast hip-hop from the early 2000s, you have to think of G-Unit. After a bullet-riddled 50 Cent connected with fellow Jamaica, Queens natives Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks, the trio spearheaded a movement the likes of which have rarely been seen in the genre’s history. Going on arguably the greatest mixtape run ever for a group with ’50 Cent Is the Future,’ ‘No Mercy, No Fear’ and ‘God’s Plan,’ among others, the crew would gain a fan in one Marshall Mathers and the rest is history.
Rappers Young Buck and Game would be added (and subsequently dropped) along the way. Following a rocky period for the group in the latter half of the ’00s, many believed the G-Unit brand would never be a hot commodity again. But after a reunion at Hot 97′s Summer Jam Concert last month, G-Unit has now banded together, releasing a slew of one-off freestyles with plans for a comeback album slated to drop later this year. With the rap regime back in the game, we decided now would be a perfect time to share 25 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About G-Unit.
-Tony Yayo did prison time for gun possession.
On New Year's Eve in 2002, Tony Yayo was arrested on gun possession after police found multiple weapons in the trunk of his car. After discovering that Yayo had an outstanding warrant for jumping bail, Yayo was subsequently charged with bail-jumping and spent all of 2003 in prison, causing him to be absent for the recording of G-Unit's 'Beg For Mercy' album.
-Lloyd Banks was the victim of a shooting in 2001.
Lloyd Banks was the victim of a shooting outside of a Jamaica, Queens nightclub on Sept. 11, 2001. He was shot twice, once in the back and once in the stomach before getting himself to the nearest hospital.
-Diddy once offered 50 Cent a record deal.
As the rap game's hottest prospect in 2002, 50 Cent had a bevy of record deal offers from various labels, one of which included Diddy's Bad Boy Records. 50 would eventually opt to join Eminem and Dr. Dre at Shady/Aftermath instead.
-Tony Yayo got his start in rap by freestyling at neighborhood BBQs.
Tony Yayo and 50 Cent were already familiar with each other since they grew up in the same vicinity of Jamaica, Queens. Yayo initially caught Fif's attention as a rapper after he witnessed his rhyming talents at various neighborhood BBQs and decided to take the wild-card under his wing as an artist.
-Lloyd Banks is half Puerto Rican.
Like fellow rappers Noreaga and Fabolous, Lloyd Banks is also of Puerto Rican descent. His mother is Puerto Rican and his father is African American.
-Young Buck became a member of G-Unit after meeting 50 Cent on Juvenile's tour bus.
While touring the country with Juvenile and his UTP crew, Young Buck met with 50 Cent during the New York City stop on the tour and was offered a potential spot on the Unit roster. Being that Juvenile was going through legal woes and couldn't offer Buck the proper push he needed at the time, both agreed to amicably split. Buck would go on to co-write and appear on the 'Get Rich or Die Trying' track 'Bloodhound' before joining the roster full-time.
-50 Cent is a New York Times bestselling author.
In 2009, after reading and being influenced by author Robert Greene's popular book, The 48 Laws of Power,' 50 Cent linked up with Green to collaborate on 'The 50th Law.' The book, which was co-written by 50 and Greene, debuted on the top five of the New York Times bestseller list and was critically acclaimed by many media outlets.
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