Here is the premiere of Tony Yayo's new QuikVid for "They Hate," along with an exclusive interview.
Interview by Dove ~Sheepish Lordess of Chaos~
RPT: Today we're premiering “They Hate,” and in the video you're looking at various blogs with people talking negatively about you. How does it make you feel to log on the internet every day and see that?
Tony Yayo: It doesn’t bother me, my skin is made out of rubber. You see a lot of people do blogs and they’re just hating in general. It could be anybody, Floyd Mayweather, Ricky Hatton or Magic Johnson. You could put something positive on the internet and people will say “First” and things that are irrelevant to the blog... why even waste your time? I’m gonna waste my time to hate on somebody, that’s where the concept for “They Hate” came from, and you know n*ggas hate the Unit. Everybody hates G-Unit but we not mad, we making our money and doing what we gotta do. But a lot of people in the industry are hating.
RPT: How do you feel about people who have gone online and tried to impersonate you?
Tony Yayo: To me that’s the same thing, I’ve had people who have hit me up and say, “Somebody has a Tony Yayo page.” That’s a form of hate too, because what are you doing? You’re gonna make a fake page and put some stupid sh*t up there or something that’s irrelevant to make me look silly. I think that’s a form of hate too.
RPT: Have you ever felt like some of the beefs throughout your career have been blown out of proportion by fans or the media?
Tony Yayo: The smacking of Jimmy Henchman’s son, I didn’t do it, but he lied and said I did, so the media’s just gonna run with that. The Daily News slayed me, [Jimmy Henchman is] Game’s manager, I didn’t smack the kid and they’ve been praying for our downfall since we had the fallout with Game. The Daily News went too far with that one, I have three kids, so that’s one thing that really bothered me.
But I’m used to it, I’m down with G-Unit, nobody likes 50 Cent so nobody likes me. When I’m in a shelter in the Bronx taking care of some kids, getting them food from McDonald’s and buying them stuff for their class, that’s never in the newspaper, or something that somebody wants to talk about. But as soon as somebody gets smacked or shot, that’s something everybody wants to talk about. They’d rather have the negative than the positive, and with that whole situation I was exonerated on the charge, but I went through a whole bunch of bullsh*t where people thought I actually smack little kids.
If you say something enough times, people will believe it, even if it’s not true. The media is your judge and jury, people started saying G-Unit fell off when the media was running with that and publicizing “Gangsta rap is dead” and people read into all of that and feed into it. The media controls a whole bunch of sh*t, they make and break you.
RPT: As far as technology and promotion is concerned, do you feel like this new generation of rappers has a leg up on what G-Unit has been able to do in the past? Do you feel you’ve had to struggle to keep up with it?
Tony Yayo: I feel like it’s a gift and a curse, because records are not selling, period. A perfect example is Soulja Boy, he has two hit records from this new album that’s been out since November, and he’s only pushing two [hundred thousand] and change. I wouldn’t say the artists aren’t doing good right now, I just feel like we went from ADAT to tape to CD to iPod. A couple of years ago when G-Unit came out, to me it was more special. The internet is a gift and a curse. To me, when an exclusive comes out and a certain DJ has it and all the DJs don’t have it, it’s a bigger record. But now it’s like once you drop a record, that sh*t is in everybody’s iPod by the next half an hour. But if you remember a couple of years ago, a point where a dude would drop a mixtape and Jay-Z, Big L or Big Pun was on it, you was excited to go to Jamaica Ave. and pick up the CD. That’s the kind of person I always was, so to me the game is less exciting from what I’ve seen being home for six years.
RPT: How was it coming home to new technologies, and how fast have things changed for you over the past six years?
Tony Yayo: When I came home in 2003 or 2004 they had the camera phone. But I’ve been home for a while, so I’m accustomed to everything. Me, Whoo Kid and G-Unit are able to change no matter what because we map the game. We went to viral so fast with ThisIs50.com, we caught it early and then you saw everybody follow 50’s lead. We’re up on sh*t earlier, like how we took advantage of the mixtapes, I think every artist that’s making mixtapes right now is really looking at the G-Unit pattern. Mixtapes were relevant, but the way we did it, we wanted something new. We got deals off of the mixtapes, went on a mixtape tour. Now I’m putting the mixtapes out virally. I don’t really care if they even touch the streets, because more people log onto the internet than buy copies in the street. I think you just gotta learn how to change with the times, and LL Cool J is the best man for that job. This guy has been around since he was 15 or 16 in 1985, and his last album was last year. It’s all about changing with the times with the viral stuff that’s going on.
Companies aren’t really generating money off of artists anymore, Rick Ross isn’t going Gold. How much money did Def Jam spent on him? You’ve seen all of his blogs dissing G-Unit, he was going all around the U.S. How much money you think that bus was costing, and the hotels and the n*ggas he had with him?
To me, I look at the business like a lot of n*ggas aint even worth it, you might as well go independent and do your thing. You gotta understand, me and Banks never had 360 deals, the deals 50 gave us on Interscope we weren’t giving up half of a clothing line or anything. A lot of labels are doing 360 deals now because they want to get money all over the board, being that records aint selling, so they want to figure out other ways to get money from an artist. Me, I’d rather go independent and make all of the money for myself instead of get raped by a label that don’t really care about you.
One thing I learned about the industry is that there’s no friends in this s**t. Like I told Whoo Kid, I have the same lawyer that Triple C's has and I looked at him as a friend and I was misconstrued. I thought he was my friend and I went to trusting him, but no he’s not my friend, it’s just a business partnership. I don’t even let myself get upset because I know that these n*ggas in the industry is b*tch a** n*ggas. I understand how Tupac and Biggie got killed, because the motherf*ckers that was around them gave up the itinerary, that’s how them n*ggas got killed. It wasn’t no other way, somebody around them gave up the itinerary to let them know where n*ggas was gonna be at, and that’s how the game is.
I look at the game totally different. When I came home I was excited, million dollar crib, cars and everything. Now I look at the game different and for what it is, these n*ggas aint friends. How can my lawyer want to represent somebody that wants to ruin my brand? If you’re there to help me, why are you helping somebody that wants to ruin my brand? That’s just how the game goes.
RPT: Have there been any recent beefs that you feel were overdone?
Tony Yayo: I think the "Gay Unit" cartoons and the homo sh*t that Rick Ross was saying was a little carried away. A lot of internet sites get promotion because of G-Unit. You could hate us but if a n***a is talking about Tony Yayo, Lloyd Banks and 50, the hater wants to see what the other hater is saying about us. We’re bringing traffic to your website, and the whole internet s**t with Rick Ross is a ploy for promotion. Rick Ross never had that much promotion ever in his life, and he still didn’t do no numbers because people knew he was a cop. It’s not my fault you was a cop. Then later on down the line you sat on Big Boy’s show and admitted that was you in the picture.
I don’t give a f*ck if he was number one in the country because it’s not showing in his record sales. I feel like on the internet some places advocate G-Unit hate, you gotta understand a lot of these people used to work for magazines and certain people just don’t like the Unit. A lot of people just like to hate, and it’s a disease. I’m not a hater, it’s just that a lot of my drama came from all of the drama that 50 had. A lot of sh*t trickled down on me because I’m so close with 50 that I wound up with his problems, but I don’t mind though because I know n*ggas don’t like me anyway. It comes with the territory.
"The Swine Flu" cover RPT: What do you have coming next?
Tony Yayo: I’m producing adult films. I directed my first adult film last year, and I’m working on my website, since everybody got a regular website I decided to have one for my adult films. I’m working on my music and my mixtape The Swine Flu has caused a lot of interest in Florida even though it’s not out, because a lot of people are interested in what I’m gonna say after Rick Ross and Khaled said n*ggas 'can't come to Miami'.
I learned a lot of lessons in the industry - I’m grown now and I know a lot. There’s not too many friends in here, it’s a crazy business. I heard Hoopz say that online the other day, she does her sex tape with her boyfriend and he’s blackmailing her, she does the second show and becomes a bigger star, and he puts the teaser out trying to get money. It’s a wicked business. My whole motto is trust no one.
RPT: I think this Radio Planet "They Hate" video is going to do well for you.
Tony Yayo: It’s a lot of hate on the internet, it’s so bad that I put the video out, and if they hate I’m not even gonna read the comments. That’s how bad it is for me, because you’ll read them comments and it’ll ruin your f*cking day. I don’t have time to read somebody’s comments that’s behind a desk that got a problem with me and I don’t even know them. Truthfully, I really don’t even care. I’m about to start having fun with music again, because when you start being pressured to make a hit record and be a certain way in the industry you start falling off from who you are.