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Lloyd Banks & Tony Yayo: Shooters, Part 1

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Prepping to release the G-Unit collective’s sophomore salvo, Shoot To Kill, Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo reveal some of their targets. Being a part of one of the rap game’s biggest groups today puts a lot of eyes on you.  Two individuals in particular stand out one. One for his notoriety and outspoken nature, the other for his ill punch lines and lyrical flow, Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks, respectively. The G-Unit generals spoke to AllHipHop.com about the future of the group and the T.I. situation, addressed past rumors and provided us a glimpse into what they are doing for 2008.Yayo and Banks are focused on the future of G-Unit and trying to recapture the hunger that brought them to this point in time.  Banks and Yayo have been absent from the scene some time, and they both had a lot to say regarding their hiatus from the charts.  From their responses, it’s easy to see their starving to get their position back.AllHipHop.com: So Yayo, you have to be more excited that you are apart of the process of this G-Unit album since you were locked up on the first album.  Has being on this album changed things a lot?Lloyd Banks: It changes it a lot. Coming up rapping, before I actually got on, before anyone got one, any one of us, that was my battery. You know what I’m saying? I went off of what his last verse was and really didn’t pay attention to anything else that was out there.. because I felt like that was all that I needed. So, when [Yayo] got locked up it was like, ‘Damn!’. That’s why he was on the Hunger For More album. I held my project back to make sure that he was on that. Tony Yayo: First day I got out I came and recorded on Banks’ album. Lloyd Banks: Cause I know when I do shows, 9 times out 10, he gonna be there. I needed something for him to come out and rock. Fresh out the jail cell, you know what I’m saying? So, this album is going to be the same drive, because we all coming from the same place. Tony Yayo: Banks is hungry again, period. Lloyd Banks: But he makes me even more [hungry]. You know how that is. Being onstage. I look to my right, I know if I make a mistake he gonna catch it. That applies on the stage, in an interview, wherever you at. Tony Yayo: G-Unit we on a whole other category than a lot of rappers, to me. And its not like to brag or boast, but like I said, we get the checks but we never get the trophies. I mean, you look at what 50 sold, what Banks sold,  what I sold, what Buck sold,  as a whole. What 30 million records sold? No group has done that yet, as a whole.  So, it’s like, when you look at that, you gotta give us the credit.  People see sales is down now, so [they say], ‘Oh, G-Unit is falling off!’ But sales is down for everybody. You got rappers doing 1,900, 4,000, 5,000 units. I look at it like, ‘Man, lets just have fun with it.’ You know, we made a lot of money and went though a lot of things. When you get a lot of money egos change, because now I can go to the bank and withdraw what I want to do, buy that car I wanna buy, so if you haven’t made enough money yet, you haven’t changed. We’ve changed, all of us, as men. You understand what I’m sayin? And we back, Man. AllHipHop.com: When you say that you haven’t brought home any trophies, is that something you want?Tony Yayo: I mean we want trophies, but it’s like our music is so aggressive, what we rhyming about, we know we’re not going to get any trophies. Dudes like Kanye and Common Sense will be nominated way ahead of a Lloyd Banks or a Tony Yayo. Cause people see the aggressiveness in the music. But that’s where we came from.  Kanye is rapping about being a college dropout. I’m rapping about being a high school dropout. And to me, 70% of people tune into what their environment is. In our environment there was nothing there. 50 lived down the block from me, Banks lived down the block from me, and with everybody in my neighborhood the thing was to sell drugs. Lloyd Banks: We came a long way, man. We exceeded everybody else’s expectations a long time ago. Way before we did ours. There was a point when the mixtape first came out, 50 Cent Is The Future, where it’s me, Yayo and 50 on the cover at [that] point, Man, I didn’t even know where this was gonna go. We was riding around super dirty. You know what I’m sayin? Super Dirty. Like if we had gotten knocked one time, we wouldn’t have been here talking to you now. Not saying we were satisfied or content with that, but to be honest with you, I didn’t know where we was going to end up if that deal didn’t come through. If Yay didn’t call me like, “Yo, the deal went through.’ I honestly couldn’t tell you what was going to happen in the 8 or 9 months. I was happy at that point. So, to get here now, at the point we are now and have sold as many records as we did…. Forget about the sales, let’s just talk about the overall influence of the hood, mainstream America, everywhere…Tony Yayo: When you go overseas and people know a Lloyd Banks record in Japan or Africa and they know “So Seductive” in Estonia, and we go to Ireland and they know Lloyd Banks.Lloyd Banks: We’ve put in a lot of work, Baby.  What are we on like 25 mixtapes right now?  We made a mixtape in a matter of two days. 8 records a day type sh*t. The grind was always there, it was just like nothing stays in one place in one time. To me, it just feels like it ain’t the time for the real ni**a right now. Tony Yayo: And the hate come from… because sh*t , I was locked up for two years and when I came home, I came home to money, I came home to condos and everything. Banks was totally different. I pinched myself to see if I was f*cking dreaming.  That’s why I got locked up 12 hours later, because I was f*cking trying to play catch-up and was just so hype. I had a condo, cars, everything waiting for me. So, the hate comes from…when you see groups like Fat Joe’s Terror Squad and D-Block and Black Wall Street, these artists haven’t gotten these things and they been in the game. How long has Fat Joe been in the game? He been in the game for about 15 years now. Jealous-ones envy.  [Fat Joe] was rhyming before Biggie, before  Big L, before Tupac, some of the greatest. So, really the truth inside is how he feels is like, ‘I deserve that sh*t! I been in the game for 15 years!’ Lloyd Banks: And that’s how it go on the block too. Tony Yayo: When you look at Jadakiss and all of them, D-Block and all of them, it’s the same thing with them. They was rapping next to one of the greatest rappers alive, Biggie Smalls… And what have they accomplished from doing that? They’re not 30 million albums sold. They haven’t sold any records, they’re doing deals with independents, they haven’t accumulated what G-Unit has accumulated, as a whole. This is where the anger comes from.  As well, as The Game. Lloyd Banks: In a matter of three or four years. If you could look at me in my face and tell me you haven’t been moved  or inspired by us to get in the f*cking studio, your 100% lying, period. Half the records that came out, right now it’s G-Unit against the whole industry. Tony Yayo: Yea, it’s G-Unit against the world and in this industry shit ain’t no f*cking love.Lloyd Banks: But I could careless, because I could show you my phone right now, I don’t got a rap n*gga number in my phone right now. AllHipHop.com: Y’all don’t think that maybe you have fueled some of the hate? Lloyd Banks: You know what it is, a lot of people don’t see the way we fit in, man. We grew up together. If you look at the industry, there’s make-ups to break-ups everyday. Look around. Look how easy it is to manipulate a ni**a and get him to feel like if you go over there you’ll be better. We don’t live by them values. Tony Yayo: Cause its business with them, with us its friendship. It’s different.  Lloyd Banks: Ni**as  wanna get in where they fit at. A lot of ni**as see how tight we are and don’t see how they fit in. Tony Yayo: Ni**as might go through they sh*t, but what happened to loyalty.  80% of these rappers haven’t been on the street. They haven’t been on the street because they have no values, I have values. What happened to knowing you could have money around your man and no money be missin? What happened to you could trust ni**as with your kids and nothing happen to your kids? What happened to you could trust a motherf*cking ni**a with anything? You don’t find ni**as like that no more. So, when you find a ni**a that’s loyal to you and is loyal to what you’re doing, that’s why I’m in the situation I’m in. Cause I was always with 50 from the beginning. Banks always knew I was loyal. Banks was my man, he lived right across the street from me. I was just kissin his grandmother’s feet, cause I gotta fly to Vegas. You know what I mean? So, its like we family. It’s different. Ni**as like Game, they come around. Game’s Momma was calling ni**as phone like, ‘I can’t believe it. Congratulations! I’m happy for what you did to our son.’. Yea, cause your son was a bum before we knew him. Fif wrote the records for him. The reason why I don’t like these dudes is cause I don’t understand what was the reason to flip. You coulda still gotten money with us.  It was really a big problem like that, but f*ck him. And it’s dude’s insecurities, like I don’t want be a 50. A lot of people look at G-Unit like, “Are they in 50’s shadow?” No, Lloyd Banks sold two million records with Hunger For More. Young Buck went platinum. I went gold and my album came out when I was on house arrest. But we don’t get the trophies and we don’t get the recognition from Hip-Hop. MTV didn’t even want me on the red carpet. [VH1] Hip-Hop Honors and sh*t, I didn’t see no invites in the mail. But you know what, f*ck em. AllHiphop.com: Well the perception might be a little different. Sometimes people see you in concerts and think that you can do anything cause your G-Unit. If you can express what kind of scrutiny y’all go through. Why can’t you do whatever you want as people think you can?Lloyd Banks: Cause some sh*t just ain’t meant to be done. I mean, we rap, we’re talented, don’t get me wrong. But, before we were rappers, we was people too and this sh*t is not accepted. Tony Yayo: In the industry, they want you to hold your tongue like even Violator and Interscope, there are certain events that they don’t want Yayo around, because Yayo has bad publicity for smacking a 15 year old kid right now.  But you know what, I’m guilty until I’m proven innocent. You know how it’s supposed to be how you innocent until proven guilty? I’m guilty until I’m proven innocent. And it’s like certain venues be like, “We don’t want Yayo to walk the red carpet next to 50, or we don’t want that.” Listen, these motherf*cker care about 50’s money. My whole thing is, Bro, I don’t care about 50’s money. I don’t care about Bank’s money. If we was to be broke tomorrow, I would be with them figuring out who we would be going to rob. AllHipHop.com: But isn’t that a part of your aggressive nature, that might have brought that on? You are street cats, and everybody knows how aggressive ya’ll are. Is everybody on red alert, now that Yayo’s comin?Tony Yayo: Yea, of course they on red alert.Lloyd Banks: They should be! But them ni**as claim that they abide by the same law, so they should know too. They should look out for just more than The Unit. Every group from New York that claims to be from the street has to abide by the same law, period. Ain’t nobody exempt from that.Tony Yayo: I was talking to Miss Info one day, right and she said to me, “Y’all different, y’all don’t want to go to Puffy’s all white party or go to a Russell Simmons event.” And we just different, man. It’s not like I’m trying to prove anything or trying to be hood.Lloyd Banks: It’s the Champagne Era. I never really gave a f*ck to be honest with you.  You could say that’s helped me in ways or that’s hurt me in ways. That was just me. I had trust issues. Let alone, it’s hard for a ni**a to just come in the game like that. We didn’t have like [BET’s] Freestyle Fridays and all that sh*t. Like I went straight from the street to the camera. So, hey, excuse me for not blending in like the rest of these ni**as, but that’s just me, I have trust issues. To this day, I don’t f*ck with ni**as. I might say, ‘What’s up?’ and keep it movin. Cause ni**as is the same, they can get on a record tomorrow and talk about you. Take kindness for weakness and they look at it that way. We don’t care, not about the next man and what he doin’. Tony Yayo: With me, the thing is, I’m just a street ni**a, the epitome of a street ni**a. All these other ni**as talking like, ‘Yo, I’m street I’m this and that.’. To me, being street is loyalty. I got a sister. My sister go and spit on a ni**a, right? Then the ni**a go and spit on her. I don’t even wanna hear the story, ni**a. That’s the same thing with [Banks] or the same thing with Fif. That’s the same thing with all the ni**as that’s in my clique. Lloyd Banks: I don’t understand why that’s so shocking. I don’t give a f*ck if I’m 100% wrong, he could be 110% wrong, and that’s my ni**a.  You wrong, until it’s all over and you go and talk about it.

PART II, click here.

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