Lloyd Banks & Tony Yayo: Shooters, Part 2

CATCH UP…Prepping to release the G-Unit collective’s sophomore salvo, Shoot To Kill, Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo reveal some of their targets. AllHipHop.com: Let’s address the rumors about the whole G-Unit camp. A couple of months ago, it seemed like 50 Cent had some issues. There was some controversy about all y’all doin you and […]

CATCH UP…Prepping to release the G-Unit collective’s sophomore salvo, Shoot To Kill, Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo reveal some of their targets. AllHipHop.com: Let’s address the rumors about the whole G-Unit camp. A

couple of months ago, it seemed like 50 Cent had some issues. There was some

controversy about all y’all doin you and the whole G-Unit had a conference

call. From that meeting what came from that?

Tony Yayo: I feel like any ni**a that get money, [50] just felt like he

needed more support from [us] to be around. That’s anybody. It’s hard

being an artist cause you got a lot of stuff you gotta worry about. He

gotta worry about himself and he got a label he gotta worry about. So,

sometimes 50 is crazy and he goes through his things, but him and Banks

is like family. We from the same hood, so there’s a difference. I don’t

care if ni**as stop talking for a year and a half… it’s business.  And

after the business that’s where the friendship comes in. You know when

I’m with 50 and I’m around him, it’s hard when your friend is your

boss. But you gotta deal with it. You don’t use ’em, cause everybody

want him. I feel like people try to use me, cause I got money now.  He

feels like people try to use him. 50 feels like people try to use him

for certain things.  But right now we back together like a family

supposed to be. Cause me and Banks always talked, but he went through

his thing, like I said. The heart attacks with [Banks’] mother, his

father just passed away, it’s a lot to deal with. Outside media look at

it like they don’t know what’s going on. But get in our personal life

and see how we live. Hip-Hop Police following us. Like right now, I’m

out on bail, baby on the way,  Hip-Hop Police follow us everywhere we

go…our lives are movies. If you had a reality show on us there would

be millions of people that would want to watch to see what we got going

on, and why we ride around in bullet-proof vehicles and why we got

bodyguards. You know why I got a bodyguard? So, I won’t have to pay

someone $50,000 for punching them in the g**d*** head. Cause that

happened before. Other rappers don’t get lawsuits because they don’t

have lawsuit-money.

 Lloyd Banks: Other artists advances are like $250,000. That’s what I

pay in lawyers fees, between me, my ni**as funerals. That sh*t ain’t

expected. They are all things that a lot of people ain’t dealin with

and we are. That’s why when you make a lot of money and he got 20

people with him, it’s important. From brothers, to sisters, to cousins,

to third-cousins, to aunts that never said nothing to you… There’s a

lot going on. It’s the lifestyle that brings on…like, B.I.G. said, ‘Mo’

Money, mo’ problems’. I wouldn’t have expected it. I didn’t understand.

When I used to see like [the] whole cast of Different Strokes in jail

your like, “What’s wrong with these ni**as? They famous.” You don’t

understand until you in that limelight. A lot goes on. The music, don’t

get it twisted, we could go into the studio today and a monster can

come out with 5 or 6 records so, that’s never been a problem, it’s just

like there was an off switch and now it’s on.

AllHipHop.com: So Banks, what’s the next move? The streets haven’t heard from you in a minute.

Lloyd Banks: I’m always in the studio, the main reason they haven’t

heard me for a minute, and I stress it all the time, is rap is not rap

all the time. My clock move 12 hours a day. My sh*t go by like that and

with your average person it’s 24 hours a day. While I’m jumping from

Japan to Germany, Germany to Switzerland, Switzerland to back here..

real sh*t is still going on. And that doesn’t get addressed to the

public all the time. Some sh*t has to be your Life. And the fact of the

matter is I was going through a lot of stuff. My father passed around

this time last year…like weeks after my album came out. I’m not going

to lie to you, that’s not something you prepare for. If your ni**a

pass, you runnin the block with him everyday…you know the consequences.

The most it would be shocking, but you can deal with it. My pops was 45

years old…still in that life and died at a time when I wasn’t prepared

for it. A ni**a dies you like, ’Damn, well, he was wildin’ out…” Pops

dies its like, “S###, I been running around. I never even had the time

to actually have that relationship.” So, sh*t f*cked me up. Had me

feelin like…with all the politics, the game turned from actual business

and talent to being to the politics sh*t. And I was wasn’t feelin’

that. I was like, “F*ck all this sh*t! I don’t care about none of this

shi*t!” I went through that mode, for a while. It might have hurt my

record sales. Most definitely, cause I wasn’t there to promote the

album. My mother was back and forth to the hospital, [she] had two

heart attacks. My brother crashed my cars, damn near killed himself. I

had a lot of sh*t going on at that time, man. To be honest with you, I

love music, but I really wasn’t thinking about it at that time. Now

that I’m back where I need to be, it’s a problem. Cause I’m not sparing

nobody. Motherf*cker say something about me,  your addressed tomorrow.

Whether it be AllHipHop.com or whatever. Because at this point, I

really don’t care. The music is what feeds me, my family, so I’m going

hard.  They can expect new material from me, group material, as well as

Green Gang Records, what I’m doing next. I’m looking for artists right

now, so if you’re hot, holla at me, make sure you get your music to me.

That’s the next move.

AllHiphop.com: So, Green Gang Records that’s your next move? Do you have distribution?

Lloyd Banks: Green Gang. Nah, not yet. I got artists that I’m f*cking with now. No more games.

Tony Yayo: My next album is done. It’s actually called, I Am 50’s Tax

Write-off. Pick it up if you want to. Basically, I’m back to having

fun. I don’t got Interscope to pick my single…I’m basically having

fun. I was watching something on TV, I think it was Hanna Montana.. You

know I got kids, so I’m watching the Disney Channel and [Hanna’s]

father said, Once you stop having fun with this sh*t then you need to

stop. It went from us in the beginning to having fun cause we didn’t

have nothing, we didn’t have sh*t, then it got to a level where it

stopped [being] fun because  ni**as was selling so many f*cking records

that we felt like we had to hit a certain bar.  I went gold on house

arrest and that’s good as a motherf*cker. But in my mind, I was saying,

“Damn, I ain’t that platinum artist. I let it bother me a little bit.

It f*cked me like, “Damn, everybody from G-Unit go platinum.” But then

I thought about it and, Hey, I went gold. I was in a cell. I used to be

a bum-ass ni**a in Southside Jamaica on the corner pitchin rocks to the

fiends. And the same ni**as I did it with are still on the corner,

doing the same thing. So, what the f*ck am I mad about a gold album


AllHipHop.com: Do you want to comment on the T.I. situation at all?

Lloyd Banks: It’s bad for Hip-Hop, man. It’s gonna hurt him, it’s gonna

hurt Hip-Hop even more. There’s a lack of good artists out there.

Tony Yayo: I just hope he’ll be alright. Cause I been in situations.

Been in the FEDs, I been in the State and it seems like when you try to

do good… We targets, man. Believe it or not, young, black men, period.

That’s why when I see people say, “Stop the violence in Hip-Hop.”

Hip-Hop is feeding families to get off the streets. Y’all want us back

on the corner.  That’s what it seems like to me. The ni**a got set-up ,

man.  Grom a b*tch-@ss ni**a. That’s all it come down to. Another ni**a

doin good and another ni**a set him up. That’s why I don’t f### with

everybody, because there’s a catch-22 to everything. I read between the

lines, b*tch-@ss n*ggas set him up. You know what I mean?

Lloyd Banks: Keep your circle small. Sh*t is crazy right now.

Tony Yayo: For what reason, I don’t know. I just know I would never do

business with a bodyguard like that anyway. But to him, all I can say

is, “Hold your head up and I hope you aight. Hope you can get the least

time possible.” That’s it.

AllHipHop.com: Let’s talk about the tour. It’s a 50 Cent tour, but is all G-Unit going?

Tony Yayo: Yea, of course.

Lloyd Banks: We start off in the UK, everywhere in the UK and then

India and  I believe Africa…and everywhere. We going to about 50 days

straight. That’s why when you look at it, people calling us [50’s]

shadows and sh*t.. I don’t understand that sh*t because a lot of the

opportunities that have come to be is based off my affiliation. My

first tour was a 50 city tour, like everywhere. So, that was a lot to

put on a new artist. I just was blessed for that. And I feel blessed

right now to still be able to be relevant and have people hear what I

want to say.

AllHipHop.com: With the digital age, how has that changed Hip-Hop in the last couple years?

Lloyd Banks: It got to the point in the last couple years, that I could

[now] bring my little cousin in here and he’d like, “Yo, where the

Soundscan at?” Like 5 years ago, a hood ni**a wasn’t getting his hand

on a Soundscan. [Laughs] He didn’t really care. Now it’s to the point

where that’s moving and you’re going to have to find a new way to rate

an artist. How you would consider to rate an artist now is different,

because the same way tape decks are out, soon you not going to have a

CD deck either.

Tony Yayo: Yea, they gonna find a new way to figure out how record

labels can get money. I mean, you seeing a lot of record labels now,

signing dudes who have deals through downloads.

Lloyd Banks: Straight through ringtones.

Tony Yayo: A lot of rappers you see, no disresect, the game has

changed. Like icons we looked at coming up, like Biggie, Tupac, Big L,

Pun, Common, NWA, these are dudes that I wanted to be like. But now,

you got Ringtone Rappers, and it’s not like I’m trying to hate or

nothing. You got dudes like Soulja Boy, who’s a Ringtone Rapper. His

record got downloaded on Myspace and he had two million hits and that

was like one of the biggest hits on Myspace. That’s what got the

interest of Jimmy Iovine and everybody at [Interscope Records], right?

Lloyd Banks: Mmm-hmm.

Tony Yayo: Because before you had to give the streets at least two or three records or, four or five records or a mixtape.

Lloyd Banks: New York artists can’t just get signed to any label and

come with, “This is the new single,” they like, “Oh, where’s the old

single?” You know what I’m sayin? We had to grind.  We had to really go

hard, to the point where they started saying Banks and Yayo as a

separate. But like [Yayo] said, it’s that Ringtone Rapper sh*t.

Tony Yayo: It went from us being on a song. and they just saying, “50

Cent and G-Unit,” to us being on a song and them saying, “50 Cent,

Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo of G-Unit.”

Lloyd Banks: At the end of the day, every other crew, name a crew in

New York City right now, that don’t have tension, right now, between

each other that didn’t actually show signs of not having loyalty

towards each other. Like being unloyal. Name a group. You can’t.  No

one is intact but The Unit. That sh*t gotta count for something. So,

while you was yelling D-Block or you was yelling Dipset or you was

yelling Terror Squad. You’ve seen friction from every one of those


Tony Yayo: Half these ni**as ain’t been through half the s### me and

[Banks] or 50 been through. Through our struggles, what made us to

where we have. But they compare themselves to us now. It’s like right

now, they’re calling Lil’ Wayne, The Greatest Rapper Alive. What

happened to Jay-Z? What happened to Nas? What happened to f*cking 50?

What happened to Eminem? To me, when we talk about Hip-Hop and we talk

about rap and music, let’s talk about the business aspect of it too. I

have respect for Jay-Z. I have respect for 50 Cent and I have respect

for Eminem, as businessmen and as artists, and Dre too. Lil’ Wayne

hasn’t  gotten to where they have, as artists, lyrically or  money-wise

or business-wise or anything. I’m not a hater. The kid make good music.

But to me, I never got at a Jay-Z or a Nas or an Eminem, unless they

had something to say against me. And I would think twice getting at

Eminem. Matter of fact, I would think four times before I tried to

battle Eminem, cause I wouldn’t. Jay-Z, come’on, man. You talking about

the big dogs of rap.

Lloyd Banks: These ni**as don’t stand behind the things they say in a record. They just good when it comes to apologies.

AllHipHop.com: Are rappers basically entertainers now?

Lloyd Banks: I mean, you tell me. When you start telling me that a

ni**a could put a butterfly on his eye or a ni**a could claim to be a

gang member and [not] really be, or a ni**a could kiss another ni**a in the

mouth and it be okay, then yeah, it’s turned into entertainment. But

that’s why we don’t fit into that bracket.

Tony Yayo: It’s WWF, man. It’s wrestling.

Lloyd Banks: That s### ain’t supposed to be cool or ok. If that sh*t

happened ten years ago, man, listen, it wouldn’t have happened. I know

because the rappers I looked up to, they was from the street like we

are, period. From Slick Rick to Kane to everybody. .That sh*t, wouldn’t

have existed, period. That sh*t gotta count for something. You can’t

just be the nicest rapper.

Tony Yayo: A rapper has to be somebody. You can’t just have a record.

Lloyd Banks: If you got a little brother, right, if he got a picture on

the wall, it’s gonna be a ni**a that got all those things. He’s

talented, he’s credible too, at the same time. Cause you want to be

like him, he from the street too. Let’s not get it twisted, the music

comes from here and happens to reach the outside and out of the

country. But it comes from our neighborhood. That’s where it started. A

kid ain’t gonna have a picture up of nobody that’s gonna come and go

next year. He wants something he can believe in. If your character

don’t even exist how can he…

Tony Yayo: Do you know how it feels to go through the hood? Like, we

just did a show in Philly, some of the roughest, that’s where people

get this sh*t from, man. What we rhyme about the aggression you can go

to some spots in Philly, we can go to Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, we can go to

Soundview in the Bronx, what the f*ck do you see?

Lloyd Banks: There’s certain sh*t that has to happen. Same way they

gotta wear suits in the NBA, [laughs] you got to be real in the rap


Tony Yayo: This is where we from. The aggression is always there. Streets of Baltimore, streets of D.C, everywhere.

Lloyd Banks: Put it like this, if it’s certain entertainment and you

ask, “What the game been missing, right now?” G-Unit. It’s missing real

ni**as from the hood, who happen to be talented and that’s it. Cause

everything else out there is not that. It’s forming allegiances.

Tony Yayo: Don’t say this record or all the stuff you hear about in the

newspapers and sh*t made us sell records it’s not that. It’s, “On

Fire”, it’s…

Lloyd Banks: 50 Cent Is The Future, Beg For Mercy.

Tony Yayo: If you go look at that mixtape plaque out there, you can see

how much work we put in. We damn-near started the mixtape game. I mean,

mixtapes was always there, but the way we did it. Rapping over Raphael

Sadiq and like old L.L records, sh*t ni**as thought we wouldn’t rhyme

to, we just brung something different.

Lloyd Banks: Rest In Peace Just-O too. That sh*t made me who I am now.

Tony Yayo: First mixtape award…

Lloyd Banks: That plaque is the most important plaque I got. You know

what I’m sayin? More than a Grammy or whatever the f*ck. I’ve been

nominated for all that sh*t and I really don’t care. I won it with the

street. If I didn’t deserve it, they would have booed. That’s something

you can’t take back from a ni**a. You can’t say G-Unit didn’t change

the game, in every form or fashion, from the mixtapes to the

mainstream. I just don’t want the people to get confused. Not the fans,

cause the fans know. The people from the outside looking in that think

that this just happened. Nah, before it happened like this we were

sitting on the block, talking about, “When I get this car…” I can’t

even say Bentleys, because at that time it was probably a Benz.

Tony Yayo: You know a house where sprinklers come out your lawn.. we

got Bentleys and sh*t like that now. Things that we never had. That’s

why me, I’m one of the most humblest ni**as. You could catch me in

Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx. I’m one of the humblest n*ggas there is,

when it comes to my fans, because I remember not having a fan. So, when

we go through hoods like Philly and little kids is screaming at us… We

ain’t superheroes, not even they mom or they dad, sh*t makes me feel

good. That they bought  the G-Unit video game, or the Lloyd Banks

album, or the Tony Yayo album,  or the Curtis album, we always gonna

have our fans that stay by our side.

Lloyd Banks: We always gonna be making music. Outside of all that rap

sh*t, man, leave me alone, don’t say nothing. These [other rappers] are

good apologizers. That’s it.