Endings are not always permanent and with media reaching new heights, this has become especially true in entertainment. Rarely are things as they appear, as money is ultimately the dominating factor. But, when 50 Cent made his 2003 return to the rap game and his mainstream debut, things were personal.
50 Cent previously found himself blackballed after a shooting nearly rendered him handicapped. At the time, Columbia Records was behind 50 Cent, but this support quickly dissipated. Broke and with no label, 50 Cent decided to go after his enemies on wax and the beef between he and Ja Rule was officially on.
In his quest to gain fortune and fame, 50 Cent wound up losing friends. Early on, G-Unit consisted of 50 Cent, Tony Yayo, Lloyd Banks, and Bang ‘Em Smurf & Domination. During this period of time, Bang ‘Em Smurf was the right-hand man. While their situation is now over, things were tense enough for Bang ‘Em Smurf to leave the fold right before the major success.
While attempting to climb the ladder, 50 Cent ran into various hardships and people. Tony Yayo ended up being sent to prison during the same time 50 Cent met Young Buck. In 2002, 50 Cent reorganized G-Unit with Lloyd Banks and Young Buck. Meanwhile, 50 Cent’s popular street album, Guess Who’s Back? found its way into the offices of Shady Records. Eminem loved the album and called a meeting with 50 Cent, leading to his deal with Interscope Records and Dr. Dre’s involvement.
During this period of time, Dr. Dre was working with Game, then a locally-known Compton rapper. No doubt, Game had potential, but the momentum was behind 50 Cent. Setting records with his Get Rich or Die Tryin’ album, hailed as a classic by most, 50 Cent soon had the entire label of Interscope Records eating out of his hands. Interscope allowed 50 Cent to create G-Unit Records, where he signed Lloyd Banks, Young Buck, and Tony Yayo, along with the G-Unit group and released Beg For Mercy, the chart-topping compilation.
50 Cent used the album to release some new songs from him, but most importantly he used the album to introduce the world to Lloyd Banks and Young Buck, as they dominated the summer of 2004. G-Unit took over the game and held it for two years and their domination was due to two reasons, hard work and dedication. Lloyd Banks and Young Buck both landed platinum debut albums, as Tony Yayo was released from prison, and Dr. Dre decided to have Game join G-Unit to launch his career.
In the fall of 2004, 50 Cent introduced Game and G-Unit’s run continued with his critically-acclaimed, multi-platinum debut album. Little did many know, the beginning of G-Unit’s end was then. Along with launching Game, 50 Cent began taking shots at Fat Joe, Jadakiss, and Nas, which caused friction. With Game letting go of his issues with Jay-Z for the crew, he jumped right into the Ja Rule feud, but refused to take on the new 50 Cent beefs, considering them legends.
Soon, 50 Cent and Game were fighting within the crew and then Game left the camp. It was only a matter of time before Dr. Dre was involved and was forced to choose. Not only was 50 Cent a rapper with two multi platinum albums, he also had his own label full of platinum artists and had more planned with Olivia as his new hook singer. Tony Yayo released his platinum debut album and 50 Cent enjoyed success off his Get Rich or Die Tryin’ compilation, but the writing was on the wall.
G-Unit began a slow decline into 2006, highlighted by the disappointing sales from Lloyd Banks. In 2007, Young Buck also sold disappointingly, as did 50 Cent, which led to a blowup between he and Interscope Records. 50 Cent’s constant detracting of Young Buck in the media, along with behind the scenes friction, led to him leaving the crew in 2008. A second G-Unit album was released to critical and commercial failure in 2008 and 50 Cent bottomed out in 2009, being crushed by Rick Ross in their feud and his lowest-selling album to date.
Meanwhile, Game and Dr. Dre reunited and more disses were exchanged between he and 50 Cent. Currently, 50 Cent is having difficulties securing a release date for his fifth studio album. Urging the remaining G-Unit members, Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo, to do something for themselves, 50 Cent is focused more on his businesses now. But, everyone is talking about a reunion, starting with the remaining two members, which 50 Cent has said will be unlikely/impossible.
Even more impossible, according to 50 Cent, is Game and his manager insisting a full reunion with Young Buck. Back in 2011, Game said he regretted the way things between he and 50 Cent turned out. Game said if they had all stayed together, they would have been hip hop legends, which 50 Cent agreed with. The only difference was that Game felt they should reunite and 50 Cent felt as if that period of time is over. Two years later, the feelings have not changed.
But, there was so much good music made with G-Unit even jumping on tracks from other artists, giving them a boost. Given the way things were portrayed in the media, fans would know the personal feelings have not changed. However, it would be interesting to see how the crew would sound, eight years after their last joint track. The future is uncertain, to say the least. Until it happens, the world will never know what the deal is, but Hip Hop Vibe has decided to recount the good old days in G-Unit history.
Watch G-Unit music videos below:
Watch “P.I.M.P. (remix)” by 50 Cent ft. Snoop Dogg and G-Unit below:
Watch “Stunt 101” by G-Unit below:
Watch “Poppin’ Them Thangs” by G-Unit below:
Watch “My Buddy” by G-Unit below:
Watch “Wanna Get to Know You” by G-Unit ft. Joe below:
Watch “Smile” by Lloyd Banks below:
Watch “Ride Wit You” by Joe ft. G-Unit below:
Watch “On Fire” by Lloyd Banks ft. 50 Cent below:
Watch “Let Me In” by Young Buck ft. 50 Cent below:
Watch “How We Do” by Game ft. 50 Cent below:
Watch “Hate It or Love It” by Game ft. 50 Cent below:
Watch “Candy Shop” by 50 Cent ft. Olivia below:
Watch “So Seductive” by Tony Yayo ft. 50 Cent below:
Watch “I Know You Don’t Love Me” by Tony Yayo ft. G-Unit below:
Watch “Best Friend” by 50 Cent ft. Olivia below:
Watch “Hands Up” by Lloyd Banks below: