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Interview with G-Unit

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Hip-hop's always been about competition, but why do you think G-Unit gets called out a lot more than everyone else?

Yayo: Um, that's how we came out, as G-Unit vs. The world. I mean from when Ja Rule was trying to blackball 50 back in the day. It's always been a resistance. To me, I view it as G-Unit vs. The World. Me being down with Fif and Banks, I'm used to being against all odds. I like it like that. I think when it comes too easy it's no good.

What's the best and worst part of being in G-Unit?

Yayo: To me there's no worst part. But sometimes I feel like people -- um, how would I say it? Really, there is no worst part being in G-Unit. I'm in a bullet proof truck right now driving. I'm in a souped up $400,000 truck where if somebody shoots at me I'm safe.

Is that the best part for you?

Yayo: The best part is that 50 treats his artists outside of me and Banks -- cause me and Banks are more than just artists -- with a special kind of treatment. Meaning, a lot of artists on Def Jam or that was down with Jay-Z never got to see what his couch looks like. M.O.P., they was at 50's mansion for months. Spider Loc, Hot Rod, these guys had naked girls running around in jacuzzis. 50 opened up his crib to them. And anybody that opens up his crib, they're opening up their hearts in actuality. So, that's the best part -- 50 treats everybody like his family.

Banks: Like Yayo said, we're like co-founders of this group. The only bad side is that just being the bad guys makes a lot of corny good guys look like they're OK. People tend to agree to disagree from time to time. It's like when you get to a certain point, you become your own competition. They might not even genuinely like the other artist, but they'll like 'em because they don't like you. When you become so powerful, that's the effect you have on certain people. Like, "I wouldn't buy this guy's album if he was coming out on his own, but I'm going to buy it because he doesn't like you."

In a recent interview, The Game said he'd predicted Buck's exit from G-Unit. Banks, he also said you'll be the next to leave the group. Has leaving G-Unit ever crossed your mind at all?

Banks: No, because I helped build this. There's no difference between me and the name G-Unit. I am the co-founder. It's a situation that I don't think about because that's kind of discrediting all the work that I put into the brand. Now on the flip side of that, why wouldn't Game say that? You know what puzzles me? For someone to be so uncomfortable, at one point did it become uncomfortable for him? How come you've been there for 3, 4 or 5 years and then it's like "yo, I was getting f**ked." So what was the problem the first year? Why didn't you speak out your mind the first year? Like, where did it start? As a man, if you felt like you were being cheated in any kind of way, what the f*ck took you so long to say something?

Yayo: He was waiting for 50 to write them 6 records for him.

Banks: You see what I'm saying. As soon as things start to go bad, they just start to jump the ship. That's the only thing that gets me mad. And to be honest with you, him as a man -- well, I can't even call him a man -- him as a human being, it makes no sense to comment on the decisions that I make as a man. Because I am a man.

Let's talk about your album title. Who picked it?

Banks: We all came up with the title. It was a lot of names before that, like Lock and Load, Shoot to Kill, that weren't friendly enough to be sold in every record store. So, we came up with Terminate on Sight.

Terminate on Sight is friendly?

Banks: No, but it's friendlier than Shoot to Kill. You know, T.O.S. is a clever way to put it, the same way Beg for Mercy wasn't pretty or nice.

There's been a lot of outrage over violence and explicit content in hip-hop. Nas has a song called "Be a N*gger Too." What's your reaction to that song?

Banks: In his space, that's what Nas is concerned with. Right now we're dealing with a lot of crazy issues. The last thing I'm worried about is for a muthaf**a to call me a "n*gga," you understand. I don't even understand how he's going to sell that album. Like, how does a white person go purchase that album?

Where do you stand on the N-Word debate in general?

Banks: I mean, it's just too much other sh*t going on right now.

Yayo: Yeah, there's too much other sh*t going on. That's why we have a song for Sean Bell, because there's bigger issues like calling me a "n*gger" or not. I'm not worried about global warming, I'm worried about warming up my house.

Banks: Nas is in his 30s, so that's where he's at in his career. Everybody that's black has been called a n*gger at one point or another. But that's where he's going, we're going with Terminate on Sight.

Who are you rooting for in this year's presidential election?

Banks: I'm not no politician, but my advice to the kids: just watch. You can't just vote now because it's 2008. Yo, you don't even know what he did last year. What was Hillary doing last year? You can't just jump and vote without reading up on these things.

Yayo: Plus, I got felons, I don't even know if my vote would even count.

Yayo, I read somewhere that your next album is titled 50's Tax Write-off. Any truth to that?

Yayo: I don't know who made that up. I don't know where that came from, but right now it's all about T.O.S. The solo album is coming shortly after that.

One thing you always have in your fridge?

Yayo: Milk. I always have milk in my fridge because kids eat cereal all the time.

Banks: I have all kinds of things in my fridge. Grandma always got meals and all kinds of things.

Sushi?

Banks: No, I don't eat nothing that ain't cooked. I'm not that old yet, man.

May 16, 2008
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