“Shit is coming together you know what I’m saying? You got Young Buck, A wild nigga from the South, When you listen to this dude he’s straight lyrical, You got me from the West Coast and then you have 50 Cent from the East Coast with Banks and Yayo. I was like Damn, This could be the NEW NWA!”
These were words from the Game from his Documentary DVD released back in 2005. G Unit from 2002-2004 were becoming a huge Juggernaut as a brand. When 50 released Get Rich or Die Trying during the first quarter of 2003, It took off and ignited a firestorm. He was smart enough to realize that the fame, attention, and the opportunity to make your self known only comes once in a life time so he was smart enough to take advantage of every option he had when it came to his popularity. Clothing lines, Sneakers, Movies, Books, Video Games were all major achievements and put more millions into 50’s bank account. 50 was also smart enough to capitalize off his popularity by using his rub to give members of his crew Young Buck and Lloyd Banks house hold names in their own right which eventually give them a opportunity to branch out. 50’s movement at the time would spark strides of a possible revolution among hip hop as well as he would put title G-Unit not Gangsta Unit but Guerilla Unit, A ode mindset that the black panther party would abide by when it came to sparking the revolution in the late 70s.
And things were about to get bigger. 50 took a young rapper by the name of Jaycon Taylor off the Aftermath bench and gave him a spot within his new group. The Game would be a perfect fit for the crew at the time. He was clearly a product to Dr Dre’s Gangsta Rap music, He’s paid homage to NWA, Death Row and many other West Coast legends who posed as a threat to the establishment throughout his music with his name dropping and his background(suspect or not) proved that he could have been a serious threat to the corporate suits whom thought the Death Row era was a thing in the past. You mix that with 50’s intelligence and continuing to learn everything Jimmy Iovine taught him and you have a group that had the potential to be possibly the next NWA because each had their own unique style, Each had aggressive content and Each represented different regions which could have covered the whole map so the roots were planted.
There have been many black Moguls whom have come up in the game. But what set 50 Cent apart from most many was his discipline and how he calculated his every move. He didn’t tolerate alot “dumb nigga” nonsense when it came to building his brand which is why he possibly let Bang Em Smurff and his crew go. He didn’t partake in drinking, smoking, getting high, and partying every night or took much of his advance money and blew it on butter(Cars, Clothes, Hoes) and instead mostly invested in Guns(Vitamin Water investments, Movie projects). 50’s main vision was to build an empire even if he had to showcase major discipline among his crew members when they got out of line. It was a format that made him really successful and may cause major concern for the suits because they knew they couldn’t pull a fast one or squeeze easy millions out of him.
It’s clear that when your dealing with alot of stars within one camp that Egos are gonna play a major part. 50’s wild antics of discipline may have rubbed many the wrong way and it became at times embarrassing. But he seen and heard the stories of many labels specifically Death Row records whom petty egos mixed with reckless street violence led to the demise of a Dynasty. The riff within G-Unit started when Game according to 50 Cent started allowing Jimmy Henchman in his ear and tell him that he’s bigger than G Unit, That “You’re the next West Coast Prospect”, “You’re better off on your own”. To further boast Game’s head, His debut album on Aftermath/Gunit titled The Documentary became a smash success selling 5 times platinum shifting momentum back into the West Coast and making G-Unit officially more monumental.
As months would go by, The ego clashes between 50 and Game whom were the two highest selling were bound to happen. The two would engage in a very ugly rap feud that led to people getting shot, beat up and Game going on an all out onslaught on his former group. Releasing mixtapes left and right lyrically assaulting his former group, staff, and record label, While it may have given Game new attention, It proved to be costly for both parties. Game put dents in what would consider a supreme brand of G-Unit whereas 50 flexed his muscle to not only dig into Game’s already suspicious background and expose him as a fraud, But also have him kicked off Aftermath and signed to Interscope’s subsidiary label Geffen.
Despite the war, Game reminds as the most successful artist Post-Gunit era and 50 continued to make power moves outside of music to keep his bank account flowing. 50 may have lost the West Coast audience with his war with G-Unit but he still had enough stroke to sign Queens bridge legends Mobb Deep, Smash-mouth group M.O.P. and former pretty boy turned pastor Ma$e. 50’s moves as a business man were very unheard off and he tried to re kick the movement into full gear by releasing Mobb Deep’s album during the middle of the 2nd quarter of 2006. The album while mediocre to many of Mobb Deep’s core still contained edge to where the lyrics committee wanted the album shelved due to Prodigy’s blasphemous verse about wanting to beat up Jesus like in the movie Passion of the Christ. One of the reasons why the Mobb Deep investment didn’t go as well as planned. It doesn’t help that albums from Tony Yayo didn’t do well as they expected along with 50’s Get Rich or Die Trying movie being outsold by the cartoon movie Chicken Little. The beef with Game took alot of momentum out of G-Unit as a brand but it can also be due to the fact that 50 started to over-saturate the market.
Young Buck would be the next to leave G-Unit after it seemed that he followed the same pattern as The Game. It seemed as Buck allowed different people in his ear telling him that he didn’t need G-Unit anymore and that he was better off on his own since the South’s popularity within hip hop was starting to grow. Buck was already a household name due to the G-Unit umbrella and 50 gave him the opportunity to Run G-Unit South but that would be short-lived as a phone call exposing Young Buck crying and begging for 50’s help on needing money to file taxes would not only snap his street cred within one second, But it would also show that if you cross 50, You’ll feel his wrath.
Was it purposely planned?
With Tony Yayo claiming there was a conspiracy from the suits against G-Unit you couldn’t help but to wonder. 50 Cent posed a possible threat to the establishment possibly more so than Death Row Records why? He was well more organized, He wasn’t involved in street activity, He soaked up alot of business sense from many of the suits at the label and gained hustler knowledge from Master P whom paid for his first tour. Master P had one of the best deals in music distribution with Priority so it was a matter of time before 50 was gonna be able to branch out and become one of the power players on the level of Jimmy Iovine, Lyor Colen, Doug Morris, or Clive Davis. They also had elements of that rebellious attitude that NWA once produced along with the sonically brilliant mind of Dr Dre supplying the catchy tunes to where like before could have grabbed mainstream once again. If you add all of these equations behind the demise of G-Unit as a brand, You couldn’t help but to wonder was it over-saturation or an inside job to slowly kill off something that could have sparked a new-found rap revolution?