50 Cent is opening up about his G Unit days in his book, Hustle Harder Hustle Smarter. In one of the parts, he talks about why he believes G Unit members Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo didn’t progress in their career.
50 recognizes that Banks and Yayo didn’t fully understand how the hip hop industry evolves, and you have to adapt to the change. 50 said even though they had potential, they didn’t have the drive.
“I always felt that if I had maybe done a better job teaching Banks and Yayo how to evolve and change their habits, they each would be in better places right now,” noting they both had “unfulfilled potential.” While I was out hustling, Banks was more content staying on his porch and watching the world from there. … Banks wanted things to come to him, as opposed to going out and getting them for himself. That’s not me trying to assassinate his character—the guy has ‘Lazy Lloyd’ tattooed on his arm. He literally wears his laziness on his sleeve.”
50 Cent went on to say that Banks and a Yayo didn’t build themselves apart of the G Unit brand. 50 said he told Banks that he had to evolve, like something as simple as getting an Instagram account, Banks was opposed to it and felt that if Tupac and Biggie didn’t have one, he doesn’t either. However, when Biggie and PAC were around, the Internet wasn’t as prevalent as it is today. Artists these days can gain more success online than trying to get a record deal.
This is when 50 Cent knew that he couldn’t get through to Lloyd anymore and decided to stop investing money in him. He also realized that Yayo was still on a street mentality. In the book, 50 says that one time Yayo suggested flipping club appearance money to buy cocaine and that if an outside artist got out of line, they should “bang” them.
50 said his intentions for G Unit was to grow into a “family tree,” but it didn’t turn out that way. “I birthed my sons, but they didn’t bear me any children. It all stopped with them.”
Back in 2018, Forbes crowned Fif the top five richest rappers in the game. Aside from releasing music, 50 was also a businessman. He established G Unit records as well as his production company, G Unit Films. Then he signed a deal with Reebok and the G Unit sneaker and clothing brand was born. After that, 50 launches G Unit books and wrote/produced some on his own such as his recent one and Robert Greene’s The 50th Law, an urban take on The 48 Laws of Power.
At some point in the early 2000’s, 50 had everyone drinking vitamin water. 50 blew everyone’s minds away with is 2007 single, “I Get Money” in the line where he raps, “I took quarter water sold it in bottles for 2 bucks.” Later that year, Coca Cola bought VitaminWater for $4.1 billion and, according to Forbes, and 50, who was a minority shareholder, made $100 million from the deal after taxes.
50 also had “Magic Stick” condoms, and made a major transition into the film world. He also made his way into the gaming world releasing a game called “Bulletproof.” 50 went on to release more films, Effen Vodka, luxury underwear, and more.
50 was able to keep up with the culture his G Unit team wasn’t.