New York rapper Lloyd Banks recently reflected on the impact his G-Unit brand has had on urban culture and its place in hip-hop history.
Speaking with radio host Tim Westwood, Banks placed G-Unit amongst the likes of past hip-hop movements.
“You can’t name one entity that has the same energy,” Banks explained in the interview. “From Ruff Ryders, Bad Boy, Cash Money, No Limit…they all had their moments. Honestly I can’t say we’ve seen an impact like G-Unit has had in the last decade. People wore bulletproof vests after we came. We touched people.” (“Tim Westwood TV”)
In March, Banks discussed G-Unit Records going independent and later joining forces with EMI Music for a distribution deal.
“Yeah, we’re aiming for a summer release, late summer. Its not a stamp date, but that’s where I’m headed for,” he said in an interview. “This is my year. That’s the other thing. When you are working independent, you can decide when…sometimes when you are working for a label, they put you on that time clock. Sometimes, things can get forced. We’ll see in the very near future, it’s a very smart option [for G-Unit to go independent.] Based on the response that I’ve gotten from ‘Beamer, Benz of Bentley,’ the artist is more powerful than you think…When I did the, ‘Officer Down’ – the response to Rick Ross – it was already 700 – 800 thousand free download before we even made the deal with iTunes. Before they approached me and I still sold 60 or 70 thousand.” (All Hip Hop)
Last year, Banks explained why he parted ways with Interscope Records after two album releases.
“I was ready to make a move,” Banks said about leaving the powerhouse label. “I’m a brand-new engine. If anything, it’s their loss. It’s been a dark shadow cast upon that. That’s why you hear [Funkmaster] Flex on the radio [boycotting Interscope], because it’s an aura created around that machine, and the artists automatically get smacked in the head…I felt it’s time for me to go somewhere where it’s not biased and I get a fair shot. There’s a lot of stuff on the table right now. You don’t wanna speak about it until it gets ironed out all the way…Everything happened for a reason. I feel like I’m so blessed because of my work ethic and how easy the music is coming to me. It feels so good to be an independent artist with a brand. I have direct deals with iTunes and things of that nature, where it’s direct money coming to me. It’s 50 percent of me that’s not pressed to be on a major.” (MTV)
G-Unit’s Tony Yayo also blasted Interscope for their past efforts earlier this year.
“I feel like Interscope was trying to blackball me,” Yayo explained in an interview. “But to each’s own, man, like, when T.O.S. came out, I felt like it was a classic album, T.O.S., but I felt like, a lot of stuff I was starting to learn about the [rap] game, like, why wasn’t our album up two weeks ahead of time on iTunes? You know what I’m saying? It feels like there’s always something messed up, I felt the office up here, G-Unit, was doing more work than Interscope. That’s why I feel like I was getting blackballed.” (True Stories Radio)
Check out Lloyd Banks’ interview below: