G-Unit‘s Lloyd Banks recently spoke on his departure from Interscope Records and the shady practices which allegedly take place at the renowned record label.
Searching for a new record deal, Banks weighed in on the issues he had with the company responsible for his first two solo projects.
“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)
His last two solo projects both landed within Billboard’s Top 5 in their opening weeks.
In 2004, Banks’ debut disc, The Hunger for More, opened at No. 1 on Billboard’s albums sales chart, with week-one sales around 433,000 scanned discs and it ended up spending a second-straight week atop its competition, selling close to 164,000 units. In 2006, his sophomore album Rotten Apple, with first-week sales totaling close to 143,000, fell more than 40,000 albums short of a chart-topping repeat and settled instead for the chart’s No. 3 position. (SOHH)
Radio personality Funkmaster Flex was recently heard ranting over Interscope and threatening to boycott the company.
“Let me tell you something Nino, New York I’m talking to a person who makes decisions, who does things up there moving funny style,” Flex said on his radio show about an Interscope employee. “Interscope Records, nothin’ is spinning…That Eminem album is coming Interscope, I take pride in how I’m gonna do this movement…Unfortunately, we’re not gonna be able to play those Eminem and Dr. Dre records and I’m so sorry this is the way this has to go down with this guy’s album coming. I want us all to be friends, but Nino is not a friend of ours. I will go on with this, Nino, you got 24 hours to fix yourself or this goes some place else, tomorrow…Nino is the only one I’m letting off today, tomorrow I’m teeing off on the whole team.” (Hot 97)
Banks’ career took off around late 2002 along with 50 Cent and his mixtape campaign.
fter appearing on numerous local mixtapes, Banks, along with childhood friends Tony Yayo and 50 Cent, formed a crew called G-Unit, a group that proceeded to redefine the term “street marketing” with a series of self-released albums that included original numbers and quality artwork. Banks stayed on with 50 Cent, appearing on the artist’s now classic 2003 debut, Get Rich or Die Tryin’. November of that same year saw the release of G-Unit’s Beg for Mercy. Banks’ long-awaited solo debut for G Unit/Interscope Records, Hunger for More, was released in June 2004. He followed it two years later with Rotten Apple. (All Music)
Check out some of Banks’ interview below: