50 Cent Moves the Unit

Rap's newest mogul inks label deal

April 8, 2003 12:00 AM ET

50 Cent will team with Interscope to run G-Unit Records. The multi-platinum rapper -- himself a signee of Eminem's Shady Records -- released a ream of street-level mixtapes before his 2003 album Get Rich or Die Tryin' made him wealthy many times over, and he plans to use the new label to bring his legendary tapes to a larger audience.

"I put out two mixtapes since [Get Rich] came out, and I'm not going to stop," 50 says. "That's the largest form of promotion. I can put out some of the new artists that are signed to my label."

Among the first releases from G-Unit the label will be an album by G-Unit the group, which comprises 50, Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo. The trio's first official record is due in September, after Yayo is released from Riker's Island Penitentiary, where he's serving a six-month sentence on gun charges. Letters from Eminem and Dr. Dre convinced prison officials to shorten Yayo's stay. "They said I'm a nice person, and they gave me an association with them," Yayo says from the jail. "They're also taking care of the legal bills -- everything."

"He has the opportunity to do something with his life," 50 says of Yayo, who recorded his contribution to the G-Unit album before he went to jail in January. "He should be home shortly, and we can drop the record."

For his part, 50 isn't worried about the extra work running a label takes. "I've never had a job before in my life, but I'm a lab rat," he says. "I stay in the studio."

Footage of the rapper at work is included on The New Breed a DVD due on April 15th. "We filmed the whole process of making the record," 50 says. "And live performances in Barcelona and Puerto Rico -- all over the place. You get to know who I am on this DVD. I had nothing to hide. I've had some experiences, y'know? We showed what we could before it turned into triple X."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »