Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Tony Yayo Named In Assault

The mother of Jimmy Rosemond's son, who was allegedly assaulted by Tony Yayo last year, filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit Wednesday (April 9) against the G-Unit rapper.

Cynthia Reed filed a civil suit that also targets 50 Cent, G-Unit Records and Interscope Records. Richard Reich, a legal representative for Rosemond and Reed, would not disclose to MTV News the amount they are seeking in the lawsuit.

The legal action by Reed comes on the heels of Tony Yayo's February plea deal in the criminal case.

The rapper was originally charged with misdemeanor assault, harassment and endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly roughing up Rosemond and Reed's then-14-year-old son, James Rosemond. 50 Cent was reportedly out of town at the time of the incident and has never been formally charged.

Yayo was accused of attacking the younger Rosemond, now 15, for wearing a T-shirt bearing the name of his father's company, Czar Entertainment. G-Unit foe the Game is represented by Rosemond and Czar Entertainment.

The criminal charges against Yayo were dropped in February and the rapper pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of noncriminal harassment, which led to 10 days of community service.

Still, Reich said his clients believe their case will stand with merit despite the result of the criminal case.

"Mr. Yayo pleaded guilty to violating New York penal law, and in the course of that [criminal] case, [made] that admission that he harassed my client and did so in a manner meant to threaten him, and agreed to perform community service for violating those laws," Reich told MTV News. "So I believe our case concerning civil assault and battery is strong against [him] and others."

As of press time, a preliminary hearing for the parties named in the lawsuit had not been set.

This report is from MTV News.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Young Buck No Longer In G-Unit

50 Cent announced Monday that estranged G-Unit member Young Buck is no longer a part of the four-man crew but would still be signed to the company as a solo artist.

"You can take this as official notice," Fif told New York radio station Hot 97's morning-show hosts, DJ Envy, Miss Jones and Michael Shawn. Then he broke the news.

"You can look at that and see that's Game all the way," he said, comparing Buck's actions in recent months — which included speaking out about friction within the ranks — to those of another former G-Unit member. "I was giving him the benefit of the doubt then." Game began freewheeling with his comments and relationships with other rappers much to the dismay of Fif, and the Compton rapper was famously booted from G-Unit in 2005.

Just last week, however, Fif told MTV News things were better between him and Buck.

He mentioned the Tennessee rapper's penchant for making off-the-cuff remarks publicly and then retracting them in private. Fif said the tension was being blown out of proportion, but he also made comparisons between Buck and Game during that interview. He said he thought the Southern lyricist spoke out in order to validate himself.

"I think you have to give them something to blow it out of proportion," 50 said. "Buck did that. I think that what he was saying, in order to validate himself as a man, he feels he has to go against what I'm doing, similar to some of the things we've seen from Game. ... [But then] he'll back off of it, when we're in direct conversation. When he's out in public, he'll say something. They're like my younger brothers, but they'll do sh-- for attention. They'll do things, then when I look like, 'What are you doing?' They'll be like, 'Oh, nah, because you was doing this. ... Because you didn't call me when you were on the international tour.' I'm like, 'Are you kidding me? You didn't call neither, so what does that mean?' "

Buck's role in the crew had notably diminished as of late. The rapper had appeared with less frequency on G-Unit mixtapes and wasn't even pictured on the cover of some projects. Two weeks ago, when 50 played new G-Unit tracks for MTV News at his Connecticut mansion, Buck was the only member of the crew missing.

In a recent interview for the May issue of XXL, Buck talked about his candor and presence in G-Unit. He said that at times he feels the need to get things off his chest, but that he's never disloyal to 50. Buck insisted that the crew has an understanding. He claimed he initially tried to address his concerns with 50 directly, but when he couldn't get a hold of the G-unit leader he began speaking out, knowing that Fif would eventually contact him.

"It's an understanding that we have as a crew," he told the magazine. "Not just with 50, but as a family. Everybody has had they situations, but everybody handles that sh-- a little different. 'Cause we all individual men. For me, it's just about gettin' sh-- off my chest and airing the sh-- out. But as far as being disloyal to my n---as, it's far from that.

"I pretty much knew that, after me being verbal with the press and lettin' them know I felt like communication is slackin' between me and my n---a, that somehow 50 was gonna reach out," Buck added. "And he reached out to my manger. [He] was like, 'Yo, I got 50 on the phone. Y'all need to talk.' "

Young Buck was unavailable at press time when MTV News contacted his camp for a comment.

50 added in the Hot 97 interview that G-Unit would be filming videos shortly for "I Like the Way She Do It" and "Rider Pt. 2." It remains unclear whether Buck will be included in the clips.

This report is from MTV News.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

G-Unit Have No Reason

50 Cent is in full-fledged G-Unit mode right now. The crew, to be exact, not his Interscope-distributed label.

On the heels of his last solo album, Curtis — which he recently called a "dud" — as well as disappointing album sales from Lloyd Banks, Young Buck and Mobb Deep, Fif made the decision to regroup and flood the streets the same way the four-man set did the first time they took hip-hop by storm.

But things have changed considerably since then.

The crew's first major mixtape release of 2008, Return of the Body Snatchers, was notable for its return to lyrical form, but also for Buck's absence. 50 claimed the Southern G-unit member was on a separate tour when he, Banks and Tony Yayo recorded the material over a single weekend. Buck maintains he wasn't even aware of the mixtape being put together.

Last week, 50 played MTV News a handful of new G-Unit music at his Connecticut mansion (he also talked about his new video game and had some interesting comments on the forthcoming presidential election). The tracks were from the group album due later this year.

While Banks and Yayo — friends from 50's neighborhood days — laughed along as Fif told stories about their Southside Queens stomping grounds, one of the clique's members was again notably absent: Young Buck.

In the past few months, the Tennessee rapper has gone public, revealing that things with the foursome aren't as airtight as outsiders might think.

During a radio interview around Super Bowl weekend, Buck said he and 50 hadn't been communicating. And in a recent online interview, Buck claimed to have never received a royalty check from his record sales. His manager, Sha Money XL, later released a statement saying his client's claims were not true.

50 told MTV News that everyone on his label — Buck included — has been well-compensated.

"Each person in G-Unit has earned over $10 million in their career at this point," 50 said. "Outside of the guys that didn't release product — M.O.P., Spider Loc, Olivia — the guys that had their project go out physically. I didn't say they have $10 million, I said they've seen $10 million. What they did with their paper, I don't know."

50 also said that speculation that he and Buck have actual beef has been blown out of proportion. The four-man crew was profiled in the May 2008 issue of XXL magazine and reiterated that its differences aren't as dramatic as they seem. G-Unit graced the front of the magazine with the cover line, "Are 50 Cent & his band of brothers still hard to the core?"

"I think you have to give them something to blow it out of proportion," 50 said of the rumors. "Buck did that. I think that what he was saying, in order to validate himself as a man, he feels he has to go against what I'm doing, similar to some of the things we've seen from Game ... [But then] he'll back off of it, when we're in direct conversation. When he's out in public, he'll say something. They're like my younger brothers, but they'll do sh-- for attention. They'll do things, then when I look like, 'What are you doing?' They'll be like, 'Oh, nah, because you was doing this. ... Because you didn't call me when you were on the international tour.' I'm like, 'Are you kidding me? You didn't call neither, so what does that mean?' "

For the record, 50 said that he and Buck have a much deeper relationship than he and Game ever had.

This report is from MTV News.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Eminem's Mixtape Tip

Here's a little-known Kool G Rap fact: The first verse of "Men at Work" and his guest spot on "The Symphony" were originally written as one long, angst-driven rhyme. Clearly, he was in a zone at the time.

But KGR declares he's even better today than he was in the golden era of rap.

"G Rap is so current, you could mix me up with anybody in 2008 and I'mma sound relevant and up to the times," he said, sitting in his Queens studio.

Although he took a long break from recording, G Rap told us that he isn't done. He just released an EP called Half a Klip with production from DJ Premier, Domingo and Juice Crew partner Marley Marl.

"I'm still working on the project, and it's gonna be the full-length album," he said. "But it's been a long wait. The last thing I did was in 2005. I dropped a mixtape with Whoo Kid. I wanted to hit them with an appetizer to keep the stomach growls alive.

"It's hard, but not hard, because at the same time, I was working," he added about his hiatus. "I must have a collection of 50-60 songs. We're gonna put this Half a Klip out there, let it do what it do, then hit them with the Full Extended Klip.

Joints To Check For

»"With a Bullet." "Me and Marley, the song we did together basically was a throwback rhyme," G Rap explained. "It was a throwback verse I had, something I had with Nas years ago, like '92, '93. ... We have one of the dudes we're working with featured on the song, giving him a little light. They found a verse from somewhere. I don't know how they got it. But there's a lot of people out here that got stuff — you wouldn't believe, that I wouldn't believe — on me."

»"On the Rise Again." "DJ Premier laid a crazy track to it. My man D-Mac, the guy who I'm partnered with, ran into Haylie Duff and got her to blow vocals through the chorus. It's not a whole lot, but it's just right. The way Premier put it together was a masterpiece.

"I heard [Haylie] wasn't really up on Kool G Rap, but her managers and people she worked with schooled her on who Kool G Rap was," he added. "I'm aware of the Duff sisters. Of course, her sister Hilary Duff is a household name. I didn't know her [older] sister did the same thing too. I guess we discovered each other through this project."

»"100 Rounds." "That's just me going in," he said. "Coming out that street mode and putting it in lyric mode. It's traditional G Rap right there."

Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week

» DJ Drama and La the Darkman - The Notorious L.A.D.
» DJ DVS-1 and DJ 1Mic - The League Leaders
» DJ Diggz - The Hardest Out 2 (Beanie vs. Styles P)
» DJ Smallz - Florida Trafficking
» DJ Woogie and Lloyd Banks - Bank Vault, Pt. 2

'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar

» Donnie Klang (featuring Diddy) - "Take You There"
» Saigon (featuring Just Blaze) - "Gotta Believe"
» Bishop Lamont (featuring Focus) - "Better Than You"
» Rick Ross (featuring Triple C and J Rock) - "Ridin' Thru the Ghetto" Fire Starter: Tyga

"Young Moooolah, baaaay-baaaayyyyyy!" Tyga literally has Lil Wayne's Young Money stamp of approval — the young buck has Wayne's label logo tattooed on his arm. The 18-year-old, who sports a Young Money chain as well, met Weezy at the 2007 VMAs, during a performance by Gym Class Heroes. While Wayne thought he was just a hanger-on, Tyga turned out to be Travis McCoy's cousin and an aspiring hip-hop artist. Now thousands of fans on the Net know who he is. His alternative-rap/reggae ode "Coconut Juice" is getting the royal treatment. He just shot a video to it with Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz (Tyga is signed to Wentz's label Decaydance Records). He's also got "Space Joyridin" and "Exquisite," with Birdman Jr. and Gata, floating around the Internet to set up his debut, No Introduction.

Celebrity Faves

For an album with no release date, no single or even a set list of producers, Nas' LP Nigger is still getting a bunch of people talking about it. While over in England, Chris Brown said he's eagerly awaiting it, just like the rest of us.

"Nas' album [title], that's incredible," he said. "I would just say, Nas is a great MC. He is always going to be a dope lyricist, a legend in my eyes. At the same time, it's all about people's personal opinion. That's his album, so if he wants to call it what he wants to call it, he can call it what he wants to call it. There's always going to be people saying that [it should have] 'Parental Advisory' all the time, and they have their opinions. But my thing is, it's his album, so you either want to buy it or you don't." The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground

50 Cent can admit when he is totally wrong and his gambles don't pay off. For most of last year, he took the advice of Interscope Records and fell back from the mixtape circuit because the label had advised him that it was taking away from his official record sales. That was right around the time DJ Drama and Don Cannon were having issues with the RIAA.

But 50 has made up for lost time in the past six months, releasing three mixtapes since last fall.

"They think I'm crazy," 50 told us last week in his Connecticut mansion, chuckling about what Eminem and Shady Records tell him about giving away so much material for free. "Sometimes [Em] misses why I put it out. He goes, 'Why did you put it out?' But I can't be as hot as I'm gonna be if I don't play around. I gotta spar before I go fight the champ. That's my concept of it. If I don't go out and make material and lock in, I'm not gonna make the best possible material for the next [official] project."

Fif — who has been working on a new freestyle with Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo over the beat of Snoop Dogg's "Neva Have 2 Worry" — obviously hasn't been slowed down by any of his recent issues with his hip-hop peers. Lately he and Fat Joe have been going back and forth in interviews, songs and Photoshopped pictures on the Web.

"The Hip-Hop Weekly [a fake cover] came out, and it was a thing with [Benzino] supposed to be [sleeping] with Fat Joe's wife," 50 said. "I didn't make that. I didn't have anyone [Photoshop] that. Why would you do that? I work for Hip-Hop Weekly? They'll know that there are issues between me and Joe, so when he approaches them, they'll say, 'Nah, it must be 50. You know how 50 is.' But I didn't care, 'cause I don't like Joe neither. It doesn't matter to me that they did it, but it didn't come from me."

But several days ago, 50 did hold a mock funeral for Joe online. In the video, he started to cry, saying the SoundScan returns of Joe's The Elephant in the Room killed him. He also warned Joe's friend Rick Ross not to align himself too tightly with the Terror Squad general.

"Rick Ross is doing good," 50 elaborated. "I also complimented him that he had the #1 album. I said, 'Just don't stand too close to this fat piece of ...' I'm saying that because of what [Joe's] trying to do. He runs to Miami and hangs out with them like he's running Miami? Does Fat Joe run Miami? I don't think Fat Joe runs Miami. I think people from Miami would be upset you're even questioning that. The fact he can influence DJ Khaled on the radio, does that mean Fat Joe runs Miami? ... I don't care if [Khaled] ever plays my records. He's not important enough to what I'm doing for it to matter. Not to say Miami doesn't count. He doesn't count for it to matter to me."

The G-Unit album, tentatively titled Lock and Load, is slated for this summer, while Fif's next solo LP, Before I Self Destruct, is coming toward the end of this year.

To watch an exclusive clip of 50 explaining why his problems with so many artists have a roundabout connection to Jay-Z, click the player above. ...

The T's have been crossed, the I's have been dotted, and now Brooklyn's Papoose is a free man.

"Actually, I just got out of the situation with Jive," he told us last week at Philippe's restaurant in Manhattan. "I had options when I was trying to get out of the situation with Jive. Now that I'm out of the situation, I'mma make my decision within the next couple weeks or so. And I'm going to move forward. After I make my decision, I want the single out, and I want the album to come right afterward. I want my album out as soon as possible. I just want to get it out there."

The lyrical MC said he wants to release his album, Nacirema Dream, this year, no question. He pinpointed June as a target month, but he's still shuffling songs for the project. Now that he's out of his contract with Jive, Pap said there are a few songs from the album he turned in that he wants to swap out for better ones.

"I'm not with the industry politics, like, 'Yo, you have to have this type of record.' I'm not with none of that, because I'm not bred like that. I'm bred from the street."

Speaking of the street, the DJ Kay Slay protégé recently got into it with another 'hood-certified guy, Fat Joe. After trading barbs in the press about a fight they had in North Carolina, Pap said he's done with Joe. But he warned everyone against thinking someone with a slim frame like his couldn't hold his own with a big guy like Joey Crack.

"That's the same reason he got punched in his face," Pap boasted. "Don't underestimate nobody. He's a big dude, but that's dead weight. He thought he was just gonna come in there and get an easy run, try to punk me. 'Yo, you got a problem with me?' That sh-- don't scare me. I'm from Brooklyn; that don't put no fear in my heart. Size don't mean nothing. Like I said, that's dead weight.

"If you listen to the interviews, he told you himself," Papoose continued. "He wants to fabricate, 'Papoose was in the corner, he was so afraid.' But he doesn't realize that the people and the fans aren't stupid. You said it yourself; you asked me, 'Do I have a problem?' You said yourself that I said, 'Do you want to make it a problem?' That was the only thing he was honest about. Everything else, the fabrication starts. A person that's afraid isn't going to ask you, 'Do you want to make it a problem?' So it speaks for itself." ...

Yes, they can. Once Russell Simmons made up his mind to back Barack Obama in the Democratic presidential primary and had to step down as chairman of his nonpartisan political group the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, one of the first things he did was ... e-mail DJ Green Lantern?

"I got the e-mail from Russ, like, 'I'm going in. I made my decision; I'm throwing the whole house behind Obama,' " Green said.

Green, in turn, picked up the phone to ask Simmons to collaborate on a Barack Obama mixtape called "Yes, We Can," named after the Illinois senator's popular refrain. "The light bulb just went off," he explained. "[Russell] is going in; I been a Barack supporter for a long time. [Russell] was conflicted with what he wanted to do, and when he finally made the decision, I just hit him back immediately. I got the idea, let's go and get everybody who's professed their support. Let's make it happen."

"That's his idea; this man did it all," Russell chimed in about Green. "When he called me, I was with it. It's just one more layer for the cake. We already see [Obama] as the nominee. I don't think it's possible for him to lose the nomination. But we have a long haul in front of us. Young people got to come out; they got to vote."

The two have been putting in calls to the likes of Common, Q-Tip and Will.I.Am to get original songs for the project. But, according to Green, the mixtape is going to feature 50 percent new material and 50 percent of his remixing. They're aiming to finish the project before next month's HSAN summit in Pennsylvania.

"I'm having a field day with these Obama speeches," Green explained. "I actually got joints where I'll make a beat, I'll get somebody to sing a hook, and where there's supposed to be verses, it's just straight speeches. I played one for my mother, and she started crying. So it's gonna be inspiring, but then on the street side, it's just gonna be some descriptions of life on the street, but not any of the thuggery."

"[This is] something that I had to do personally," Simmons said of backing Obama and the mixtape. "I think this endorsement is something that I had to do, and it kind of promotes a conflict, so I didn't want to be nothing but a participant. I'm not involved in the day-to-day activities of the Summit anymore because I endorsed Barack Obama." ...

Before we take it a step further, R.I.P. Chad Butler, a.k.a. Pimp C. Bun B's second solo LP, II Trill, is coming in less than a month, and the first single, called "That's Gangsta," features Sean Kingston.

" 'Gangsta' is still doing real good," Bun said at the South by Southwest music festival earlier in March. "We're gonna shoot that video, just waiting for Sean to get back from overseas to get that movin'. Finin' to start getting some viral videos together — just trying to stay focused and grind it out."

"Damn I'm Cold" features Lil Wayne, while Mya sings on "Good II Me." Scott Storch produced "I Luv That." All are being considered as singles.

"The song with Mya is a real good record," he said. "We got this song called 'You're Everything With Me' with Rick Ross, David Banner and 8Ball & MJG. The beat is incredible. I think what the song represents would be something good. We got a lot of good options. That's one thing with UGK: We never tried to make singles; we always made sure we got a solid album. Our problem was trying to decide what the single would be."

Thursday, March 13, 2008

G-Unit Album For MTV

Last week, 50 Cent called his latest LP, Curtis, a "dud" via video blog. On Wednesday at his Connecticut mansion, he said the world heard him correctly, and he's not afraid to admit it.

"It was," he said at his office, located directly one floor above two clubs he has in the house. He built Club TKO to showcase singing, dancing and DJing, while the other club has a stripper pole, swing and catwalk stage tailor-made for another kind of dancing. "It was a blockbuster that I lit, and it didn't explode. I felt like it should have went a lot further than the results I received. Publicly, I feel that 50 Cent fans don't believe it was a dud. It did have 'I Get Money,' it did have 'Ayo Technology,' 'I'll Still Kill,' 'Follow My Lead' with Robin Thicke. These records were hit records, but the timing they came out was wrong. If the first record you heard off Curtis was 'I Get Money,' it would have shifted more millions in sales."

50 only reveals one song title, "The Party Ain't Over," which features all four of the core Unit members, including Young Buck. Sonically, it appeals to your inner-hooligan, recalling the evaporating thump of "I Get Money," with Fif and company boasting and denouncing talk of the group's demise. There's another track on which 50 jokes that he doesn't care if his enemies fall off a building. Later, he played a Swizz Beatz-produced track, obviously named "Down" (trust us, the chorus says it all), on which 50 gloats about getting busy on the mic. Yayo, of course, is the most energetic, frequently dancing with his arms extended horizontally like airplane wings. A record called "Liar, Liar" features 50 telling a girl everything she wants to hear, knowing full well he's less than sincere.

"I created monsters," Fif would say during a quieter time upstairs in his office about his fellow G-Unit rappers. "Frankensteins. I got three of them. It's like creatively they got strong opinions on things they like. ... They'll be telling each other, like, 'Yo, I'm telling you.' They got a different way of saying it to each other than saying it to me. They be like, 'Nah, he be saying we need to keep this record.' ... I think their solo careers changed what our collaborations were in the beginning. If you look at the beginning of the mixtapes, I was creating the hooks."

50 is excited to get the G-Unit album out, but he's not going to rush it. He's back on the mixtape scene with three street CDs since last fall and another one, with DJ Drama, coming in the next few weeks. He says with so many wolves in the studio, creating material hasn't been a problem.

"You should be amazing on the album," he declared about working with so many other individuals. "You don't have to write three verses. All you have to do is one. You should write three and pick one. I'm like, 'You're a solo artist right?' I'll tell them to redo the verse [if it's not up to snub]. 'Just do it again. Let's see what the second one sounds like if we're not sure.' They don't mind. The process is interesting because they've developed their own personal liking for things they want to do. But the response to the mixtape material — which has proven to them they should listen — is making them follow what I'm saying."

This report is from MTV News.

Friday, March 7, 2008

DJ Drama On G-Unit's First Gangsta Grillz Mixtape

DJ Drama promises that it will be one of the biggest mixtapes of the year. Arguably the top DJ in the mixtape field is teaming up with arguably the most renowned crew in the underground circuit. The first-ever G-Unit

"A couple of days after G-Unit dropped their Elephant in the Sand mixtape [two weeks ago], I got the call from 50 [Cent] and he was like, 'Drama, what up? It's time to do this G-Unit/ Aphilliates Gangsta Grillz.' He's really going heavy on the Web site, and he was saying basically it's time to get G-Unit hot in the South. What better way to do that than to do a Gangsta Grillz? Not only from a South aspect but from a quality street-music aspect. Me and Whoo Kid talked the other day, Fif and G-Unit are getting songs together, Willie Da Kid and La Da Darkman are getting some songs together. I reached out to the King and told him it's a special project; I need him to get busy. We're gonna go in."

"The King" Drama is referring to is, of course, none other than the King of the South, T.I. Drama said he's also reached out to a slew of his other friends from the South and told them to get their best material ready. Fif's DJ, Whoo Kid, will also be heavily involved in putting the project together.

"Look out for some skits," Drama said. "Whoo Kid is a jokester. I'mma bring some personality to the table. We're gonna have fun with it. Let the mixtape game come back to life. It's been over a year since the historical [RIAA] raid, and the mixtape game is still here. That's what we're out to prove. 50 is a monster in the game, I'm a monster in the game. The combination is gonna kill the streets."

Drama just released the mixtape The Notorious L.A.D. from La the Darkman, while 50 and the Unit have been on a rampage for the past six months with Sabrina's Baby Boy, Return of the Body Snatchers and Elephant in the Sand.

"He's still working like he's hungry and putting product out every day," Dram said of Fif. "You can't take it as nothing but motivation."

Drama said the G-Unit Gangsta Grillz should be out in early to mid-April and available for free download on and

Saturday, March 1, 2008