The Understanding


Sorry, kids. It’s time for another 50 Cent cover. I had to do it. Did you hear the mixtape? That nigga Fif is back! That nigga Fif is back! Mad. Raw. Lashing out at old foes. Hunger for more. XXL’s gonna stay along for the ride. Yeah there have been some potholes in their lawn lately, but rumors of G-Unit’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. G-Unot? Not! (Sorry Game, we love you too. Our office is based in Switzerland, baby.)

Still I know I’m going to catch some heat for this so I might as well attempt to explain the whole sordid affair. Yeah, I’ve been fuckin’ with the Unit for a while now. Here’s a look back at all of YN’s 50 Cent covers and the reasons why I did each and every one of them. They all sold so let the story be told. Haters get your weight up and make more rap stars. Cop some CDs instead of MP3s. It’s the Power of a Dollar. I’ll holla!

March 2003: Eminem, Dr. Dre and 50 Cent

Description: You already know. It was the shot heard around the world. A hall-of-fame cover alongside Pac in the straitjacket, Biggie with the Twin Towers, Death Row in black, and Dre with the gun to his dome.
Reason: To kill The Source. I did.

August 2003: 50 Cent

Description: The infamous guest editor issue that almost got YN’s ass kicked and set off the Joe Budden/G-Unit beef. You gotta live with regrets.
Reason: 50 was moving crazy units at the time and it was XXL’s 50th issue. Seemed like a no-brainer.

Jan/Feb 2004: G-Unit (50 Cent, Lloyd Banks and Young Buck)

Description: XXL takes Europe as Bezo grabs his passport and heads to the land of weed and prostitution. What happens in Amsterdam stays in Amsterdam.
Reason: The biggest rapper in the game putting his homies on to form a supergroup? Who cares if the first single is horrible?

Mar 2005: 50 Cent

Description: 50 grabs the crossbow and takes aim at his NYC rivals. This was a little “Piggy Bank” pre-game.
Reason: First cover to announce 50’s highly anticipated second album. I’m in a position of power, you fuck around if you wanna.

July 2005: 50 Cent and Tony Yayo

Description: Our controversial jail issue ruffled a lot of feathers as 50 explained why he gave The Game the boot.
Reason: Had an editorial concept that matched Yayo’s image. All I needed was Curtis to cosign. He flew in from the Get Rich movie set to provide the Midas touch.

Jan/Feb 2006: G-Unit (50 Cent, Mobb Deep, Ma$e, M.O.P., Lloyd Banks, Olivia, Tony Yayo, Spider Loc, Young Buck)

Description: Mr. Monopoly shows off his strong roster. Although, G-Unit Records hasn’t had the best ’06 so far, the cover is still hella impressive.
Reason: Just wanted to see Ma$e, Mobb Deep, and M.O.P. standing next to each other. Who cares if we had to go to France to do it?

Sept 2006: 50 Cent and Lloyd Banks

Description: 50 and his most trusted right hand man Lamborghini Lloyd defend G-Unit’s place in the game. You can pray and pray for their downfall, but you might have to cop some more rosaries.
Reason: It’s not like there’s a new Nas album out or anything

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  • Jo Van Gogh

    If only Lupe could move units…then he could get a cover…maybe then I’d re-up my subscription.

    Until then…I can only dream!

  • Rey


    You sell your soul per pound, asshole?

  • tHe tRaNsIeNt

    “stunt 101″ wus tight

    u got horrible taste nip nigga

  • Sonny Cheeba

    C’mon Elliot, Lloyd “i rap like a mummy” Banks??? Hey, at least u got 50…

  • Rey

    Transient, you liked Stunt 101?

    That confirms that you’re one of those “confused” white boy thugs.

    It’s okay, once you hit 18 a whole new world will open up for you.

    Wigga Please.

  • tHe tRaNsIeNt

    “stunt 101″ beat wus next level

    Young Buck verse wus the best verse of ’04

  • Rey

    Oh Man… You’re just messing with me now, aren’t you?

    I’m on some kind of XXL Punk’d show, aren’t I?

    lol @ Transient.. You a crazy white boy.

  • tHe tRaNsIeNt

    u a kanye lovin’ backpackin’ faggit rey

    only a backpack nerd rap luver like u and an old splinter from ninja turtles lookin’ faggit like yellow nigga dont like “stunt 101″

  • I Am A Hater

    I kind of figured that would be the cover.

  • Rey

    lol @ “splinter”

    I do like Kanye.

    I don’t own a backpack. Well, I do, but it’s got my old Sega Genesis in it.

    Your ignorance astounds me, Cracker.

  • Belize

    wow..those are the lamest reasons ever to put someone on the time you should put up the other people who u were in line to make the cover and reasons why u pick fiddy over them. I

  • fresh

    My problem isn’t with this being another 5-0 cover. Its just that it looks like some Sears portrait studio shit from high school. I’m just saying.

  • d rock

    YN, dont try to explain yourself homie. We all know 50 cent and jimmy ivone own XXL so its ok. Just do your job like a little employee is suppposed to do. I stop reading XXL a long time ago.

    KING MAGAZINE and SCRATCH what up !!!!

  • Meka Soul

    *laughing @ rey & transient go at it like gatti-ward*

    you’d think by these responses YN did this cover on purpose.

    splinter kicked ass, & so did the genesis [streets of rage 2 anyone?]

  • e

    lol @ “sears portrait studio”
    why not put someone like jr writer, rick ross, or pharrel seeing as they have albums out now or that are soon to be released

  • dsa

    That mixtape idea is so old should been done a year ago.

  • Rey

    “Sears portrait studio”, lol–All they’re missing is that one shot of the building blocks that spell out “G-Unit”

    Dude, Streets of Rage 2 kicked ass. Co-Sign!

  • outda954

    Dammit, you yellow nigga (lol). Wouldn’t you rather have respect in the streets over moving some units, I mean damn, you’re already #1, nobody’s gonna take your spot. Stop puttin’ these lames on your cover.

  • Enlightened

    (QUOTE)why not put someone like jr writer, rick ross, or pharrel seeing as they have albums out now or that are soon to be released

    JR Writer, Rick Ross, or Pharell? Damn homie, I see your point about some new faces but damn, those three names just made me happy AS HELL that he picked Lloyd and 50.

  • thoreauly77

    i will continue to keep purchasing the magazine regardless of fif being on the cover; it is an old, tired dog of a concept to the point where it isnt even conceptual anymore, but hopefully there will still be some excellent content inside. YN, dont you think, after reading these forums (because we all know you do, like a good little editor) and the letters to the magazine, that it is time to explore some other options for cover pieces? PLEASE.

  • B

    why not put someone like jr writer, rick ross, or pharrel seeing as they have albums out now or that are soon to be released

    i guess you people don’t understand this here mag game…first of all, the cover of the issue you all are bitching about is for the SEPTEMBER ’06 issue. if he were to put any of those 3 on the cover, their albums would’ve already been out and been in the discount bin by now. the goal is to stay ahead of the game. second, jr writer sold 30,000 albums his first week out….how many magazines do you assume he’d sell?? plus its almost unheard of for a debut artist to get a major magazine cover unless he’s guaranteed to put up numbers (The Game). i damn sure aint no 50 fan but he’s always put up big numbers for XXL….if it aint broke, don’t fix it. i could give less than 2 fucks who is on the cover, if you want poignant features and quality writing there is no other option. unless you gonna pick up that new Murder Dog, if and when it possibly may come out in 2 to 4 months from now. cause you know they for the streets….keep up the ignorance folks, yall got me dying laughing over here

  • pop a poppa

    i copped almost all of the issues that you listed but i’m usin’ my buyin’ power and stayin’ away from this shit. sorry YN but the days of puttin’ 50 on the cover and that shit sellin’ like crazy is over… g-unit ain’t comin’ wit quality no more… and i’m tired of the same fuckin’ stories over and over… if you gonna do that why not put bol on the cover? lol

  • Styles

    I don’t blame him for putting Banks and 50 on the cover. I was waiting for this, an interscope cover b/c he been giving love to other rappers like TIP, Jeezy, Cam, Kim, Shyne. With that Jay cover and this new oneit’s time to pay the bills. All this oh another G-unit cover shit need to quit, they chokehold on the game has loosened up a little, but only a little. Banks platinum and Buck platinum once again watch. The writing in xxl is always good. YN keep doing your thing and keep shitting on the source b/c they trying to come back.

  • DJ Atrice

    YN, don’t listen to the clowns! It seems like everytime a rapper gets hot, it’s nothing but hate from the general public. I’m a hip hop fan, not just a G-Unit fan so I don’t see where all the hate comes from. I agree the Massacre wasn’t as hot as GRODT but it was still tight and the soundtrack and EVERY mixtape that has dropped has been fire… You same niggas that was riding fif’s dick a couple of years ago now screaming he’s a snitch or he’s pop, funny as hell!

  • Qack DVD

    WTF is wrong with u Lloyd Banks is going to flop and u going to regret it again SMH

  • Omar

    God!!!!!!!!!!!! Fucking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Damn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dneroda1

    stay on ur hustle man its about feedin urself not makin rap “purists” happy..thats wat the internet is for..word to papoose

  • Dneroda1

    and the reason g-unit dropped bricks lately is simple..Tony Yayo is GARBAGE!!..and mobb deep just waaaaaay past their prime…Banks and Buck sold units cause they wasn’t dependin on that 1st 50 assisted single to push’em thru they had quality albums
    p.s. i put watever that banks is goin outsell mr overrated the game

  • screw music nigga


  • Skeetradamus

    XXL losing my respect cause I’m sick of tired to see G-Unit/Aftermath/Shady on front cover cause XXL on Interscope dick. Why you didn’t put Ice Cube on front cover??

  • JustFiend

    Damn what new questions can they have to ask these niggas? It’s the same article over and over and over.

    Let me get this straight, you said that you heard 50′s mixtape and you said,”That nigga Fif is back”, I think you lost your mind. 50 Cent can’t battle. Canibus said it is best, “Once you turn pop music then you simple ran out of rhyme”

  • sleepy dawg

    again shit you got problems how do there nuts taste cause you know

  • Unlimited Style

    Get 50′s dick out your mouth i cant understand you.

  • e

    I don’t buy the fact that people won’t buy the album if the artist is not super popular the record executives will decide what the people will like or not but at least put something better than 50 like Outkast

  • fuckthis bullshit

    you are lame as fuck. fifty is lame as fuck. you are a groupie. who cares if your stupid little magazine sells some issues. why dont you write soap operas while you massage jimmy iovines ballsack. jimmy doesnt have enough money yet does he? fifty is mad corny and dumb a corporate clone of everything that is wrong with hip-hop. people dying in lebanon, katrina is still fucked up and the best single fifty comes up with is about window shopping? and the so called “streets” are behind this? what ‘streets” are these? people i know in the “streets”are struggling, tryingt o find something that will get them through the day, not worried about looking at designer ass items behind glass that they have to sell crack to afford. I know, lets rehase magic stick and calls it candy shop? Lets bite everything from Tupac’s styl;e, except the revolutionary stuff, and lets exaggerate the hyper macho parts of the style, lets cause uneccessary beef. he puts a picture of the game on his mixtape in a bikini and suddenly he’s bakc on track??? the people need food and water, you’re putting sugar on shit and calling it a cupcake. hope you enjoy whatever bullshit luxury items you buy with your profits off of you magazine. go get your woman a nice blood diamond and sleep well.

  • Silent_Smack

    What’s the point in having Nas as the last page as a hint of him being on the cover at all if you’re going to put up Banks and Fifty? F’ if this is good for business but you just mislead your readers with some Keyser Soze shit with that on.

  • bob

    Fuck it i’m reading Murder Dog and Ozone now. I’m tired of this interscope cock suckin bastard.

  • bob

    its funny how he wields his love for 50 like that will get us to repect him. Nigga we dont care, you just confirmed the obvious.

  • shane

    My oh, my. I hope that you werent serious about that mixtape being hot. It was straight trash. You even listen to Games mixtapes? If not, then now I see why you think 5-0′s mixtape was fiyah. On a side note though, G-unit WILL fade away whether XXL likes it or not, and then theres just one more cover to do, the rap funerals of g-unit.

  • Skeetradamus

    Can i assume this is a slight at Nas, since Nas does have an album coming out around the time Banks’ will drop? And didn’t the “XXit” in last months issue feature Nas against an NYC backdrop? YN is fucked up. At least he explained himself, and can’t be mad at those reason. You gotta eat!

  • tg

    stop hating on the unit bitches

  • black_wallstreet4eva

    I understand why he did it…but at the same time, why are you still continuing to buzz a group that’s been floppin all year? You been down for G-Unit for a long time so that loyalty…you can’t hate on it. But, gotta understand the consequesnces when many people don’t like g-unit…people are gonna start reading other magazines. Hell, I’m reading Murder Dog and 16 Bars magazine now. But people still like g-unit but a lot of people don’t…it’s proven the way Mobb Deep (May 2006) flopped, Buck (Nov. 2005) flopped, and the way Yayo (Aug. 2005) flopped…and the way Olivia have gotten pushed back for the 4th time after 4 music videos of her songs. But, I see that you are down for G-unit so be down with them…I can respect that. I’m on to somethin else. Ya feel me?


    Yeah baby thanks YN, I’ve been waiting for this XXL Bank$ & 50 issue mayn, Can’t wait for this yo!
    Good lookin’ XXL

    Get em’ Bank$

  • illson

    SELLOUTS!!!! Why tease real hip hop fans with “Nas is coming” and put this hip pop bullshit on the cover? HIP HOP IS DEAD! It’s the era of hip pop……..Now that Benzinos gone I’am going back to the Source….PEACE

  • M.O.S

    word up for the cover YN fuck all you mutherfuckers hatin on G-Unit you all mad coz ur fav. rappers aint up to par wit tha game eat a fat dick… bitches.eyy yo YN keep doin ur hustle man fuck tha haters..and uh Banks aka “mixtape champion” id about to chokehold tha game fo a minute watch the kid gon sell a mill his 1st week.his video is proof…but what id like to see is a battle between Banks vs Fabolous or Banks vs Jadakiss that would be agud battle..for now u mutherfuckers better shut ur clits and enjoy tha ride on tha G-Unit dick bitches.1


    Ahh FUK!!! Not another gay-unit cover… fuck sellin mags. These niggas are wack! Banks’ cd is gona flop like mob deep in the ass, and tony gayo’s! And wat the fuk hapned to olivia I mean olivers cd? Fuk G-UNIT only posin ass white boys buy that shit… n not even ne more! Aint the Clipse cd comin out soon? ill support them instead of faggot ass sesame street voice rappers. Oh yea banks be ur own man quit suckin 50 dick! U 2 XXL b4 everyone goes back to the source.

  • W-Hubb

    How come u gotta put 50 on the cover. How come Banks cant have the cover to himself

  • $$New Money$$

    i hate hatin niggas.these niggas act like these niggas whack as fuck but if you see any of these niggas in the street you’d be tryin to get a fuckin handshake and autograph.its pure bullshit.if banks buck or 50 approached u and offered u to be apart of the Unit i put money on it youd say yes.some of ya’ll just sayin this shit cause what Game was sayin and cause of they success.if you black how u gonna hate ya own people cause they gettin money and out da hood.that was the whole reason they pursued rap to leave the hood and when they made it they ain’t nothin good in the hood.i know i live in detroit and it ain’t shit goo in the hood its been a homocide in this muh’fucka 4 days straight around my block.fuck stop snitchin nigga stop hatin

  • H-man

    I hope U people like 50, cause he aint goin nowhere. Banks is a ryder. How many of U people R in Forbes??? Da richest man in da game. Put your fuckin hands up.

  • H-man

    C da cross around 50′s neck. Damn, Im Impressed a little bit.

  • Rapper

    Damn, enough with 50, just put Banks on the cover or somethin… since he’s the one that adds skill to gunit

  • D-nyce

    Over-exposure for the G-Unit camp is gonna lead to the downfall of not only G-Unit but XXL As a magazine..It’s only so long fake magazines can pretend..Maybe A NAS cover would have been a better idea for the mag and for Hip-Hop…After all what could we POSSIBLY learn about 50 & Banks that we don’t ALREADY Know???? Sorry guys wont cop September issue..WHOSE WITH ME????

  • booji

    fuckin bullshit..ya’ll still some sellouts. even ur reviews are fixed..mobb and yayo XL? gtfoh. we all know banks is gonna flop..he’s got NO buzz at all. g-units done

  • The Dza

    YN. You officially sacrificed your mags integrity with this one. You were supposed to put 2pac or Nas no? G UNIT AGAIN!!!!! Please just admit to having some sort of contractual obligation to Interscope. This is a really bad look for you man. Wow…real bad. I haven’t done this since The Source went sour but I’m not copping this issue. I don’t how many 14 year old kids do either. I can’t support this one.

  • Styles

    Money in the Bank part 4 was a hot ass mixtape, better than most of the mixtapes that have been out and G-Unit Radio part 21 just showed the world that 50 back to making the music that made the world stop, that Get Ric or Die tryin’ sound. Banks stepped his game up, let up a little on his punch lines, but you can see he trying to prove he’s an artist b/c punch lines are for shock value. With 50 he stepped his game back up and showed he still got it, the only thing that’s missing is that he sounds hungry but you can’t feel the pain in his voice any more. That’s what made Get Rich a classic album, the pain in his voice when he rapped and the stories he told on it. Both of them stepped they game up and XXL is just shedding light on it. If they ask the right questions, the REAL questions, then this’ll be a good issue. Two out of three cds have flopped in the last year. Watch 50 and Banks albums are going to be good, but 50′s putting out another classic I can feel it. Let him keep stepping his game up, all the haters going to be back on his dick.

  • http://xxlmag erererer

    why did he have to take that shot at nas at the end of his bullshit exuses .wasnt nas supposed to be on the cover ?what happend to the poster of nas at the back of the xxl promising he was about to have the next cover.dont tell me yellow nigga screwed nas over for banks .what a shame.

    nas is gonna outsell that nigga and yellow nigga is gonna regret his decision.

  • BRAD

    somebody pleaze find the key that will unlock YN’s jaw so he can quit bein Curtis’ bitch

  • Mack Da Don

    All yal niggaz are some hatin ass niggaz. That nigga gettin cake and yal mah fuckas mad! for what homie, get on ur grind. Lloyd Banks is one of the hottest spitters our right now. and whoever fuckthis bullshit is,u got issues homie, this is about rap, all that shit about what’s goin on in the middle east ain’t got nuttin to do wit this shit. go to cnn or sumthin wit that shit. It’s about makin hits and thas what these niggaz do.YN what’s hood? Act up homie!

  • Robby Tom

    Another 50 Cent cover? What happened to that XXit last month when it said NAS IS COMING.? He’s going to have an obviously great album compared to Lloyd Banks. At least put Lloyd Banks alone without Curtis Wackson. I’m now going to cancel my subscription after the next issue XXL. I’m going to Vibe.

  • Rawar

    ok Lloyd Banks has new album coming out SOON wtf is 50 doing on the cover?
    and how gay its september 2pac should be on the cover becuas this september is 10 years from his death.

    I don’t know what the hell YN was thinking about 50 Cent’s mixtape is hot but that shit is whack as fuck. U must be not listen to Game’s mixtape or Joe Budden’s mixtape.

  • illlyricst

    haha explantions are funny. i bet XXL is pissed dave mays doesnt have control of the source. i saw a source issue about the greatest albums of certain years…it was really good. i almost tripped when i saw eminem was number one in 2000. had to check the cover to make sure it was the source…For Now The Source shitty on XXL. I’m very glad that The Source put Ice Cube on front cover. XXL is a Interscope lover/stan.

  • D-nyce

    Everyone that supports these covers is brainwashed… I think 5-0 is holdin YN over some Penthouse Balcony upside down like Suge Knight did Vanilla Ice and forcing Yn to give the covers up to G-Unit..Sounds like a job for the hip-hop police..

  • E-CR

    man why the fuck are these niggas hatin on banks and 50? u mo’fuccas make me laugh yall just mad cuz your favorite garbage ass rappers like jadapiss and the gayme arent on the cover and this is g-unit’s year to shine yall was ridin their dick not too long ago and now since they are the most successful rap click in the industry yall wanna hate cuz your favorite rappers aint doing shit, g-unit will never go away as much as yall want it. dont hate on 50s new mixtape either he uncovered gayme’s true past on that shit that nigga was a stripper 4 real. g-unit is the mothafuckin click who else has put out as much hot material as they have in the past 3 years huh? name one crew that has out shined them and has as much talent as them not terror squad, not d-block, not wackwallstreet, and definitely not murder inc. that rotten apple album is going to kill everybodys shit this year and dont forget banks is the punchline and mixtape king he can destroy any of these wack ass rappers out there with his flow and rhymes that nigga is a beast

  • g-unit

    aight bitches its g-unit ya heard,we gon be here till 2050 n yall will see banks sell like crazy motherfuckers ohh yeh n game ova the bitch aint neva bang,aint no G but he is a bitchass wanksta n was a stripper and thats from the mouth of his brother (big fase) so game ova
    lloyd banks album ROTTEN APPLE september 19

  • G-Uniteyegotchaback

    Much respect to da Unit, but I think Fif should cut the roster down to the originals, him, Banks, Yayo, and Buck. They were unstoppable, but Mobb Deep’s poor sales, Mase’s lack of respect, and Spider-Loc’s getting ripped by the Game not to long ago is making them look mortal. Fiddy you need to get back to da roots!
    p.s. He could always put them on a separate label and make a little change of ‘em.

  • lol, internet

    you all fake niggaz. da k, k, k, be rappn dis joint befo u got real.

  • Cuban FUCKING Link

    I should be on the next cover.

  • street_poet

    yo i been wondering when tupac gonna come back..
    oh an all these comments are funny as fuck..
    its almost as funny as brittney spears shaving her stupid ass looking head

  • zokinho

    cant believe u niggaz is still over here leavin comments talkin shit threatin eachtoer n suckin ur fav. rappers u kno what…grow the fuck up they makin millioooonnssss while u niggaz here arguin bout whos better n shit n most u niggaz dont kno shit bout rap anyway…keep it real cmon now

  • Philly BLunt

    ya’ll mutha fuckas is str8 up HOMO, threatening on the net lol.., put down the pipe son…thats why we got problems in the streets