Tony Yayo
The Easy Going Guy
Interview by Eric Diep

The emotional side of Tony Yayo might’ve been the real catalyst for the G-Unit reunion. On Feb. 19, 2014, Yayo, the last to fall out with 50, made several comments to fans on Instagram about the state of G-Unit including: “to much stress I flew the world already dropped an album time to try new things and the unit not together fuck it.” Plus: “I’m done with music and the industry this is too much for me.” And also: “50 ain’t rocking with me and Banks the same I layed my life down for the unit but you live and learn.”

Yayo and Fif never went through a specific incident that prompted them to stop talking, but over time the two lost the closeness they first built back in Queens, before the fame. During the break up, Yayo stayed loyal to 50, rarely offering a negative word about G-Unit until that Instagram comment. That’s actually what got Banks and 50 talking again, which is a part of what prompted the reunion to begin with. This afternoon Yayo sits in a chair in the backyard of 50’s mansion and looks back on what went down with the crew.

XXL: What is your motivation now that G-Unit is back together?
Tony Yayo: I think the motivation is that we are still here. It’s been 10 years. There’s rappers' careers that last a year and a half, maybe two years. Just to be around here 10 years, it’s like, “Damn, we are still in here? We are still rapping? We still an organization?” I do this for the fans. I do this for friends, family. Some shows, there are fans that will literally die for 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo and Young Buck. They will die for you.

What’s the reason now for everyone to come back together?
I think the reason [for the reunion] now is we grown-ass men. It’s a good thing for us to be together. It’s good energy. When I'm in the studio with 50, Banks, Kidd Kidd [our] new artist, and Buck, it just brings that energy back.

First you made the Instagram comment about 50. Then 50 called you “expired milk” in an interview. You responded on Twitter with, “As much bullets I took for G-Unit. My moms crib got shot up almost killed my sis and my niece. Now I’m compared to milk. I made that brand.” Then you took the tweet down...
That was me being emotional that day. That was me being upset and shit and being wrong. But at the same time, when it comes to this reunion, I always felt like I'd die for this shit. When you are at a point and your back is against the wall, nobody is talking and you are frustrated, you are having a bad day, your kids yelling, screaming; when I say I made the brand, I just felt like sometimes, in my mind, I’ve been around Fif for so long. Sometimes, I get arrogant. I was living the life, but when I say I made the brand, I can’t say that. It’s a team effort.

It was all simple emotions. A bad day, and that’s the bad thing about social networks sometimes. “What the fuck? Fuck that. I made the shit! Fuck you talking about?” It’s just emotions. You might be mad at your man, and you might throw a subliminal out there. Everybody do it and that’s the bad thing I learned about social networks. You’ll feed into what people are saying and you’ll listen to some of them comments. You gotta learn to have thick skin. I learned to not let that shit bother me.

We’re regular fuckin’ people. But people go out there and talk about your family. Friends. All you just put up is, “Yo, what’s up everybody?” So I just had a bad day. I ain’t copping no plea. 50 is my man. Is 50 a real nigga? Yes. Am I a real nigga? Yes. Is Banks real? You know what I'm saying? We all real. I just had a bad day. I shouldn’t have said that because that’s the first time I ever stepped out of bounds ’cause I felt I wasn’t loyal.

Loyalty, I’m the biggest on loyalty with Fif. You could have a bag full of money, your money is going to be there. You can have your girlfriend here. Your girlfriend is gonna be here. That’s what really had me more upset with Fif was my loyalty to G-Unit.

I listened to Fat Joe back in the day. I listened to Jay Z. I listened to these dudes, but at the end of the day, I know I am not getting a business meeting with anybody. DJ Khaled. I’m not getting a meeting with Khaled. We are not gonna sit down and talk about records ’cause of shit in the past. It is what it is. You make the bed you lay in. Why? Ask me why I had all this beef. ’Cause of who? But am I loyal? You can’t take that from me.