Probably the most publicized beef since Jay-Z & Nas went through the motions in the early 2000s, G-Unit vs. Game remains as controversial today as it was almost ten years ago when Game was dismissed from the label.
According to sources, the beef started because of a perceived lack of loyalty on Game's part when the emcee refused to take part in beef instigated by other members in the unit. This ironic beef as a result of beef was exacerbated when 50 found his Massacre album getting pushed back by Aftermath to promote Game' The Documentary. Tensions rose during the filming of the music video for "Hate It or Love It", when 50 Cent refused to shoot a scene in the front seat of a car with The Game, instead sitting in the back despite being heavily featured on the song's chorus.
In traditional 50 Cent headline-grabbing fashion, the G-Unit head honcho dismissed Game from the Unit live on Hot 97, just hours after Game appeared on the same station to promote his album. After the announcement, Game attempted to enter the building with his entourage. After being denied entry by security, one of the rapper's associates was shot in the leg by a security guard. 50 Cent with his G-unit crew left out the backdoor.
When the situation escalated, both rappers held a press conference to announce that they were putting the beef behind them. Unfortunately, the peace didn't last long. Soon after the conference, the entire Unit released a statement saying they would no longer be featured or featuring Game on any of their upcoming releases. Game responded at Summer Jam by pushing his "G-Unot" campaign, calling for a boycott of the group's music.
After the performance at Summer Jam, The Game responded with "300 Bars and Runnin'", an extended "diss" aimed at the group on his mixtape You Know What It Is Vol. 3. 50 Cent responded with "Piggy Bank;" Game came back with his Ghost Unit tape; and so the battle rages on to this day.
Check out the entire collection of diss tracks below:
Ja Rule & Murder Inc.
Prior to signing with Interscope, 50 engaged in dispute with rapper Ja Rule and his label Murder Inc. Reports initially claimed that Jackson believed a friend robbed Ja Rule of his jewelry and that Ja had accused him of setting it up. However, Ja Rule claimed the conflict started during a video shoot in Queens when Jackson did not like seeing him "getting so much love" from the neighborhood.
In March 2000, Jackson had an altercation at The Hit Factory in New York with Murder Inc. associates. He was treated for three stitches after receiving a stab wound Rapper Black Child claimed responsibility for the stabbing, stating that he acted in self-defense because he thought someone reached for a gun.
Since then, Black Child publicly insulted 50 Cent twice in "There's a Snitch in the Club", and "You the Wanksta". Ja, too, responded with an entire album's worth of material aimed at the Unit titled Blood In My Eye. The album was a commercial and critical flop. Eminem, Dr. Dre, Obie Trice, D12, DMX, and Busta Rhymes also became involved and released tracks which insulted Ja Rule.
The crux of the beef, however, took place when Ja Rule released the successful single "New York" featuring Jadakiss and Fat Joe in which Ja Rule took subliminal shots at 50 Cent. This single prompted 50 Cent to enter a feud with the two featured artists, deeming them guilty by association. The trio came under fire in "Piggy Bank," each being depicted in the song's animated music video.
In May 2011, it was confirmed that both Ja Rule and 50 Cent squashed the feud. Ja Rule said "I’m cool. We ain’t beefing no more. We’ll never collaborate. That’s just what it is. You don’t have to be at war with somebody, but it’s also kind of like U.S. and another country that they may not get along with. We don’t gotta go to war, but we’re not friends either. But we can coincide inside of a world. He’s doing him, and he’s not thinking about me, and I’m doing me and I’m not thinking about him."
Ja Rule has admitted losing his battle with 50. In September 2013, in an interview with Angie Martinez, both Ja Rule and Murder Inc. CEO Irv Gotti acknowledged the beef not only took a toll on Ja Rule's career, but damaged Murder Inc as a music label.
Caught in the crossfire of 50's beef with Ja Rule, Fat Joe retaliated to 50's diss with "My FoFo." A track off Joey's All Or Nothing release, the track is notable for how direct it is. Attacking 50's character, music and authenticity, the single was just bold enough to trigger 50 making Joe public enemy number one in his "Piggy Bank" visuals.
The conflict carried on at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards when Joe remarked, "I feel safe with all the police protection—courtesy of G-Unit" while presenting a performance from Daddy Yankee. When MTV switched to a commercial break, 50 jumped on stage as Fat Joe exited.
Verbal disputes between Fat Joe and 50 Cent continued over the next several years; 50 calling Joe a coward for not confronting him and Joe reciprocating the same thoughts. On March 11th, 2008, G-Unit released their Elephant In The Sand mixtape on the same day as Joe's Elephant In The Room. On March 20, 2008, shortly after lackluster record sales were released for Fat Joe's album The Elephant in the Room, 50 Cent released a video via his YouTube account featuring the "funeral" of Fat Joe, in which 50 claims that he ended Fat Joe's career (like he says he did to Ja Rule), and that the Unit's mixtape out performed Joe's commercial release.
The Unit and Joe have since settled their beef, with 50 and Joe collaborating on DJ Kay Slay's "Free Again" to wide acclaim. They also performed together live on stage at the 2012 BET Awards in honor of their longtime friend Chris Lighty.
On February 1, 2007, Cam'ron and Jackson had a live argument on Hot 97 radio. Jackson commented that Koch Entertainment, which distributes records for the Diplomats, was a "graveyard", implying that major record labels would not work with their artists. Cam'ron then ridiculed the record sales of G-Unit members Lloyd Banks and Mobb Deep by stating that Jim Jones outsold their albums despite being signed to an independent label and that The Diplomats had a distribution deal from several labels.
As far as scope, this beef ended up being significantly smaller in scale than the others. Both rappers released diss tracks, but otherwise the situation never really escalated beyond music.
The beef has died down but the artists are not on working terms.
One of the biggest hip-hop beefs of the past decade started with one of the smallest inciting incidents in the history of music. In January 2009, Ross started a feud with 50 Cent because he looked at him the wrong way at the BET Awards. 50 quickly responded in interviews that he never even saw Ross at the venue. Apparently, Ross thought differently. Later that month, Ross dropped "Mafia Music," a single off Deeper Than Rap, that took direct shots at 50. Days later, 50 returned the favor with "Officer Ricky (Go Head, Try Me)."
From here, things got comedically ugly. Within weeks, 50 was dropping YouTube video after YouTube video aimed at Ross, the most notable of which being an interview with a woman named Tia, reportedly the mother of one of Ricky's children. In the video, Tia verifies that Ross was a correctional officer and claims his whole persona is fraudulent.
For years, the two have fired shots back-and-forth and, despite 50's claims otherwise, Ross' career continues to flourish, making him one of the few emcees that have ever stood up to the Unit and come larger than ever before.
Ross now claims that he's done talking about 50.
Perhaps no one knows the power of the dollar more so than Young Buck.
After 50 lent Buck money to pay off his taxes, the relationship between the two emcees became strained. Buck, suffering from debt, struggled to pay 50 back and quickly found his G-Unit membership card revoked by the group leader. Even worse, however, was that 50 refused to remove Buck from the label, meaning all of Buck's musical assets were under the control of a his newfound enemy.
For months, Buck found himself slandered by 50 in the media while his final G-Unit release The Rehab was held indefinitely by the label heads. A fifteen-minute recording of Buck crying to 50 over the phone to let him back in the group was leaked onto the internet, ruining the rapper's credibility as a "souther thug." Eventually, after a series of diss tracks, Buck was let go from the label to serve a prison sentence for tax evasion.
Tony Yayo & Lloyd Banks
Not even current members are safe when 50's feeling disrespected.
After an extended hiatus from performing as a collective, Unit members Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo took to the media to talk about the status of the group. On February 20, 2014, Tony Yayo stated 50 Cent "ain't rocking with [them]" and that G-Unit is over. He also announced his retirement from music stating "Too much stress. I flew the world already. Dropped an album. Time to try new things and the Unit not together. Fuck it." Then, after what seemed like condescending comments about Lloyd Banks and Yayo in multiple interviews, on April 25, 2014, 50 Cent said that due to the recent inside-fighting, G-Unit is currently "dismantled."
Reasons for the group's demise, as stated by 50, were that "Some people, they’re like milk. They have an expiration date and no matter what you do, they’ll spoil after a while." Yayo, clearly disrespected, took to Twitter to release his thoughts on the statement: "As much bullets I took for G-Unit. My mom's crib shot up almost killed my sis and my niece. Now I'm compared to milk. I make that brand."
The dysfunction in the group became even more apparent when Yayo re-teamed with the formerly exiled Buck for a brand new track titled "Devil's Advocate." Until last month, it seemed all hope for a reunion was lost. We now know that wasn't the case.
Check out all of the new material released by the Unit since their reunion at this year's Summer Jam: