G-Unit Records — the hip-hop crew founded by 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo — has now officially left the Universal/Interscope umbrella for another major: EMI.
Banks has already scheduled his next album, “H.F.M. 2” (“Hunger For More 2”) for a Nov. 23 release; Yayo will will drop his sophomore set sometime in “early 2011,” preceded by the single “Pass the Patron” featuring 50 Cent. Other artists like Mazaradi Fox, singer Governor and Spider Loc are believed to still be part of G-Unit.
This ends months of speculation as to where G-Unit would wind up after its deal with Interscope was up. Industry-watchers thought that G-Unit might sign with Def Jam, where former cohort Sha Money XL holds a position as Executive Vice President. It also beckons back to festive comments 50 Cent made early last month, denying that he had made a deal with EMI subsidiary Capitol.
EMI has the smallest market share of the four majors, and has been struggling with finances over the past year. Their last big hip-hop signing was Cypress Hill and, lately, the major has been prepping catalog re-releases from the Apple Records catalog. The signing is a gamble, but one that could be profitable, should the members of the G-Unit crew move big numbers: Yayo’s 2005 debut “Thoughts of a Predicate Felon” bowed at No. 2 on The Billboard 200, and Banks’ 2004 set “The Hunger for More” and 2006 album “Rotten Apple” peaked at No. 1 and No. 3 respectively.
The company’s press release did not mention any new 50 Cent albums or material besides the aforementioned feature spot on Yayo’s single, and only that it was providing the services of distribution and promotion.
Meanwhile, as it is a day that ends in “Y,” Fif has started another beef, this time by prank-calling Shyne and posting a video of him doing so this week. Shyne retorted with his own rambling video statement, claiming 50 Cent is stalking him. It’s really as exciting as it sounds.
50 Cent has also recently retracted that his next album would be “Black Magic,” a dance album inspired by Euro club music.
“I’ve written the album, ‘Black Magic,’ but I’m not sure if it’ll be my next album,” he told Rolling Stone Brasil. “‘Black Magic’ had a specific vibe to it, a different style of music and I was playing with different song structures, music from different genres like rock music… I’ve been writing some things that don’t quite fit that because so many producers were accumulating material to send me more ideas so when I got back, I was kinda bombarded with a whole lot of production.”
Go ahead and file that one away under Albums That Will Never Come Out.