The frosted G-Unit emblazoned door is closed. This I notice before I go for a quick pee and booger check in the bathroom where coincidentally both toilets seats are up and one toilet isn't flushed. But when I step back out in the sparsely decorated offices of the Interscope/Aftermath/Shady Imprint G-Unit (Harry Allen once surmised once all invested parties got their cut a G-Unit artist would be left with air) I remember that the receptionist told me to enter, twice. Once when I arrived and again when I looked at her like I think somethings transpiring in there. I lightly knock before cracking the door, wide enough to catch the surprised not quite annoyed glares of the ten or so black clad negroes inside. A dude also clad in black escorts me back to reception like wait out here overanxious. I tell the receptionist the room was occupied. She responds,"I didn't know" and continues to instant message her friends and read the latest rumors at ahh.com.
Yayo comes out to greet me warmly 20 minutes later. I apologize. He says, "This is G-Unit. Anything can happen." He sits down asks if he can smoke. Explains why he's asking, "I didn't just want to light up you could have asthma." I don't have asthma and I don't like smoke but it doesn't bother me and he puts it out 5 or so minutes into our hour long interview. I learn Tony, born Marvin Bernard is Haitian. He calls himself "half Haitian and half American" but both his parents are Haitian. He has an older brother and a sister. His sister just had a baby. His brother works for G-Unit. He just had a birthday. 26, I think he said he was (don't feel like consulting tape just yet). He looks older. He has a daughter born when he was locked up who's also an Aries. He thinks 9th grade is a really hard time for kids. He attended more NY high schools than you can count and was kicked out of all of them. He doesn't think video models are hoes. He was the nicest crack dealer in South Side Jamaica Queens. He was very nice to the fiends.The white and yellow diamond cross he had on cost 70,000 not including the bedazzled chain or the two mammoth rings or the encrusted G-Unit watch. He's gonna have more impressive (Just Blazish?) ice for his upcoming "So Seductive" video premier on 106 & Park.
He thinks 50 is crazy. (Repeated many times during the interview)
He was completely receptive to a few non kiss your ass questions about misogyny ("Tip Drill" protest and Essence's "Take Back the Music" Campaign) about whether the Game shit was a publicity stunt ("I know for a fact it wasn't" mumbled Yayo) and why it's suspect to diss folks for album sales (he had a good anaology in response to that). He seemed sincere and very aware that people thinks he's foolish and is very interested in demonstrating to people that he's not. As much as he loves 50, and I have no doubt that he does, I suspect Tony and Banks even don't have the type of agency that would allow them to express themselves authentically. I also don't think its at this moment a very big deal to them. I asked Tony about the Sha Money robbery. He said he has no problems in the hood. Right after black clad G-Unit employee told us our interview was over he said "Fuck Ja Rule, Fuck D-Block" I don't believe him.
My initial take. Good dude. Conflicted like most of us. He doesn't seem like a star to me though
Tony Yayo's debut album Thoughts of a Predicate Felon is scheduled to drop June 28, 2005. His current single is the 50 featured "So Seductive." (via Music Remedy)
Props to Kim Trick @ Room Service for hooking it up.