Author: Jake Paine
As a rapper, performer and Hip Hop industry celebrity, Tony Yayo has long been considered an entertainer. MTV certainly thought so, and has enlisted the G-Unit member to host their docu-reality show, Busted, which chronicles arrests made for silly and outrageous circumstances, all caught on video.
Part of tomorrow's special programming, billed as "Cell Block Saturday," beginning at 5:30 pm EST, the once-incarcerated Yayo will host the 7pm EST airing of the show.
Tony told HipHopDX Friday afternoon that he isn't trying to exploit getting arrested, at least in a present tense. "When a kid is actually getting locked up, I'm not gonna be there to joke on him. I'm gonna be there to actually try to help. When you look back at old footage though, I laugh at that 'cause that's old."
Often seen with G-Unit cohorts Lloyd Banks and 50 Cent, Yayo added on the solo opportunities like this that have been provided. "I've always been going back and forth into the MTV building, and just making relationships off of 50 [Cent]." Taking focus away from Busted to more general speaking, Yayo further added, "[He] gives us so many opportunities. That's why, when people flip on him, I kinda don't understand - like The Game and [Young] Buck situation. A lot of people look on the outside and say, 'Why's 50 like that? Why'd he do that them?' But Fif gives us opportunities that we would've never had in life."
He also joked that this relationship put him in unusual circles. "I was on the red carpet for Righteous Kill; [former New York City mayor] Rudy Giuliani walked by me. Me being from the streets, that's crazy, 'cause he messed up the eyes. It was amazing."
Tony Yayo then spoke freely about the present economic recession. Joking, he began, "I heard P Diddy say something [about the recession]; I'm trying to keep my area code the same." In Tony's eyes, this makes his music and message that much more relevant in these challenging economic times. "When we started G-Unit, me, [Lloyd] Banks and 50, doing Southside 134, all we knew was drugs and violence. That's what we rhymed about - stuff that we was going through, the harsh realities of life that people are still going through. With this recession right now, trust me, the streets are even [hungrier]. Rappers beware, you can't even wear big jewelry in the streets like that - not in New York City."
Adding about his recent mixtape S.O.D., Yayo explained he watched his longtime bandmate and mentor and was inspired. "I decided to get up off my butt, and just work hard...I just feel like I gotta go hard again." Understanding the Internet, Yayo added that the energy he gets from online fans drives him. "Everything I do, will be through the Internet, through ThisIs50.com and yours."
Lastly, confirming that both Dr. Dre and Eminem have a creative hand in Before I Self Destruct, 50 Cent's upcoming album, G-Unit is also promised a feature on what-may-be 50's parting shot from Interscope. "Of course you'll hear something from us."
Tony Yayo's next mixtape, Black Friday, will be arriving within the next six months via ThisIs50.com.