The G-Unit rapper recently appeared on VladTV for an interview, during which he recalled his introduction to Fif as a rapper, which came as the pair were knee deep in Southside Jamaica’s drug game.
Yayo, 44, recited the rhyme he heard back when, which he says was based on their reality at the time. “The sale went stale / Quarter mil bail / Fresh out the jail / Sh*t is really real / Ni**as is locked up man I pray they don’t tell / 100 man indictment my lawyer got to fight this / Ni**as know I ain’t never pressed for dough,” the Predicate Felon spat. “Ni**as know I don’t serve nobody I don’t know / Son said he was from OT / Sold 11 to Oz / His man brought him to me but he ain’t really know, b / Said it was hot, Duke was a cop.”
Giving further context of the inspiration behind the rhyme and the time period it was created, Yayo says he first heard it in the basement of one of their mutual friends on the street. According to the rapper, it was their place of refuge when patrolling cops forced them to take breaks from their business on the street until the heat died down. He also says that he and his crew didn’t necessarily have aspirations to become rap stars at the time and that the rhyme was more of a byproduct of being a past-time and hobby.
“I think people just get into it,” he says of creators within the genre. “Like you see the kids from The Bronx they just go to the studio they drill, I don’t think that like…we still was in the streets,” he added. “If it was selling drugs [or] music, it was selling drugs. Music wasn’t making me no money at the time so it was a hobby for me.”
Tony Yayo first came to prominence alongside 50 Cent and Lloyd Banks during their dominant mixtape run of the early ’00s. Incarcerated prior to the release of Get Rich or Die Tryin’, upon his release from prison in 2004, he dropped his debut and lone solo album Thoughts of a Predicate Felon the following year. He has appeared on numerous musical projects by 50 Cent throughout his career, including the G-Unit studio albums Beg for Mercy and T·O·S (Terminate on Sight).
Listen to Tony Yayo’s DJ Vlad interview below.