G-Unit's Lloyd Banks has historically inherited 50 Cent's beefs. But the crew's foe-by-association mandate doesn't seem to ring true these days.
Banks, whose current Jeremih-assisted single, "I Don't Deserve You," is produced by close Rick Ross associates Justice League, decided to work with the team in spite of Ross and 50’s longstanding and well-documented disdain for each other.
"I actually didn’t know that Justice League was one of Rick Ross’ main producers," Banks told BET.com. "I didn’t know if they was under contract or anything. I did see the 'I Don’t Deserve You' beat. I seen it come out later on while we was going through the paperwork; they said he had messed around with it. I got the final version of it. It is what it is—we just pushing with the music. At the end of the day, it’s a check for them."
Ironically, Banks seems to be following in the footsteps of former Unit members the Game and Young Buck, who were ousted partly for fraternizing with the enemy.
Last year, Banks revealed that he called former Murder Inc. first lady Ashanti to apologize for firing shots her way at the height of the Inc. and the Unit's feud. He's also recorded with Juelz Santana, Jim Jones and Jadakiss, whose crews have all had tension with the Unit. Even 50 Cent, who'd shown no mercy in the early parts of his career, has made peace with D-Block and recently called Cam'Ron "a good guy," hinting that he was past his feud with the Dipset leader. So has G-Unit turned over a new leaf?
"I don’t think that G-Unit turned over a new leaf, I just think that some things get exhausted," Banks explained. "I think it was exciting in the beginning to see the competitive nature come out. Hip hop is a competitive sport. We were so aggressive and coming from the street, and we grew up together, so it was more expected of us to take more things personal. If you say something about Yayo, you might as well throw me in the mix because that’s more than just my rap partner—we grew up together."
Banks is well aware that his crew's us-against-them mentality has earned them a bully reputation.
"I think people get things misconstrued sometimes," he said. "Basically we developed an aura like troublemakers, but a lot of it you can’t put on one party in particular, it was just being competitive. Sometimes they said things, sometimes we said things. I think that just makes it more exciting when the situations that aren’t serious enough, that [can] be resolved, actually do get resolved."