Former G-Unit member and close friend of 50 Cent Tony Yayo has been rapping since the late 1990s and, at the side of his crewmate, has had his fair share of success. Born and raised in South Jamaica, Queens, Yayo (real name Marvin Bernard) released his first mixtape, 134 All Starz, in 2000 and continued upward.
Following 50 Cent’s deal with Columbia Records, Bernard was featured on various G-Unit mixtapes in the early-2000s, such as 50 Cent Is The Future, Beg For Mercy and God’s Plan. The 2003 project Beg For Mercy debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and saw Yayo gain a lot of exposure, and although he never reached the heights of Fifty, he was still a big name in hip-hop.
50 Cent (real name Curtis Jackson) was the kingpin of G-unit, who regularly topped the hip-hop charts during the early 2000s. With hit after hit, the crew were unstoppable and arguably the most potent group of the era.
As a collective, they had a lot of influence in the hip-hop world; although they rarely did posse cuts, they all saw success individually in their solo projects. 50 Cent and The Game were undoubtedly the most successful members of the crew with regard to career longevity. However, that’s not to say members such as Yayo didn’t make anthems.
Although Bernard’s proximity to Jackson brought him a lot of success and attention, in an interview with DJ Vlad for Vlad TV, the emcee admitted that it is difficult to work with 50 Cent.
Explaining why, Yayo stated, “Working for somebody like Fifty is a lot of pressure because that man don’t know what laziness is. All he do is eat, sleep, sh*t business! That’s it! So if you don’t have that mentality around him, he’s going to look at you like you’re lazy.”
He continued, “[Lloyd] Banks learned everything from Fifty, I learned everything from Fifty, you got to work! The shows we’re doing are two hours: get on the jet, go here, go to the next country. We got to be on point, never late! We go to the venue before him because it’s the work ethic.” You can watch Yayo explain the mentality he developed while being around 50 Cent in the video below.