Just two weeks out of jail and Tony Yayo has already spent his money like he’s not going back. A stop at Jacob the Jeweler’s? Check. There’s enough ice on his neck to give the man a slouch. The ride? Yayo’s already bought two, a Bentley and a Porsche Cayenne. Crew? His people roll three cars deep.
“It feels good to come home to a million dollars in the account, you know?” Yayo boasted to MTV News. “I really didn’t do anything, you know? And I got a million dollars in my account so it feels beautiful.”
Yayo has re-acclimated to his G-Unit life as well as one would have expected for someone who counts 50 Cent and Eminem as his biggest supporters.
“My boy [50 Cent] took care of me, so I know the love is there,” Yayo explained. “Usually when a person’s in a bad predicament, their people ain’t gonna look out for them. But me? I had to tell 50 to stop sending me money.”
Yayo was released two weeks ago after being imprisoned for 18 months (see “G-Unit’s Yayo Finally Out Of Prison” ). Just one day after finishing a yearlong sentence for gun possession and bail jumping, Yayo was turned in to U.S. Marshals by his parole officer for having a fraudulent passport. The crime, to which he ultimately pleaded guilty, earned him another five and a half months in prison.
Yayo says he knew he had outstanding warrants, even before 50 Cent signed his deal. But that didn’t deter him from remaining a fugitive. “When I was on the run … I went and got a passport made. Me and my brother kinda look alike. So I went and got a passport made so I could be on the run — ’cause I wanted to fly to Barcelona. I wanted to fly around the world.”
For some, being behind bars while the rest of your crew is taking over pop music and making millions would breed resentment. But Yayo dismissed any idea that he felt left out of 50 and G-Unit’s success.
“I didn’t feel left out because everywhere you go, you see ‘Free Yayo,’ ” he said. He recalled Eminem wearing a ‘Free Yayo’ T-shirt on several awards shows. “It just excited me to see Em with a ‘Free Yayo,’ shirt. You see 50 with the ‘Free Yayo’ campaign going on in the videos. They didn’t forget about me.
“It made me hungrier. I knew success was gonna come. 50′s a star. [Lloyd] Banks is a star. I’m a star. Young Buck’s a star. Everybody’s a star. I’m on the dream team. We got Dre, we got Em. There’s no way we’re gonna lose.”
And, of course, there was the bank account, which Yayo claims contains a million dollars. As soon as he got out of jail — when he wasn’t spending his money — Yayo went straight to the studio to record music with his brethren. He got on songs for both Banks’ and Young Buck’s solo albums (see “G-Unit’s Lloyd Banks, Young Buck Recording Solo Albums” ). He’s also recording songs for his own album, which he hopes to have out in the fall.
“I’m just working,” Yayo said. “I got an album done already — in 12 days. I just hope 50 [is] OK with it. Whatever he likes, he likes. Whatever he don’t like, he scraps it.”
Against most people’s moral judgement, Yayo’s intention is to keep things very grimy. “I think my lyrics right now are gonna reflect the prison system. My album is just gonna be street, gonna be ‘hood. I’m trying to make the crime rate go up.”