Now that G-Unit is reunited, the five-man rap squad is lock-step in the studio releasing freestyles, music videos and even a new six-song EP. Still, there was a time when things weren't so great amongst the group's members, particularly 50 Cent and Young Buck.
In April 2008, Fif announced that Buck was no longer in the group and then two months later leaked a recorded phone conversation, where Buck cried while expressing his frustration with the group and his tax trouble.
Now, the Unit have put all drama behind them. But how did they get to this place?
"You look at the tape, a lot different from what we were experiencing at the same time. I knew how people would perceive it," 50 told MTV News on Thursday while he and the group were up at Sirius XM's Shade 45 to promote their Beauty of Independence EP. "The reason why I knew to tape it, because I knew what was going to be said. It wasn't the first time we were having that conversation."
50 describes Buck as a rock star, who's frivolous spending habits get him into trouble. The Nashville, Tennessee rap titan doesn't disagree. "Honestly, I think Fif always done understood me. He knew from the very beginning, I was compulsive," Young Buck confirmed. "In the midst of being that way, sometimes you run into a brick wall and that's what happened. I'm an impulsive dude; I do what I want to do."
For Buck, doing what he wanted to do meant spending cash at breakneck speed. The money came at a fast pace in the early 2000s, when Buck took off with G-Unit, and he didn't have time to educate himself and learn to manage his finances and taxes.
"I come from the streets, I'm used to putting money in a paper bag," he continued. "I didn't know nothing about that when you make $500,000 it's really $250,000 and some change. So I had went speed ballin' and doing everything I had to and the IRS man came back around like, We need this?"
With his artist and his figurative brother at a crossroads, 50 stepped in to help. "He genuinely did not know what [the IRS was] talking about. I paid the taxes for him and then it went around again," he said, noting that he bailed Buck out more than once.
Still, 50 takes the responsibility when it comes to Buck and the rest of the Unit. "When I said I take responsibility for it, 'cause I kinda conditioned them, for it," he explained. "It's because nobody was conditioned for it to work, but every time something went wrong I was troubleshooting to keep everything in pocket."