Lil Jon, 50 Cent Labels Join Forces
Two of rap music's most powerful entities may soon be even more dominant, as rapper/producer Lil Jon's BME Recordings and rapper 50 Cent's G-Unit have joined forces to cross-promote their artists.Two of rap music's most powerful entities may soon be even more dominant, as rapper/producer Lil Jon's BME Recordings and rapper 50 Cent's G-Unit have joined forces to cross-promote their artists.
While all the specifics have yet to be worked out, Jon tells Billboard that the focus of the arrangement will be on cross-camp collaborations. Artists will continue to release projects under their original label deals, but BME and G-Unit will jointly market the releases.
"50 Cent is going to collaborate and appear on certain projects with BME artists," Jon says. "And I'm going to collaborate and appear on certain projects with G-Unit."
The two began mulling over the idea during this summer's Anger Management tour, which featured several BME artists, such as Lil Scrappy and Bohagan. The agreement follows months of speculation that Scrappy was leaving BME to sign with G-Unit. Scrappy will be the first artist to release a project under the new partnership; BME Recordings/Reprise Records will put out his as-yet-untitled album.
Rumors of Scrappy's BME departure started flying after he joined the Anger Management tour, and were further fueled when 50 Cent reportedly announced during an Oct. 15 interview on BBC's Radio 1 in London that Scrappy was joining the G-Unit clique.
"Basically 50 and Scrappy were already good friends," Jon says. "While we were out on tour, 50 came to me with the business proposition, and we sat down and worked it out."
Lil Jon and 50 Cent will be hard-pressed to develop other artists' careers that will rival their own successes. The latter's most recent album, "The Massacre," has sold more than 4.5 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and Lil Jon's February release "Crunk Juice" has sold more than 2.3 million.
Earning his rightful share is one of Jon's top priorities right now. The deal comes at a time when he has been very vocal about his displeasure with his current label home, TVT, telling Billboard he is "very unhappy" about the situation. The label declined to comment.