Monday, October 6, 2008

Interview: Tony Yayo (G-Unit) talks MTV’s Busted on Examiner

By Katrina-Kasey Wheeler

Marvin Bernard, the famous Haitian rapper better known as Tony Yayo, is 1/3 of G-Unit, and a lifelong friend of 50 Cent. In 2005, Yayo dropped his debut album, Thoughts of a Predicate Felon, and he has been on the top of the charts ever since. G-Unit continues to dominate the charts and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

On Saturday, October 4 MTV will offer viewers a cell block Saturday with the series premiere of “MTV Ranked” and a live “BUSTED” special. Beginning at 5:30pm ET/6pm C, viewers can tune-in for “Celebrity Busts: Ranked,” the first installment of “MTV Ranked” and a one-hour special devoted many unforgettable moments when celebrities were busted. Later at 6:30 pm ET/6pm C, “BUSTED” fans everywhere for a half-hour “BUSTED” yearbook special followed by “BUSTED: LIVE,” a real time event hosted by G-Unit member, Tony Yayo, in which the “BUSTED” cameras will patrol with law enforcement across the country from 7:00-10:00pm ET as they catch the misdemeanors in real time. Yayo will host from the MTV Times Square studio as comedian Ryan Belleville and Sarah Karges broadcast live from Calvert County, Maryland and the city of Akron, OH.

Katrina-Kasey Wheeler caught up with Tony Yayo to discuss his hosting gig, future projects, how his experiences have shaped his artistry, and the looming presidential election.

Katrina-Kasey Wheeler: Are you excited to host MTV’s “Busted: Live”?

Tony Yayo: I was definitely excited. I think any artist should be excited with anything that MTV brings to the table. As an artist, it is great to be able to market yourself to people who don’t know you, and people who do. It is a good opportunity for me to be on MTV, and I’m happy about it.

KW: Do you think that it is easier for people to get into legal trouble than some may believe?

TY: I think a lot of people get in trouble with the law. I live in Long Island, and I see different types of trouble. I see kids get arrested for stupid things. When you go back to the south side of Jamaica – back to the old neighborhood, you might see a kid get arrested for gun possession, crack possession, or cocaine possession. My having a criminal record is a way for me to talk to the kids about how serious these crimes are – especially the DWIs. Someone could get jail time out of that. It is a way to get back to the kids; they don’t want to be getting into these troubles, because jail is for nobody.

KW: No matter what G-Unit does, it is always a success. All of you have written songs about actual experiences that you have overcome. Is this why the music resonates with so many fans?

TY: Oh, of course. A lot of people relate to us because of our experiences. I have been locked up before, and 50 was shot – nine times. When people learned about 50 and his story, it brought everything to light. People realized that he had really been shot, and was really living that life.

We just came from Africa, and I thought New York City was hard. In Africa, they really struggle. They struggle for things like shoes, clothing, and food.

KW: It definitely puts things in perspective for Americans. What is up next for G-Unit? What projects are you currently working on?

TY: We’re involved in a lot of things. We have a video game coming out in December – Blood in the Sand. Lloyd Banks and I are in a movie called “Before I Self Destruct.” These were the first acting roles for us; it is written, directed, and produced by 50 – I am excited to be a part of it. I recently met Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino at the “Righteous Kill” premiere. 50 is working on his album, “Before I Self Destruct,” in December and mine should drop after that. I have a mixtape out right now called, S.O.D., and G-Unit has T.O.S. (Terminate on Sight). The focus right now for us is the internet, because that is where everything is going, like with I am learning new things about computers and how to market yourself, because in the next two or three years, you won’t be seeing CDs in stores. I am in the office everyday, and I am heavily involved with

KW: What are your thoughts on the upcoming election?

TY: I think it is incredible. This is the first time we have seen a black man, and a white woman run for president. McCain looks like he could be the president, but Obama and Hillary made it exciting. I think that it is very important for people to get out there to vote – I wish I could. I am for Obama, all the way. I don’t support Obama just because he is a black man; I support him because he is an educated black man. He is making black people proud. Race shouldn’t be a factor in the election, but Obama finally has a chance, and a lot of black people are proud of that.

I heard a reporter say that America isn’t ready for a black president, I just can’t understand that, I mean, why wouldn’t America be ready for that? Hillary was the first female candidate and she would have been a great president, too. I don’t have anything bad to say about McCain either, but I do support Obama.

I am very excited. We haven’t seen anything like this. To just be here and allowed to witness this is amazing. You can go to a hip-hop network like, and and actually find the debate on there; you will never be able to see that again and that is because of this election.

I heard Obama say something about rappers actually taking responsibility for what they do – realizing that we are role models to a lot of these kids. My mom’s crib in Queens was shot at about twenty-two times. My mom is Haitian and believes in Jesus, and she doesn’t want to move, even though I would like her to. It is hard to tell your mother to change her life. That is where she is from. The reason people hear me rhyme about what I rap about, is because I am still experiencing it, and seeing things. I am glad that I am not really a part of it, but things happen.

Be sure to tune - in and watch Tony Yayo host “Busted: Live.” You won’t want to miss a minute! And please be sure to cast your vote this November 4th for the candidate of your choice. Make your presence felt!

“MTV Ranked” is a series that puts a new spin on countdown specials with a ratings system. Hosted by comedian Ryan Stout (“A Shot at Love: The Hangover”), the series will assign point values based on the details involved until one bust takes the top spot and is formally “Ranked.” “Celebrity Busts: Ranked” will be the first installment in the series to be followed by specials that will rank a variety of popular culture’s favorite topics including “Celebrity Meltdowns: Ranked,” “Bromances: Ranked,” and “Crap Tattoos: Ranked.”

“Busted” is a show that will afford viewers an action-packed look at misdemeanors and illegal transgressions through real police footage and not only the perspective of the law enforcers involved in the busts but also that of the young people featured themselves



  1. keep up the good work.

    very goog article.

  2. Thank You For The Support!

    Tell all your Haitians friends to check out MyAyiti.Com

    - Pwa

  3. Quite interesting, well I just wanted some songs and got your blog. Thanks for this one mate ;) I just loved it. An additional comment or feedback which I would like to give is that this theme is quite boring and you need to work on it but everything else I fine.