Even though 50 has championed G-Unit‘s independence, speculation has swirled about whether Banks would sign to Def Jam where former G-Unit president Sha Money XL now resides as the Senior VP of A&R. 50, without saying it directly, shot down the notion of a Def Jam deal, citing the label’s supposed-financial woes. Recently, the legendary rap label has gone through a bit of restructuring with former head honcho L.A. Reid leaving and Barry Weiss stepping in as chairman and CEO. Regardless, Fif doesn’t seem too optimistic for a future at the label. “Well, Def Jam, I’m not even sure what that system — that system is not in a good space right now. They’re like $80 million in the hole,” he said, before laughing, “Don’t tell them I told you.” (MTV)
But these rumors are not baseless, with Banks saying last year that Def Jam had approached him:
“I mean, yeah, they been reaching out, Interscope” Banks confirmed in an interview. “And a few other labels, Def Jam, at this point man, like I said, I’ve been completely independent, we’ve sold over 200,000 units already through iTunes — at this point, whatever makes sense, is the deal I’ll go with. If it makes more sense to stay where I’m at, then I’ll stay and be independent. If they drop that big bag, then we can talk. I don’t ever want to shut no doors out so we’ll see what happens in the near future.” (Posse TV)
Def Jam A&R VP Sha Money XL, also a G-Unit affiliate, even confirmed he was trying to sign Banks:
“I tried to bring [Lloyd] Banks, but they chose EMI,” Sha told radio host EI8HT. “The album was amazing but I know I could have did more at Def Jam because Banks is a star. He just needs the right people behind his music. He got 50 [Cent] behind him but I think the machine of Capitol/EMI, they just didn’t know what they had. So, they just did my homie wrong. But I tried to bring Banks in.” (Street Disciplez Radio)
If Banks decides to strike out on his own, it will be interesting to see the fate of G-Unit as a group.