Interscope Labels 50 Cent

By | April 8, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Rap star 50 Cent, whose debut album is the best-selling release of the year, has inked a label deal with Interscope Records.

He will sign and develop artists under the imprint G-Unit Records. All G-Unit releases will be marketed and distributed by Interscope Records. The first release from the imprint will be a debut album from the label’s namesake – rap collective G-Unit, featuring 50 Cent, Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks. The album will hit stores by year’s end.

50 Cent’s debut album, “Get Rich or Die Tryin’ ” (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope), which was executive produced by Eminem and Dr. Dre, has sold more than 4 million copies since its Feb. 6 release.

50 Cent and Interscope also are set to release a bonus maxi-CD with previously unreleased songs to accompany the rapper’s DVD “The New Breed,” to hit stores April 15. The DVD includes an underground video for the song “Heat,” an interview with G-Unit’s Yayo from New York’s Rikers Island Correctional Facility and live performance footage from 50 Cent, Eminem and D12.

“First I drop my album, and people pay attention,” 50 Cent said. “Now that I got their attention, I’m gonna drop the next shit on them – the G-Unit s–, both the label and the group…. I’m not leveling the competition, I’m destroying it.”

Said Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M: “When you have an artist like 50 Cent, you want to be in business with him on every level – movies, video games, wherever he wants to go.”