EMI arm hooks up G-Unit

Deal commences with Banks' 'H.F.M. 2'

Reversing the usual trend of rap labels signing with Interscope Records, G-Unit has exited Interscope for a distribution and marketing deal with struggling EMI Music’s third-party arm EMI Label Services.

Deal commences with the Nov. 23 release of Lloyd Banks’ third solo album “H.F.M. 2.” (“Hunger for More 2”). Set includes the track “Beamer, Benz, or Bentley” featuring Juelz Santana, which claims more than half a million downloads to date.

Banks, who was introduced on 50 Cent’s 2003 bow “Get Rich Or Die Tryin’,” was also featured on the G-Unit group’s 2003 set “Beg for Mercy,” which reached No. 2. He took his solo debut “Hunger for More” to No. 1 on the national album chart in 2004; its 2006 follow-up “Rotten Apple” peaked at No. 3.

Deal also covers a Tony Yayo album, which will include the 50 Cent collaboration “Pass the Patron.” Set is scheduled for early 2011. Yayo’s 2005 G-Unit album climbed to No. 2. Banks and Yayo both exited Interscope in 2009.

Banks said in a statement, “It’s refreshing to see the EMI staff excited about my project. They have the passion and energy I haven’t seen in a while.”

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