In late 2009, Tony Yayo, along with Juelz Santana was instrumental in bringing together two of the bigger Hip Hop brands in G-Unit and The Diplomats. 50 Cent's right hand man dating back to the '90s explained to HipHopDX last week, how in that same year, he also stressed a union with one of the more respected underground Hip Hop emcees of his Queens burough, Cormega. The two made "Streets Keep Callin' Me," a video collaboration.
"With Cormega, I've always been a fan of his music," said Tony Yayo to DX "I feel like he was one of the guys that didn't get a fair deal [with Def Jam]. He got locked up, plus [The Firm situation] with Nas and all that; I always followed his career. One of my favorite records from him was 'Dead Man Walking,' 'Angel Dust' was another one for me. I always liked the beats he picked and street-edge he had. Then I followed the way he went the independent route. He was one of the first artists to really be successful going the independent route, and make money off of it." Besides artistic craft, he's a hometown favorite of the G-Unit rapper. "He's fire. He's definitely a Queens representative."
Yayo continued, on how the two reformed hustlers have parallels within the streets. "I remember meeting him a long time ago, through one of my partners in the hood. A lot of the people he has in the streets, I know too - like my friend Dead Eye, shouts to him. He's an artist from Far Rockaway; he's locked up right now. You know when an artist is really in the streets. I try to keep myself humble and grounded in the streets. I don't ever want to lose that."
Additionally, Tony Yayo revealed details on his forthcoming official sophomore solo album, due on a to-be-announced label this summer. Tony revealed, "I was talking to David Banner. He said, 'The best thing for you, Yayo, is to make tour music. That's where the money's at. Ain't too much in the record sales. I just want to make tour music and music being me, and music that's gonna get me ahead. I have a joint with Twista that I worked on; Sha Money [XL] co-A&R'd the project. I got a joint with Bun B. I'm just going in different directions, making records people don't think I can make. People are used to the street element from me, but you gotta remember 'So Seductive' and 'Pimpin'' are my biggest records." Although he'll be doing it without Interscope, Yayo says the blueprint remains the same. "It's all about makin' them big hit records. That's the direction I'm going for."