Downtown Jamaica has become the new battleground in the on-going dispute between rappers 50 Cent and The Game. The weapon of choice in the battle, which appears to be the rappers’ new marketing campaign, has become graffiti.
The graffiti, which is typically done in black and red paint, reads “G-U-not,” a play on 50 Cent’s record label, G-Unit.
Michael Medly, a 32-year-old security guard at Hot Point, a clothing store on Jamaica Avenue, told the Queens Chronicle that he initially “thought it was young kids” who were responsible for the vandalism.
All of that changed when Medley saw an approximately eight-foot-high mural on a building across the street in September. The phrase “G-U-not” appeared in delicately airbrushed letters, according to the Chronicle.
“Nobody knows how it got there, but somebody put it up and left it there for three days,” Medley told the Chronicle. “That was a good strategy though. That was a big poster, bigger than something in Times Square.”
The feud between the two rappers supposedly began after 50 Cent dropped The Game from his label for failing to credit him on “The Documentary,” The Game’s recent album.
Conflict escalated and resulted in the shooting of a member of The Game’s entourage at New York’s Hot 97 radio station in February.
During The Game’s appearance at the Summer Jam festival in June, he spoke out against 50 Cent, despite earlier announcements that the two had made up. During the festival, The Game lead chants of “G-U-not!” which would become a slogan in his campaign against fellow rapper 50 Cent.
Jayson Rodriguez, who covered the feud for AllHipHop.com, told the Chronicle that there is no better place for The Game to focus than the streets of Jamaica, where 50 Cent “spent his early years as an orphaned crack dealer.”
“With 50, a lot of his success is based on his street credibility,” Rodriguez told the Chronicle. “They’re going straight to his neighborhood to attack him. It’s a place where 50 doesn’t really go anymore because he’s too big for them. So they’re trying to discredit him in his own neighborhood.”
The police are also taking the graffiti war seriously.
Special Operations Lieutenant Richard Saronka told the Chronicle that his unit was required to attend a briefing at One Police Plaza on the rappers’ feud by a special intelligence unit.
He also said that in mid-August police arrested a man in his 20s in connection with the graffiti. The man was sporting a G-Unot t-shirt and writing “gunot” in red and black ink.
“It’s more than just graffiti,” Saronka told the Chronicle.
Caviar Dreams, a rapper who has known 50 Cent for 10 years, agrees with Saronka. It is not just graffiti, Caviar Dreams said, but a marketing plan.
“At the end of the day, it’s all a job man,” he said in an interview with the Chronicle. “It’s all to sell product.”