Rapper Tony Yayo credits his G-Unit ally 50 CENT with saving him from a life of drugs and crime.

Yayo co-founded the hip-hop group with 50 Cent, and they have been firm friends since growing up together in tough New York City borough Queens.

The 27-year-old previously saw drug dealers as role models and was selling crack cocaine at the age of 15.

He says, "50 was a dude in my hood. When he was 12, he was hanging with dudes that were 19.

"When he was 16, he had a 750cc motorbike. When he was 18, he had a (Mercedes) Benz. He was a legend.

"I definitely modelled myself on 50."