With the hip-hop group all but dead, what remains is the
practice of one established superstar engaging in cronyism and
giving all his old boys, usually sub-par rappers from round the
way, major label shine. Following in the suite of Nelly and Eminem,
hip-hop’s it-man, multi-platinum artist 50 Cent throws his
hat into the ring of instant group success with the G-Unit’s
Interscope debut.

Janna Hutz
Janna Hutz
Still got beef, Ja? (Courtesy of The Telegraph Company)

Much like D-12’s Devil’s Night release, where
the listener is drawn in to hear Eminem who then steps back to let
his crew shine, 50 does the same here, splitting everything pretty
equally between the three. While noble on 50’s part, that
doesn’t necessarily make for a great CD. The G-Unit that
completely took over the NYC mixtape circuit is nowhere to be found
as one-third of their group, Tony Yayo, was locked up for gun
possession charges. The result is replacement member Young Buck, a
refugee from the Cash Money era, whose southern-style moves in and
out of sync with the East Coast hardcore sound G-Unit
encompasses.

50 steps up as the executive producer and employs a slew of
collaborators such as Hi-Tek, Megahertz and even Dre and Em to help
spread out the sound. While some of the beats are hot, some fall
into monotony and expose the true mediocrity of the lyrics. If
you’re picking up a G-Unit album there is little doubt what
the songs are going to be about. Cocky lyrics are expected, as is
flashy car talk and the fact that a lot of people will get shot in
various ways.

The new materialist anthem “Stunt 101” uses all the
50 trademarks of singsong hooks and a hot bass line to pull you in,
while “My Buddy” is the obligatory Scarface-inspired
gun ballad. On the second half of the album there are some
half-baked love/groupie songs that seem aimless.

At times it sounds like an album rushed out to capitalize on the
still rising celebrity of 50. Although respect is due to the fact
that there are no features and that 50 was given freedom to develop
his group, by the end of the album you’re thinking Dre and Em
should have done much more of the production, what happened to
Lloyd Bank, and that they should have waited for Yayo to keep the
formula that made G-Unit the street heroes they were in New York.

Rating: 3 stars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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