50 Cent

Animal Ambition (G-Unit/Capitol)


Rating: NN


On the opening cut from Animal Ambition, 50 Cent is invigorated and fresh, rapping over funk-infused Frank Dukes production that sounds like the laid-back score to a blaxploitation movie.

But that fire doesn’t last long. Limp tracks like Twisted and Trey Songz-assisted Smoke – the album’s two most craven attempts at radio play – would have sounded outdated five years ago. On Every Time I Come Around, 50’s outshined by crew member Kidd Kidd.

The album has a few bright spots: on Irregular Heartbeat, the emcee snarls the stone-faced threats that made him an irresistible menace in the early aughts.

But it’s not enough to save an album that’s bogged down by a rapper – and production – stuck in the middle of the last decade.

Top track: Hold On

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