It can be argued that Animal Ambition is better than Before I Self Destruct for one reason and one reason alone - 50 stays true to the style that made him popular - an effective combination of aggressive hubris and verbal onslaughts on anyone that finds this hubris overdone and over talked about. 50 noted in Complex Magazine that the album is about an "untamed desire to win...prosperity, ambition and entrepreneurial energy from a distorted perspective." Hmm, that about partially sums up this 11 track collection (14 if you count the 3 songs on the deluxe edition).
"Hold On" opens the album with 50 asserting "I woke up this morning/this is insane, rich as a m****f***a and ain't s**t changed." The beat is fit for Fiddy allowing him to spit some verses that uphold the album's theme. The issue with the track is that we've seen this before and given this is an album 5 years in the making that is a problem because it makes one wonder if the rest of the album will be like this – that s**t really hasn’t changed. Yet, many of the other songs featured on Animal Ambition make up for the lackluster opener such as "Pilot," that's full of all of the vainglory that 50 frequently comments on; and "Everytime I Come Around," where he returns to similar topics presented on "Wanksta," "Many Men" and "Fully Loaded Clip."
"Irregular Heartbeat" helps to support the tactless demeanor that fans have been looking for quite frankly since the No Mercy, No Fear mixtape, which dropped in 2002. Most of the songs that follow this one provide more an animal feel than a success tone. On "Chase The Paper," Fiddy combines both contexts, but after hearing the menacing "Irregular Heartbeat," and even the last track "The Funeral" it pales in comparison.
There seems to be two different 50 Cents on this album - the shameless blunt emcee that flagrantly creates candid manifestos and a shopworn rapper that has learned to play on the sentiments of fans knowing they will eat up the outdated m.o. of generic rhythms and commercialized rapping etiquette. That doesn't mean that Animal Ambition is a bad album despite the debatably corny opener. In fact, it features memorable rhymes and brings 50 Cent back into the hip hop discussion as more than a mere memory – even though whatever cred it has now will more than likely be eclipsed when Street King Immortal drops later this year.
Final Grade: B+
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