50 Cent has returned with his fifth solo album and his first in 5 years, Animal Ambition. This album is also 50’s first album since his departure for Shady/Aftermath Records. The theme of the album is “An Untamed Desire to Win’ which is consistent with 50’s competitive attitude toward life and rap.
The album begins with the spectacular ‘Hold On’. Produced by Ghostface Killah producer, Frank Dukes, ‘Hold On’ finds 50 in his element, cavalierly telling street tales. “My man got knowledge of self, and my back, God/Find out today’s Mathematics when that mac go off,” 50 rhymes.
The second track on Animal Ambition, ‘Don’t Worry 'Bout It’ it’s the polar opposite of the lead-off song, ‘Hold On’. While it’s filled with 50’s usual trash talking the music is horrifically bad. The song features Memphis rapper Yo Gotti and 50 blatantly tries on a southern persona on the song to mesh with Gotti and the track. 50 has always been able to adapt to various styles of rap but he fails to deliver on this song.
The albums third single ‘Pilot’ is almost as bad as ‘Don’t Worry 'Bout It’. The chorus of Pilot comes off as more comical than catchy, “Me, I'm like a pilot, G5 Jet I'm fly as sh*t/You cannot deny it, oh no, no-no, no-no/ Bitches be on my d*ck, designer threads, I'm fly as sh*t/You cannot deny it, oh no, no-no, no-no,” 50 croons.
An old friend returns on the song ‘Smoke’. Dr. Dre produced the track and his signature synths mesh perfectly with 50’s vocals and Trey Songz' on the chorus. 50 Cent is not a weed smoker but manages to make some of the best stoner anthems ever. "I let Trey hit something, then Dre hit something, then pass it to the homies till we all get done/N*ggas can’t comprehend what the sh*t ‘bout, police coming, put the sh*t out.” 50 raps.
50 is back in his element on the song ‘Irregular Heartbeat’. The sinister track features 50’s latest find Kidd Kidd, and his old nemesis Jadakiss. As expected, Kiss steals the show on this song. “Thirty something and you ain’t ever opened your mouth yet/Social media is giving cowards an outlet/See him in person and say something, I doubt that,” Jada raps.
While 50 Cent is a seasoned vet executive producing his first album solo has exposed some of his flaws. Animal Ambition misses the direction of Dr. Dre and Eminem. A few songs that should have been scrapped made their way onto the album. For a man who ten years ago produced hit after hit, his new album does not have a sure fire hit record. Songs like ‘Twisted’, ‘Winner’s Circle’ and ‘Smoke’ are really good and tailor made for the radio, but neither of them knock you off your feet.
Animal Ambition is a solid album. It’s not even on the same planet as 50’s previous releases though. It’s unfair to compare an artist’s old work to their new stuff, but the old stuff was pretty dope – the new stuff is hit and miss. Some songs are really good, some songs are really bad, but few songs on Animal Ambition are great.
Purchase: 50 Cent - Animal Ambition