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Old 06-03-2014, 10:53 AM   #1
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Default 50 cent - Animal ambition

HiphopDX review. Unfortunately, it's very negative. DX awards the album 2 X's out of 5.
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50 Cent's "Animal Ambition" is marred by its own limitations and obsessive portrayal of self-worth amid a recitation of "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" buzzwords.

50 Cent wants you to know he’s still rich and successful, perhaps more than any other rapper with pedigree—even Jay Z, and that’s saying something. His Animal Ambition raps are solely self-serving as a dissertation on the depths of his prosperity. That isn’t to say tales of opulence can’t also be gratifying for a listener (sometimes as a semi-vicarious sensory experience), but Curtis Jackson is clearly suffering from one of the harsher cases of “affluenza” in Rap, one that warrants about as much interest as Nasdaq ticker tape in a Third World country; despite the title, his fifth studio album is far from ambitious. This release was essentially pitched as a concept album on how wealth alters perception and inspires envy, and though it's possible to follow this loose narrative, the execution of this idea is thoroughly botched. In truth, this wouldn’t be so difficult to stomach if he wasn’t still rapping (both lyrically and contextually) like it’s 2004. Animal Ambition is a drastically underperformed gut punch marred by its own limitations and its obsessive portrayal of self-worth amid a recitation of Get Rich or Die Tryin’ buzzwords.

From the very start, 50 prefaces the album with a concise summation of his grand thesis: “Rich as a mutherfucka, and ain’t much changed.” Unfortunately, that stagnation of character and the shallowness with which that character is examined is what makes Animal Ambition a flat out bore. Mere moments later he admits, “Strap under my pillow, I done went legit / I’m not supposed to do this shit, but I forget,” in a hazy confession of identity confusion, yet he goes on to jaw like a street rapper in a business suit rapping about MAC-10s to analysts in a Fortune 500 company conference room for the duration. He wants so badly to simultaneously endorse being a savvy entrepreneur and business tycoon with a street image, but one does not lend itself to the other realistically. These divergent ideals seem to accurately reflect the difficulty in bridging the gap between who you are and who you once were: one would imagine even 50 himself must recognize the dilemma this creates. Still, he raps with impunity, as if this duality of character isn’t completely ridiculous, and it leads to a disjointed, illogical experience.

Animal Ambition’s promotional rollout seemed to foreshadow the helter-skelter craftsmanship of this somewhat shoddily assembled record. In February, 50 Cent parted ways with longtime labels Shady Records, Aftermath Entertainment, and Interscope in an inevitable play that marked the end of a tumultuous five-year album drought littered with internal skirmishes and public uneasiness, and he announced his release date the same day. March would see the launch of a series of weekly releases extending through May where every single record on the album was revealed with the sole exception of the title track. (This isn’t exactly a new marketing strategy per se, but it has never been used in this fashion before. The G.O.O.D. Fridays rollout was similar but it didn't parade out every single song on the album prior to the official release.) In spurts, it’s more difficult to qualify how truly self-absorbed and uninspired Animal Ambition is, but when collected for the release it’s impossible to overlook how trite the writing is, how goofily its dual narrative unfolds, and how little is actually left to be said. This isn’t the album we were promised: one that examines prosperity from the lens of a conscious outsider struck with jealousy, and how to cope with that enmity. No, this Animal Ambition is much more superficial than that; 50 Cent just wants you to know he’s still rich and successful...under whatever pretenses necessary.

When listening to this record, there isn’t much to enjoy or appreciate. It’s a struggle to sit through, partly because it reads like the ramblings of an ex-genius turned affectless braggart, but mostly because it’s monotonous and unimaginative. Even Animal Ambition’s brightest spots are all simply replicas of 50’s duller past work. The heavily-assisted “Chase the Paper” features guest appearances from Prodigy, Styles P, and G-Unit signee Kidd Kidd, and it’s moderately soulful, but it is forgettable upon a third listen. The Jadakiss duet, “Irregular Heartbeat,” is both nostalgic and ironic given the emcees’ rocky history, and it’s fun to imagine that the two rappers are subliminally dissing one another. 50 whispers in a murmur as if not to startle you or to creep up on you, and it’s only half effective. ‘Kiss raps circles around 50 though with unrelenting assonance: “Trying to back peddle and stumble on the curve / You starin’ at the ground, you mumblin’ your words / Literally I can see your heart pumpin’ through your shirt / Pussy your whole life, you always been a bird / Scared for so long it’s all up in your nerves / Screw 9-1-1, you probably call up the reserves / And I’m killin’ you first, if we ever do a purge / And you know what it is, kid, whenever we emerge,” it’s the best rapping on the entire project. The title track, produced by Swiff D (of ScHoolboy Q’s “Studio” fame), is the most fascinating moment of the LP, riddled with tribal drum progressions and 50’s best sing-songy raps, but it is a gem amongst duds. 50 Cent’s Animal Ambition is a painstakingly wearisome listen.

None of this is to say 50 Cent isn’t capable of still generating compelling raps, it’s just that there isn’t anything new left to rap about in his universe. It feels like he’s rapping now with the sole purpose of telling us just how prosperous he’s become, and without any true sense of direction, that grows stale. At the same time, he wants very badly to be the 50 Cent of old—he wants us to love him like we loved ‘Pac, remember? For that, he needs a bit more substance. Right now, he offers nothing more than vapidity. “I wanna see what life is like from the mountain top,” he raps in “Winners Circle.” Okay, we get it. What else?
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BONUS COVERAGE : new official G-Unit remix, "Nah I'm Talking 'Bout" : http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/single...ou+Talkin+Bout

Fabolous ft. Fiddy - Cuffin' Season REMIX http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/single...-season-remix-
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:35 PM   #2
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DJBooth review.
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For this review, I’m doing things a bit differently. We’re going to take a tour through the animal kingdom, paralleling 50 Cent’s animal instinct as heard on his new album, Animal Instinct: An Untamed Desire to Win, with the different qualities of creatures that hunt and kill, but mostly just survive.

Lion

Lions are predators at the apex of the food pyramid. They’re rarely prey themselves (unless hunted by humans for their meat and manes), instead looking down at the rest of the Animal Kingdom with smirks of disdain and hunger. In 2004, at the peak of his recording career, 50 Cent was the lion of the rap game. He’s eaten his fair share since then (upwards of half a billion dollars worth), and has torn apart the careers of a few fellow MCs (Ja Rule and Young Buck). 50 no longer poses the same threat, but he’s still a lion, hungry and willing to take down anyone on his savannah. The album’s opening track, "Hold On", is a threat to the “roaches” and a return to form for 50. His nonchalant flow on the verses and hypnotic hook, matched with Charli Brown Beatz’s smooth, soulful backdrop kicks off the album nicely. 50 has always been a world-class shit talker, and his skills are on full display throughout the song.

Like an injured lion that still yearns for blood but lacks the physical ability to tackle the competition, 50 Cent is still ambitious and effective at times on Animal Ambition, but isn’t the force he used to be. "Don’t Worry ‘Bout It" and the title track are two examples of his inability to carry the load on his own anymore. A 50 Cent song in 2014 either needs a dope hook or a dope beat or feature to truly succeed, and these two tracks have neither. The former’s instrumental (Charli Brown Beatz’s second placement on the album) is full of annoying synths, the Yo Gotti feature adds nothing, and the hook and verses are hollow. The latter includes a beat that sounds like a bad spy caper flick and mumbled rhymes that are inaudible at times. 50’s flow has always benefitted from a distinct drawl due to a bullet he once took to the jaw, and his knack for slowly wrapping around a beat like a boa constrictor on a rodent. But when he tries to speed up the flow, like he does on the title track, he stumbles.

Every lion needs a lioness, and on "Smoke", 50 and Trey Songz hunt for theirs in the club. If this is his best shot at attracting a mate, 50 might be leading his pack solo. The instrumental is credited to Dewaun Parker, Dr. Dre and Mark Batson, which on paper is fail proof, but the trio certainly don’t succeed with this one. The song feels like a collage: Dewaun and Batson probably cued up a beat for Dre in a matter of seconds, Dre tweaked it a bit, shot the file over to 50, and 50 called in a hook from Trey. The song is flat on all accounts; 50’s "21 Questions" days of wooing are clearly over. He’ll be 39-years-old soon, isn’t it time for a mature female-dedicated track that doesn’t compare a woman to the high of inhaling smoke?

Hawk

Curtis James Jackson III is an extremely intelligent man. No, he didn’t score a perfect 1600 on his SATs or cure cancer. He has the business acumen of a Mark Cuban, and a hawkish instinct for what will turn a profit. Hawks are predators that roam the sky, which is an apt description for 50, though his flights take place inside of a G4 Jet with buckets of champagne and cases of stolen chains. On Pilot, he makes sure you understand just how high he flies, and how he’s the top bird of prey around. It’s a tired concept, and the track’s only redeeming feature is the simple yet effective loop that producer Shamtrax provides on the instrumental.

Wolf

Wolves hunt in packs, and for two of the best songs on the album, 50 brings along his cohorts. "Everytime I Come Around" is proof that his Mafioso, threatening brand of hip-hop can still succeed. The Steve Alien supplied beat is subdued and haunting. It’s the soundtrack to a wolf hunt. 50’s sing-songy hook reworks a popular nursery rhyme into a boastful hymn flaunting his wealth and warning of his approach. It’ll stay in your head until 50 and Ja Rule get tea together. Former Young Money affiliate Kidd Kidd stops by for a verse, and while he definitely can patch a rhyme together, he lacks the charisma and flow of the wolf at the front. Irregular Heartbeat sounds like the sped up vital signs of a soon to be feast for 50 and his homies. As producers G Rocka and Medi use the recording mic as a stethoscope on the chest of the enemy, 50, Jadakiss and Kidd Kidd narrate the episode. Jada chimes in with his patented piercing tone, and 50 nearly whispers his verse.

What do all of these animals have in common? They claw, scratch and tear their way through the competition. They’re wired to survive, by any means necessary. The animal spin on Get Rich or Die Tryin’. 50 Cent attacks with that mindset on his 5th album, and it’s a solid entry in a very up and down career (in music at least). 50 doesn’t need a re-invention, just a sign of growth. Animal Ambition is more of what we expect from one of the forebearers of New York rap in the 2K’s, just not quite as novel as it once was.
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Old 06-04-2014, 03:30 PM   #3
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thats a lot to read
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lol check 2, always bringing the funny jokes. that one made me really chuckle.
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Old 06-07-2014, 02:56 PM   #4
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listened to this shit a couple times now, it's dope, it's 50. love him or hate him, you know what you get with a 50 lp
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Old 06-07-2014, 04:55 PM   #5
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The album is okay, it still has to grow on me. The beats are serviceable to good and the guest features are solid. D-Block came through. KiddKidd on the other hand will never be rapper of the year material, obviously.

The Dre produced single was one of the worst tracks on the album. Sounded very formulaic.

50's subject matter has been stale for years now, nothing new on this LP.

Tbh I think a new G Unit LP might make for a more interesting album.
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Old 06-07-2014, 05:42 PM   #6
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word up, im sooo happe gunit back together
i havent heard animal ambition, im sure its dope ny shit
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:07 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by 5th state View Post
50's subject matter has been stale for years now, nothing new on this LP.

Same thing can be said with pretty much every single rapper in the game 10 years +


KRS One

Vinnie Paz

Mobb Deep

Wutang

Eminem

Onyx

D Block


etc etc etc etc

You're not going to see any of them switch up their whole formula and pull off some Canibal Ox first LP type shit

Some serious tracks on that new 50 lp.

That shit with jadakiss is nice
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:19 PM   #8
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yeah, like most of 50's shit he shines when its grimey soul sampled street shit.

but all the "club bangas" are forgettable.
not that 50's bad at that, but he's a MUCH better street storyteller.

and he gives shine to some mediocre ass mcs that shouldnt be on the album.

but if you're a fitty fan you gotta give it a spin.
there are def some dope joints on here.
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:37 PM   #9
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Same thing can be said with pretty much every single rapper in the game 10 years +
Point taken!
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:43 PM   #10
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the first review is only being like that because it's 50 cent. would they ever in 100 years write a review down rating an album for being materialistic and statle in subject if it was rick ross or, idk, 99% of rappers since 2000?
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:48 AM   #11
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Jake One talks about 'The Funeral', which he produced for Fiddy.

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Old 06-10-2014, 05:30 PM   #12
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Rapreviews album review.
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Five years is a very long time in hip hop, and for somebody that can legitimately claim to be a household name, 50 Cent finds himself dangerously close to being irrelevant. 2007 saw the release of "Curtis" surrounded by a big buzz revolving around a sales rivalry with Kanye West (who released "Graduation" at the same time). He claimed that he would retire if Kanye outsold him, which he didn't. For an emcee that built his career around a wild, dangerous past where he was shot nine times, and mocking "fake thugs" that were known for singing throughout their tracks (some guy called Ja Rule), 50 quickly found himself doing the same thing.

Numerous beefs ensued with guys like Fat Joe, Jadakiss, The Game and Rick Ross; there was a film, two video games and despite these largely successful ventures, 50 Cent's hip hop career started heading on a downward trajectory. His last album, 2009's "Before I Self Destruct" was actually a strong outing that featured the obligatory cockiness of "So Disrespectful" and "Death To My Enemies" alongside sappier songs like "Baby By Me".

"Animal Ambition" lacks the raw, tribal vision of its title. One moment that was good to hear was "Irregular Heartbeat" which featured LOX member Jadakiss spitting a verse that sounds like it could be aimed at 50 himself, which given their history wouldn't be surprising:

"30-something, and you ain't ever opened your mouth yet
Social media's given cowards an outlet
See him in person, say something I doubt that
Rather get caught with it than get caught without that
Trying to backpeddle, you stumble on the kerb
You're staring at the ground, you're mumbling your words..."

Mumbling words is a part of the 50 Cent package when you sign up. He's never been the most eloquent, clearest rapper to listen to, and "Animal Ambition" is a hit and miss affair in this regard. The manner that he raps on "Hold On" and the aforementioned "Irregular Heartbeat" is lackluster, both also lacking the refined production that we've become accustomed to by A-list names such as Dr Dre. In fact, Dre does take a break from swimming in money to assist Dawaun Parker and Mark Batson on "Smoke", a perfect example of 50 doing what he does best - catchy club bangers with that street edge. In this department, not many can rival 50, and he proves he is still one of the best at crafting infectious hooks on "Don't Worry Bout It" - which will find its way in to your subconscious much the same way "I'll Whip Ya Head, Boy" did.
What is more noticeable than ever is that 50 Cent doesn't have anything interesting to talk about. There's no daring attacks on his contemporaries or memorable lines like "I love you like a fat kid loves cake". Much of "Animal Ambition" is spent talking about chasing paper, and how it is better than chasing women. That may well be, but wasn't this the guy seducing ladies with his "Magic Stick" at the "Candy Shop", so they could have a "Baby By Me"? Hypocrisy runs throughout hip hop, so it's not a character destroying theme but be wary of the constant focus on finances. It's admirable that each song on "Animal Ambition" has a video on YouTube, a feat that reminds us of 50 Cent's hustle.

"Animal Ambition" is a glorified mixtape at the end of the day - one that maintains the street authenticity of 50's albums but finds itself leaning too heavily on the "Get Rich" side of things, when it was the "Die Tryin'" angle that draws us to him. There's enough material on "Animal Ambition" to remind us all what 50 can bring to hip hop, but it's padded out with tracks usually reserved for the cutting-room floor. Despite being billed as his fifth album, it's nowhere near the level of his strong, yet largely overrated debut "Get Rich or Die Tryin'". "Street King Immortal" is the album we're all waiting for, so while it's nice to hear some new material from Fiddy, it's a shame that it doesn't match the polished, blockbuster sounds of "Curtis" or "Before I Self Destruct". One for the devout Fiddy fan only.

Music Vibes: 6 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 5.5 of 10

author : Grant Jones
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:58 AM   #13
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I listened to snippets of the songs from the album at Amazon.com and i only liked about 3-4 songs. So i won't be buying it. 50 Cent is still a good rapper. 50 Cent shouldn't be doing mainstream radio songs. He should do strictly a hardcore street album. What record label is this album on? I know he's independent. I saw a couple of new videos G Unit did on Youtube last week and they sound alright. I don't know why 50 Cent won't speak to The Game and try to resolve their differences. What ya'll think of 50's Rowdy Rowdy song on In Too Deep soundtrack? I didn't know he had a video for that. I saw it on Youtube a few weeks ago even though i saw it before on Youtube but i never watched it when it first came out on BET's Rap City. I like Rowdy Rowdy and i like when he shouted out my hometown Cleveland, Ohio when he said them Cleveland niggas are rowdy rowdy. I also wanna know what ya'll think of his How To Rob song on In Too Deep soundtrack. Only rappers i know who took that song personally was Ghostface Killah and Raekwon. I can't believe they got upset about that because they acted like he was really gonna rob them LOL. It's funny that some of these so called hardcore rappers be catching feelings about some songs that shouldn't even be taken personally. 50 Cent wasn't gonna rob any of those entertainers on the song for real LOL.
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