You know his name, 50 Cent,. & if you've been listening, you know his crew G Unit. The UK edition of their 2003 album includes one bonus track 'Collapse' (G-Unit Freestyle). Universal.
Between 50 Cent's fearless bravado, Lloyd Banks's lispy lyrical proclamations, and the Southern drawl of Young Buck, the G-Unit's buzz factor alone have placed them atop the rap game. Their debut, Beg for Mercy, demonstrates how they plan on staying there. Their secret? No throwaway beats, keep the thugs happy. The sheer range and diversity of head-nodding beats--supplied by everyone from Hi-Tek and Dr. Dre to 7th EMP (who shrewdly samples Bach)--makes you forget their rather linear range of subject matter. Yep, the G-Unit is obsessed with violence and guns, but death threats never sounded so good. On "My Buddy," for instance, they cleverly describe in no uncertain terms how they feed this buddy--with bullets--and why they take him on family outings. Gunshot sound effects included. For some balance, the crew tries to disprove any theories that they're all about shootouts: Banks serenades a hottie on "Smile" while R&B crooner Joe drops by on the souled-out "Wanna Get to Know You" to prove that thugs need love too. It all makes for one of 2003's best releases. --Dalton Higgins
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