Rating: 8 / 10
The fact that there were politics surrounding this release shouldn’t dissuade fans from giving this free album a play. Never mind the fact that 50 Cent just dropped The Lost Tape (which, with the exception of one song, had all new material on it), or that he released The Big 10 at the end of last year. 50 keeps it moving and strikes quickly with 5 (Murder By Numbers), a free album that has the idea of a Curtis Jackson retail album sounding better and better.
There are only 10 tracks here, but the production is top-notch, as 50 secured Focus, Hit-Boy, Havoc, DJ Pain 1, and more to make this sound good on the surface. 50 also keeps things interesting throughout Murder by flipping his delivery and presentation. Whether he’s going back and forth with Hayes on “Business Mind”, sharing the spotlight with Kidd Kidd on “Roll That Sh*t”, or enticing his girlfriend to turn another girl out on “Be My B*tch” (yes, you read that correctly), it’s all 50 Cent to the core. Even at the end as 50 addresses a few of his old habits and contradictions alongside a surprise TDE representative (“Can I Talk To You”), he suddenly turns into the trash-talking 50 that was missing from the other songs. No element of 50’s character is left untouched here, and it makes for an enjoyable ride.
Unfortunately, that serves up a familiar fault as well; a couple of the hooks are as repetitive as we’ve heard on past projects, and 50’s still over-singing at times (“Definition of Sexy” is a prime example of this). The content here also isn’t for everyone, as 50 taps into his explicit side when talking about his sexual endeavors – but he’s never been one to shy away from that as evidenced by previous songs and collaborations such as Missy Elliott’s “Work It Remix”, Lil’ Kim’s “Magic Stick”, and his own “Candy Shop.” Aside from the upped raunchiness on “Be My B*tch” (which is, ironically, executed almost perfectly and made far too catchy to let younger kids hear), 50 Cent has delivered another solid project that shows his consistency. As long as the passion matches the output, it should be fun to see what he does next.
Click here to download 5 (Murder By Numbers) for yourself.