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Review: 50 Cent’s “Animal Ambition”

Animal Ambition is 50 Cent’s first proper album in almost five years, and it has been even longer since he has sounded as focused as he does now.  On the Ky Miller-produced “Winners Circle,” he raps, “Consider this the theme song for victory / The s**t you say to yourself when you make history / I’m trying to make it feel like the first time / Like a junkie, I’m sort of chasing my first high.”  And it is precisely that juxtaposition of accomplishment and aspiration, as well as everything which comes with it, that makes Fif’s latest release a captivating listen.

Take, for instance, the records “Hold On” and “Twisted.”  On the latter, the song plays like a 2014 version of Biggie’s “Juicy” in that an individual’s success is also a metaphor for Hip-Hop as a whole.  “This is more than champagne, this is more than just a glass / This is a symbol of accomplishment we rarely ever had.”  But then, on the flip side of that, “Hold On” is all about how a byproduct of success as a hustler is that one becomes a target for all those around them: “These n****s, they watching every dime we make.”  While 50’s earlier albums found him contradicting himself (e.g. “P.I.M.P.” and “21 Questions”), Animal Ambition finds him discussing opposite sides of a subject.  It’s a fine line, and 50 Cent walks it well.

The rest of the album finds Curtis Jackson between the two aforementioned extremes of prosperity and paranoia.  Tracks like “Chase the Paper,” which feature Prodigy, Styles P, and Kidd Kidd, and “Hustler,” with its brass stabs in the beat courtesy of Jake One, are self-explanatory in terms of subject matter.  However, they do a good job of depicting the middle ground where so many people are on their grind – whatever grind that may be.  50 Cent has been criticized for being a multimillionaire who still talks about hustling in the streets, but how far out of touch can one really be with his or her own own story?  Lots of music on this album will reaffirm 50’s credibility to naysayers and introduce it to people who have only ever known him as a mogul.  Along those same lines of more aggressive content, Jadakiss delivers a solid verse on “Irregular Heartbeat” atop minimalist production from G Rocka and Medi and Schoolboy Q keeps up the tough talk on “Flip on You.”

For as much direction as Animal Ambition has, that’s not too say it doesn’t fall short in some respects.  The song “Don’t Worry Bout It,” a track with Yo Gotti, is nothing more than the two of them talking about material possessions.  In the context of the overall album theme, “an untamed desire to win,” it makes sense.  But the song itself has little to offer and feels like the commercial type of music that he was eager to get away from at Interscope.  “Pilot” too falls victim to a similar fate, and the lyrics in the chorus, “Me, I’m like a pilot, G5 Jet I’m fly as s**t / You cannot deny it,” say it all. Even though it is a bonus track on the deluxe edition of the album, “The Funeral” should have replaced either of those two songs on the official track list because it’s simply a better record.

The other thing that should be changed about the album is the sequencing. It could play like a chronological rags-to-riches story, but it instead jumps around a bit.  Fortunately, the project’s message isn’t lost, yet the shaky song order does leave room for some things to get missed as a result of how material is delivered.  Then, there’s Kidd Kidd.  He appears on three songs, but only makes a lasting impression on one of them.  With “Everytime I Come Around,” he spits, “ If I get caught I don’t boo-hoo, I pick up the phone call BooBoo / He gonna bail me out in seconds, please don’t let this rap s**t fool you / I send shooters to your home, see I don’t need no songs to move you.”  Therefore, he has promising skills; they just haven’t been realized enough yet for him to fit comfortably on this album.  It’s a mere 11 tracks, and so Kidd Kidd’s contributions carry a significant weight.

One of the songs which does break away from the project’s motif is “Smoke.”  Dr. Dre’s synth-driven instrumental for the Trey Songz-assisted record sounds a little dated, but the song still succeeds because of its smooth hook and 50 rapping lines like, “But when she get to working her hips, you know the temperature rise / Oh lord, soon as she see the d**k in her thighs / She like the stones in my cross, she flawless / I’m thinking, ‘Damn, why would God give one woman all this?’”  It certainly isn’t breaking any new ground, but it again shows improvement on 50’s part, this time lyrically, from other sexually-oriented songs in his past.

Even with the few missteps, Animal Ambition is still a good album.  In this writer’s opinion, it’s 50 Cent’s best one since Get Rich or Die Tryin’.  It’s vintage 50, and, just like how Guess Who’s Back? set up Get Rich so well, this set of songs has the potential to do the same for Street King Immortal.  50 Cent may have struggled for relevancy the past few years in terms of his music, but this new independent release is the sign of a strong second wind.  Hate it or love it, the underdog’s on his way back to the top.

Production: 7/10

Lyrics: 8/10

Flow: 7/10

Originality: 8/10

Replay Value: 7/10

Overall: 7.4/10

What do you think of 50’s new album?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section!

  • Ain’t No Future In Yo Frontin’

    Not feeling the album and not buying it, listening to 50 has become boring. He’s trying tho

  • gf

    Stop da hate ,then tell me who da person wit somewat real street cred, workin harder puttin out street music u or ya dad grew up on,nobody besides fif,so wat u talkin about

  • Greg Jones

    The Last Comment was Lame, This Album is Straight Fireeeeeee, These new artist
    are wack and have no rap skills get em 50

  • Eli Pinilla

    The album is pretty bland. I like the mid part of the album, but over all its an average album. With funeral(bonus track) being the best one…..question though; Why yall review 50 sh*t but nobody elses? I’m a fan. But there are albums that came out the past few months that need reviews from the top hiphop website on these internets. Freddie gibbs pinata being the main one….make it happen shad2487

    • On a scale of 1 to 10 what would u rate said record?

      • Eli Pinilla

        Animal ambition?? I agree with the 7.4. An 8 at most. The beats feel like their missing something. The hooks aren’t as catchy throughout. And all the guest verses aren’t all dope. Including 50’s. And again, the funeral shoulda been on the album. Not just a bonus. He’s trippin on that one.

        Piñata??? 8.5-9/10 with potential to climb higher over time. The lyrics are a solid 10 and so is the production. Stories are told, beat flips, battle raps, transitions in between records are flawless. I want to give it a 9.5 but it just came out so ypu gotta let it breath see if it holds up over time. It also ended weak as I don’t listen to the last song on the album at all. A posse cut with 2 dope verses outta Like 7 and a forgettable beat imo…..it sounds like only built for cuban links younger step brother.

      • Lmao u did a better review then these clowns did in less space. Imma go check Freddie out, see what all the fuss about cuz I been hearing the name

      • Eli Pinilla

        Check it out. You won’t be disappointed.

  • 8Galaxy5

    Its average,nothing more.
    I wont buy it.

  • Havoc Wreaka III

    weak

  • The Legendary Troll

    nobody checking for this shit. 50 honestly believes hes up there with Jay as far as relevance is concerned and hes not

    • trilltalk1

      the nigga just performed on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, are we still talking relevance?

    • B.U.

      Jay is on his own level but 50 is pretty damn relevant to the culture. Look at how many comments are every article with him in it.

    • NightBlazer

      n***a go back to worldstar with your coonery. Dumb ass troll.

    • 5% Hov

      WSHH reject

  • Killuminati

    50 cent is my hero !!!!!!!!!!!

  • Brooklyn Stoop

    damn sure aint coppin this throw away album lol
    50 is using this album and attention to prop up the next album.

    i will be tuned in saturday for Power tho

  • B.U.

    I’m coppin it. Got some nice summertime joints on there. Plus I support Indy artists from the hood.

    • RightOn

      Hahaha Indy? Nigga he might be Indy contract wise but he is paying for radio plays and promotions like a major artist. Shiiiyt, he is even paying this so called “journalists” to printy his name on every irrelevant article. Stay sucka free bro

      • B.U.

        You act like he’s cheatin or something. Just because he has enough of his own bread to do for himself what major labels do for their artists don’t mean he ain’t indy.

      • 5% Hov

        Tru

  • djdyg

    As someone who’s been listening to hip hop since like 96 i really like the album compared to other shit thats out now NEW YORK HIP HOP BABY

    • RightOn

      I hope you ain’t talking about that garbage AA album.

    • RightOn

      AA should stay anonymous like an alcoholic.

    • Greg Gorham

      Cam’ron is doing a much better job bringing back that New York sound with his new record!! That is FIRE, and better than anything on this record from 50.

      • 5% Hov

        Cam’ron HAS NEVER done a good job at anything.

        Dipset was for kids. Real niggas was State Prop and Ruff Ryders

      • Deanna93

        Cam’ron has never done a good job at anything? Were you living under a rock or something? Ruff Ryders?! LMAOOOO stop embarassing yourself online.

      • Greg Gorham

        Dipset got a lot of love in NY.

  • B.U.

    I’d be willing to bet 95% of the people posting how they ain’t coppin 50’s album because it’s “trash” don’t buy music period.

    • 5% Hov

      Tru.
      I think its it’s trash but I don’t buy music anyway.

      Last album I brought was Nas “hiphop is dead”

      • B.U.

        LOL I feel you. Kinda ironic.

      • Deanna93

        LMAO Exactly, I knew you ain’t buying shit, and you ain’t supporting shit. Yet on the other topic you were complaining about Ebro and agreeing with Chuck D, like “they aren’t supporting black businesses”, blablabla. Typical.

  • brotha_man

    the album is iight…..ill stick with get rich or die trying and the “curtis” albums…..im done wit fif

    • Infinite8

      Get Rich or Die Trying!! I can listen to all day
      “Curtis” STRAIGHT TRASH!!! Ayo technology!!! Cant believe he made that sh*t !!!! Straight boo boo music!

    • Anthony Kelley

      well you should probably check out streetking immortal before saying that since this clearly was launched as a launch pad for that album

  • tha OG

    It’s a good album

  • Gonja

    If you like real hip-hop (lyrics) then this shit will be dope to you. If you’re a Young Thug/2 Chainz/Migos type of hip-hop fan this shit isn’t for you.

  • skinny jean wwearing hipsters need not listen, its bed time for all yall!!! stick to googling kanye and kims wedding pics!! ahahahahaha

  • Montezuma1

    Not feeling this album. The biggest problem is the production and redundant subject matter. Fif just won’t grow up. As a successful entrepreneur he has to have more experiences than selling coke or carrying guns. The shit is tired. He wasn’t much a drug dealer no way so it stopped being about his experience back in 2001. My guess is he’s gonna sell about 40k the first week and cap at 160k and those are GREAT #’s for this content and level of talent or lack thereof.

    • King Cold

      man stfu u been hatin on 50 for years. damn. let the man live

      • Montezuma1

        Go get Fif some cheesecake from Juniors. Pronto!

      • King Cold

        nah dickface stay off his nuts

      • Montezuma1

        That space is occupied by you.

      • King Cold

        but yet youre the one trolling this man for years lmao sound like u filled that position

      • Montezuma1

        Nah, I read all the articles to stay informed. See what trends are popping with the little people like yourself.

      • King Cold

        see thats the problem with people like u. looking for trends? you sound like a ten year old. real fans of hip hop aint lookin for trends. were listening for lyrics art creativity. smh. take several seats for hip hop 101

      • Montezuma1

        I make more money off these trends than you make counting your favorite rapper’s money. The problem with people like you is you think you know someone after reading a comment on a website. You don’t know me fool. I doubt you even know 50 but I do. You don’t know who the fukc you’re talking to just talking. Unlike you I’m here for business based research and trends and marketing go hand in hand but how would part-time burger flipper and full-time cockrider know that?

      • King Cold

        sureeee go get a job you bum

      • Montezuma1

        You back again? You’re like the drunk who gets knocked on his ass before getting up and asking who’s next? Give it a rest chump.

      • King Cold

        wateva u say hoecakes. go get my money

      • King Cold

        yawwwnnnnn. NEXT

      • King Cold

        yawwwwwwnnnn….next

    • Anthony Kelley

      man I think you are just too slow to catch it because nothing about the subject matter is redundant

      • Montezuma1

        My name isn’t Slowbucks.

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  • wayneDAgoat

    assjuice..buttcheeks…gonoreaa…diareaa..shit…..my review of 50 cents music since get rich or die trying

    • Damn ass juice homie…..choked on strong smoke while reading that sht. ..

      • wayneDAgoat

        does that mean u laughed or what blood

      • U know how u laugh so hard a lung almost comes out along with tha smoke…..

    • Anthony Kelley

      look at your name waynedagoat, next comment please

  • Greg Gorham

    I wanna hear a more personal record from 50. Things we don’t know about his family and his life, his insecurities and doubts. I would buy that record – I’m not gonna buy this one to hear him talk about money over and over and over again.

    • 5% Hov

      Growth time for 50.
      He needs to make his “Kingdom Come”
      It’s time

    • Teddybear

      just wait for Street King Immortal… he already said it’s a very personal album

    • Anthony Kelley

      thats why he is dropping StreetKing Immortal cause that album is more personal he has always said that

  • Bryan Strive Bradley

    sounds cool
    google my name “WHOISSTRIVE”

  • Rory PBK Kasel

    Esham is Dope hoe!

    • Doo Doo sandwich

      You’re trying too hard.

      • Rory PBK Kasel

        Try this dick in your mouth bitch

      • Rory PBK Kasel

        Bitch

  • Rory PBK Kasel

    50 is back

  • Rory PBK Kasel

    Slimmie Hauffa new album is out

  • Rory PBK Kasel

    Power Move is Next

  • Rory PBK Kasel

    William Caesar is incredible

  • Rory PBK Kasel

    606 is Amazing

  • Rory PBK Kasel

    G-Unit is Back!

  • grabo2003

    Most definitely coping the album.

  • G-MO

    Good album. Far from classic but it’s a good album.

  • Andy

    Could SKI be the second best 50 album after GRODT?

  • 5% Hov

    7.4 is a little high.

    More like a 6. However no “weak” songs but there are no “bangers”

    The funeral should definitely be on the album

    • Deanna93

      “Funeral” is Track #12 on the digital download version.

      • 5% Hov

        Really wow… I wouldnt know….

  • AngelaStathamnag

    until I saw the paycheck which said $8694 , I didn’t
    believe that my sister was like trully erning money part time on there
    computar. . there friends cousin had bean doing this for only thirteen months
    and resantly repayed the dept on their home and bought themselves a Infiniti .
    check out the post right here F­i­s­c­a­l­p­o­s­t­.­C­O­M­

    • hoeyuno

      Lying ass bitch..you fucc donkeys on web cam you weird ass bitch! !

  • jdubba

    Gonna be wack like everything after GRoDT. Barely something I’d bootleg, let alone spend money on

  • King Artorius

    people who don’t respect the culture enough to buy any album shouldn’t be sharing their thoughts.. how you gona complain when you aint throwing away money! wtf?

    • 5% Hov

      nigga please

      explain how buying something thats free is supporting anyone??

      I support charity nigga not rich rappers.

  • I read everybody comments and sat here thinking….I listen to so much older gen rap that I don’t know who new album is dropping nowadays cuz I simply ain’t interested. I’d give 50 a listen only on the strength of needing my GRODT fix, but eybody saying it ain’t that so I ain’t buying. Lmao u gotta listen to a nigga whole album nowadays b4 u purchase, if u don’t u stuck wit 2 good tracks and filler bullsht….

    • ItGoesDownINtheDM

      trust its more than 2 good tracks on AA … if you want GRODT go listen to GRODT lol

  • xplatinum31

    The album isnt a classic..the album was the first installation to the 50 cent rampage..thats how i see it..he didnt jump to get help from jay kanye bey ri drake nicki french ross…he didnt use the hype men that ppl always using to hype their album..he made it a NY thing..n i respect the album and i hope it does well…and i truly believe it will ..so critics dont matter..its all how we receive it over time..n i like it

    • ItGoesDownINtheDM

      right gotta keep that in mind he didnt try to put a dream team on the album to make it sell … he went with more natural guess like kidd kidd prodigy and the lox … oh and trey songs …. which is prob the most notable guest apperance … didnt even think about that … all these major artist be having everyone short of michael jackson on they lp and barely do gold …. be praising a jayz feature like its a feature from god and still barely smell gold lol then want to act like they running the game lol you in the game but you always using cheat codes to score !!!! lol

  • bigdoe6

    I copped the album and i will say this, compared to all the same ol garbage that gets played on the radio every 10 minutes this album is pretty good. If i hat to rate it i will give it a 7.5/10 I didn’t expect a GTRODT i expected a nice album that doesn’t sound like the trendy shit that’s going on. You got to respect 50. The production is on point and not too many over hyped features on this album. So for a independent effort i say this is a dope album.

  • koot316

    You people saying nothing after grodt was good kill yourself the massacre was classic this album was a good come back album shit bangs he brought back that old fif. 8.0 OUT OF 10 replay value everything cant be turn up music damn

    • hoeyuno

      The massacre was dope Curtis wasn’t too bad either….power of the dollar was a ill record to that not too many people have.

    • bigdoe6

      Massacre was dope but i think Curtis had better beats. Both albums were good.

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  • NATION OF THE GODS

    I BOUGHT IT YESTERDAY. I SUPPORT GOOD MUSIC AND THE ALBUM IS FIRE. 50 CENT BROUGHT BACK THAT OLD G UNIT FEELING. FROM THE PERFORMANCE AND THE REUNION OF GUNIT HE IS BACK ON HIS BULLSHIT AND THATS WHAT HIP HOP NEEDS

  • IceBergSlim

    Come on fellas get out your feelings I told you the rap game is over for 50. His best was get rich or die trying he conquered getting rich that’s one goal now as far as a lyracist that nigga wit them skills to drop a album that is some fire he can’t deliver he is not consistent numbers don’t like check the score board. He should have put all that shit talkng in his music. I remember when he first came out they were comparing him with 2pac and I thought this bamma was going to resurrect the rap game and he disappointed. 2pac … Lol ..never.. PAC was consistent and always delivered baby..keeping it gangsta and definetly 100

    • dee

      Massacre wasn’t good?

      • IceBergSlim

        it was ok ..compared to Get rich or die trying and his numbers kept dropping. I just do not know why this cat can not just focus on putting good music out. This dude had the chance to control the rap game instead of putting out hits and albums he rather mouth off to everybody. Over 10 years later. I was a huge fan of 50. all I wanted was too hear this cat make music. To me it appears he takes more enjoyment in harrassing people and being annoying instead of impacting the world with his music. He has to expand his mind and talk about things to spark the mind can not make everything gangsta it’s been said and done over and over again. Step your game up on the real I think it’s too late. I would just focus on business and leave that rap game alone he had his time he can not deny that.

    • Realionaire

      PAC was a ballerina tho …rip tho

  • i like 12/14 songs. dope album to me! then he drops 2 more bangers with the unit smfh its a wrap out here!!!!

  • Crisis Mr. Swagger

    I agree with this review. Simple!
    Come see about me: @hiphopcrisis

  • WWW_XBLACKVIDS_COM

    I wasn’t going to beat it today but I accidentally went on my site again…

    xblackvids(.)com

  • The Dark Knight

    Meh, not good enough to buy.

  • Extra Domus

    it was dope i agree with the review – hiphopdx’s review was harsh tho

  • Mack

    Kidd Kidd the new Hittman.

  • BATMANfromDaHood

    agreed. i also think this body of work is the perfect set up for Street King Immortal to roll in! ”…hopefully that we up w/ kendrick is featured that is a great song. classic 50. that and also the track “the Psycho” produced by DrDre

  • Modesto Koczwara

    If you are real 50 Cent fan, the only song that sounds like vintage 50 is his song Irregular Heartbeat. The rest of the songs are too trendy!