The Massacre

Artist: 50 CentTitle: The MassacreRating: 4 StarsReviewed by: Martin A. Berrios

You know the deal. He came back from taking nine shots, built a buzz thicker than Kitoy, and proceeded to take over the rap game in one fell swoop. 50 Cent’s bandages to riches story added a certain amount of authenticity to the ill famed persona portrayed on Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, making the official debut a monster success. Now with over ten million records sold and no more fresh bullet wounds to brag about, the pressure is on for a repeat performance on his follow up The Massacre (G-Unit/Aftermath/Interscope). 50 once again sticks to the G-Unit script offering his signature flamboyant gun talk over first-class production.

The album opens up on a strong note with “In My Hood.” 50 explores the kill or be killed mentality often found in many impoverished neighborhoods. Newcomers C. Styles & Bang Out suit the grim talk well by hooking up the “Impeach The President” drums with a gloomy bass and light hints of saxophone. The G-Unit general updates “Many Men’s” morbid vibe on “I’m Supposed To Die Tonight.” Eminem’s somber production compliments 50’s tone setting chorus: “All through the hood I keep hearing niggas saying I’m supposed to die tonight/Niggas gon’ put a hit out and they talking like the shit ok, but I’m gonna ride tonight.”

50 shows some seldom seen metaphoric creativity on “A Baltimore Love Thing.” Personifying the popular street drug heroin, he breaks down the love hate relationship he shares with his female of interest. “Kurt Kobain we were good friends, Ozzy Osbourne too/ I be with rock stars, see you lucky I’m fucking with you” he boasts.

In regards to flow, he rocks his pimp hat to the side on “Get In My Car,” as he conveniently addresses all the hoes over a slick guitar driven Hi-Tek production. Additionally Dr. Dre takes it back to the New York hoods and Timberland era on “When The Gunz Come Out” with it’s gritty synthesized horns and hard RZA like drums.

As in any musical offering from 50, it is no surprise to find the initiation or end of some type of lyrical beef. On “Piggy Bank,” the Queens native dismisses Fat Joe and Jadakiss as small timers in the game. Furthermore, he tries to strip Nas’ of his manhood by calling him “a sucker for love” and threatens to make Shyne’s incarceration a lot more confrontational. With the abundance of greasy talk, 50 wisely switches up his steez on a handful of joints to avoid sacrificing his commercial appeal. On the album’s first official single “Candy Shop”, 50 connects with the first lady of G-Unit Olivia. The song might remind some heads of LL’s “Doin’ It”, if not his collabo with Lil’ Kim (“Magic Stick”), with its catchy hook and sexual undertone.

Twenty-one tracks might be a 50 Cent overload for some, but there are no noticeable duds, with each song being respectable in their own right. While The Massacre is not as explosive as its predecessor, it’s sure to riddle the charts with hits in its wake.