Hey, so G-Unit got back together. Who cares? Fuck, it’s 2014 for crying out loud. It’s been 45 years since Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. How far we have come in those interceding years? Not too far, judging by the six tracks on this “surprise EP” from the group that managed to go platinum many years ago.
Disclaimer: I’ve never been a huge fan of this group, preferring the solo releases of some members to the joint efforts of the group proper. I get it, I get it, 50 Cent is a big deal and he got shot a bunch of times or whatever. That’s great. Unfortunately, the group hasn’t done anything I’ve liked since God’s Plan, and even that was a lukewarm showing. More than a decade has passed since then and now 50’s making headlines for his inability to throw a ball (shoutout to Mo’Ne Davis for being better than him) and his misguided recent albums while the rest of the group struggles to even make a living.
Sure, (the) Game is still hot shit, but he’s not even a part of G-Unit any more and hasn’t been for years. Instead, the roster now includes former Young Money rapper Kidd Kidd, a bold move on the part of the group to further distance themselves from talent and fame (for Christ’s sake, Kidd Kidd isn’t even a big enough deal to warrant a photo on his Wikipedia page). Meanwhile, Lloyd Banks hasn’t had a hit since his one-time success with “Beamer, Benz or Bentley” (although I did like a song or two off his The Cold Corner 2 mixtape) and Young Buck went bankrupt and now has an estimated net worth of negative three hundred thousand dollars.
That’s not to say my boy Tony Yayo hasn’t made some mistakes, but he at least has a nice cadence and a charming personality. Sadly, that’s not enough to redeem the wretched new G-Unit EP The Beauty of Independence, six sloppy servings from a group that a lot of people were happy to hear got back together but will not be happy to hear on record. The title sounds like a young adult novel about a black teenager running away from her abusive foster parents and discovering her own strength, not like the first official release in years from one of the world’s all-time biggest rap groups. Even the cover is stupid; there’s G-Unit fan art that looks better.
Anyway, about the music: it sucks. The production is weak, the verses are soft and the choruses are bland; there’s not an original idea to be found here. “Digital Scale” features some modest effort on Yayo’s part but that’s not enough to balance out the nursing home flows on “I Don’t Fuck With You” or the high-pitch tone that repeats over and over on “The Plug” (I’m reminded of the ringtones of frequencies supposedly inaudible to adults that were popular five years ago ). I am grateful at least that this EP is so short, because a full-length album from this lineup would inoculate me against the possibility of contracting enjoyment.
I want you to picture yourself holding a large sausage in both hands and squeezing it until the contents rupture the casing and burst out onto the floor. That’s not a metaphor for listening to this EP, it’s just an unsavory image.
I’m not your mom, I won’t ground you for listening to this release and I won’t withhold dessert if you enjoy it. I’m sure people will buy a hundred thousand digital copies of it before year’s end. There are a lot of diehard G-Unit fans out there that will eat this up. All I ask is that you don’t bump this on your sick sound system while I’m present.