Review Summary: Grand-daddy 50 invites you to join the winners' circle.
One of the great pleasures in life is completely changing your opinion on something. It took me about thirteen years to get into Eminem, and another to get into 50 Cent.
Throughout much of their careers, Em and 50 Cent have been brothers in arms. Just a little over a decade ago, it looked like the dream team could do no wrong. Eminem had solidified himself as the biggest rapper in history with his third straight classic, the Eminem Show. 50 Cent had also come out with his magnum opus, a.k.a Get Rich or Die Trying, featuring a bunch of ill verses by Eminem, as well as stellar beats by Dr. Dre. Things quickly changed, however, as Marshall's drug addiction inspired him to come out with what is arguably the worst album of his career to date, with 50 quickly following in his footsteps, releasing an atrocious joke of an album just a year later. In 2005, it was easy to laugh at both.
It was downhill from there for the both of them, and while Eminem would finally rebound with 2010's Recovery, 50 Cent had a much tougher time remaining relevant. He made more money out of his genius Vitamin Water deal than he ever did rapping, and money - and hoes, of course - appeared to be the only things he found any pleasure in rapping about (See 'I Get Money, 'Straight to the Bank'). 50 Cent has always been making fun of his peers for not being as filthy rich and famous as he is. For these reasons, it was extremely weird to see 50 Cent finally leaving Shady Records to release 'Animal Ambition' independently.
50 Cent clearly hasn't grown up one bit, and while he continues to spit rhymes about money, hoes, bitch niggas and the hood, 'Animal Ambition' feels sufficiently different from all his previous albums. He's getting old, and he still won't rap about anything other than his, well, unrivaled animal ambition. 'Pilot' and 'Don't Worry 'Bout It' are funky, laid-back tracks that takes you back to the past, while 'Winner's Circle' feels like a glorious homage to his ridiculously successful life. It may also be his best song in about 9 years. He hasn't had anything to prove to anyone in over a decade, and he knows that. 'Animal Ambition' may in fact be his least calculated album yet. It's not going to top any charts, and considering he's sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars as it is, it clearly wasn't the intention, either. 'Irregular Heartbeat' features a very delicate beat on top of 50's ominous vocals, and it's a song I feel he would have never made in the past.
He's making music because he wants to, and he doesn't know how to do it any other way. With 50, what you see is what you'll get, showcased by the following quote of the first song on the album. 'Animal Ambition' won't make anyone change their opinion of his music, but it's definitely a treat for fans.
I woke up this morning, this is insane
Rich as a mother***er, and ain't much changed
Open my eyes, no suprise, I'm with a different bitch
Different day, different ass, different tits