While most artists in the Hip-Hop industry talk about the harsh reality of the streets, few actually live the tales they boast about. 50 Cent is one of the few artists who know first hand about the drama of the streets. Having survived a tragic shooting, including a shot to the face, 50 Cent has come back stronger and hungrier than ever. The streets which he represents almost killed him, however, 50 hasn't let that keep him down. If anything, the shooting motivated 50 to come back and prove to all the critics that he's much more than a one hit wonder that many have labeled him as.
Going the same route as Cormega did with "Hustler/Rapper," 50 decided to put together a "mix tape" of sorts full of his finest material over the years. Don't let the Cormega comparison fool you, "Guess Who's Back" is much more than the horribly put together Mega album. Every track on the album is the full version, and there is no horrendous mixing of tracks as seen on the Mega album. Instead it showcases exactly why 50 cent is the next big thing. Besides the numerous freestyles, "Guess Who's Back" could have very well been an outstanding official release for 50.
With a great mix of old and new joints, "Guess Who's Back" does exactly what its intended to do, get you familiar with 50 if your not already. The biggest surprise comes from the variety in production and subject matter that 50 is able to portray on the album. As always, 50 is mostly going to rep for the streets as seen on tracks like "Rotten Apple," "U Not Like Me", and "50 Bars." However, 50 is able to switch it up on a different level for tracks like the bounce inspired "Get Out The Club", the dirty south collaboration between U.G.K. for "As The World Turns" and the soulful street melodies of "Ghetto Qua Ran." The hustler tales of "Ghetto Qua Ran" is proof that 50 knows how to make good songs and isn't another gimmick NYC mixtape emcee.
But of course what would be a 50 Cent album with out some fiery diss tracks. "Life's On The Line" is the old, but still blazin diss track towards everybody's "favorite singing thug" Ja Rule, while "Be A Gentleman" finds 50 going up against the supposed king of New York Jay-Z. More standout tracks include the Primo sounds of "Fuck You," the drug dealing tales of "Corner Bodega," and the Q.B. collaborations of "Too Hot" featuring Nas & Nature and "Who U Rep With" featuring Nas & Bravehearts.
After first hearing 50 Cent on "How To Rob" I wasn't sure he had what it took to be in this game. However, after listening to 50 over the years he has vastly improved his lyricism and flow along with his song making ability, making him one of the most coveted free agents in the game. This hype recently translated into 50 signing with Eminem's Shady Records proving that 50 Cent will indeed be the next big thing. The sky is the limit for 50 now. After surviving so much drama over his career, 50 is finally going to be able to get the shot he deserves. And with Dr. Dre & Eminem behind the boards for his up and coming release, we shouldn't expect anything but fire from 50 in the future.