50 Cent - The Massacre  
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From the introduction to "The Massacre" we're led into a realm which we begin to really appreciate. "In My Hood" through "I'm Supposed To Die Tonight" contain a sinister enough feel which leads us to believe that maybe 50 is approaching his sophomore album with a smoother, more conniving angle before killing that buzz by giving us one of the most over hyped tracks in history; "Piggy Bank." Now, although entertaining and arguably effective, the excitement surrounding the supposedly heated diss track calms itself to a mere smirking level with soft jabs applied towards Fat Joe, Jadakiss, Shyne and Nas (receiving the most biting of the hits).

"Gatman & Robbin" essentially marks the beginning of the extreme differences in song quality. Eminem and 50 prove that a poor beat and loose, overdone "Mess with him, you mess with me!" theme along with poor verses don't do much for a track. G-Unit are also present, but in a minimal form. Olivia adds the hook to "So Amazing" and Tony Yayo provides little to his contributions unless he's distorted - "My Toy Soldiers" features Yayo's verse introduced through a robotic effect, which works, but then he continues to rap, which is a mistake. He again proves how being someone's friend can be profitable by ruining the "Hate It Or Love It" (Remix). The hook should have been left up to Game and 50 instead of getting G-Unit thoroughly involved.

"The Massacre" is at its best when 50 either acts as an intelligent thug, or simply a blunt one. "Get In My Car" has the cocky rapper relaxing over a slightly bouncy beat throwing pseudo-witty remarks. "Ski-Mask Way" is another gem, produced by Disco D. The track depicts the by-any-means mentality. "Position of Power" follows suit.

The album features two huge singles; "Candy Shop" and "Disco Inferno." Both of which received mixed receptions, I for one though enjoy both. They are commercially geared, however, in comparison to some of the atrocity's featured on "The Massacre," they pale in frivolity. "Build You Up" features recently Oscar winner Jamie Foxx coupling with 50 Cent for a truly feeble "love" song. Considering 50's comments on relationships throughout the album, this hypocrisy (in poor musical form) sticks out a little too much. "So Amazing" continues in the same vein with Olivia providing substance to a track without any. "God Gave Me Style" is another prime example of how to contradict one's self.

Exceptional moments come with "Ryder Music" and "A Baltimore Love Thing." "Ryder Music" is a laid-back gem, with 50 flowing smoothly in a cocky manner above a lovely Hi-Tek beat, and "Baltimore Love Thing" is the only real point where 50 experiments with a new concept; he takes the perspective of a drug being fiended for.

"The Massacre" is a disappointment, but a good album. Outside of this recording though, let's pray 50 survives his mouth.

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