As we entered 2003, G-Unit’s 50 Cent became the world’s biggest rapper. His audience, spiralling off of Dr. Dre and Eminem grew to extremes as his records began flying off shelves. Initially, G-Unit only publicly consisted of Tony Yayo, Lloyd Banks and 50. That was of course until Yayo got locked up. After serving his time, Tony got out and went back in on the same day.
Now, having “finally” gotten out. Yayo, the self dubbed “Talk of New York” releases his debut “Thoughts of a Predicate Felon,” and it’s nothing short of what we expected.
Nobody that has actually listened to rap or Hip Hop for any period regards Yayo as anything but the worst member of his G-Unit entourage, his dull, try-hard voice, un-witty punch lines and generic flow do little for a fan that looks for lyrics. However, he does have his moments with some of his beats. Domingo’s “Homicide” and Focus’ “Live By The Gun” are excellently produced songs. Yayo even works over them as they create a feel which envelops his voice, the only advice I could give you about how to approach this track is to not really pay attention to the lyrics.
Certain hooks on the album are also produced quite well. 50’s sung hook on “I Know You Don’t Love Me,” calling fans flakey is well executed and Eminem’s “Drama Setter” hook, although contrasting Marshall’s personality is worth hearing. Guest appearances by Joe on “Curious” and Obie Trice, (also on “Drama Setter”) heighten the quality of the album, but Yayo himself lowers it.
One of his worst moments is with “Tattle Teller,” he ruins the hook and even more so the song and as for “Project Princess,” it’s a track by Tony Yayo – need I say more?
There was a lot of pressure riding on Tony Yayo’s shoulders to produce a stellar album that would make his critical audiences actually consider him as a worthwhile rapper. Through “Thoughts of a Predicate Felon” Yayo simply proves he has friends in high places.