Monthly Archives: March 2016
11. G-Unit,T*O*S (Terminate On Sight)
Five years after Beg For Mercy, the stars had aligned once more for a G-Unit album. They weren't the untouchable force they were when they debuted, but this go-around was an attempt to punch back at the competition. What resulted was a hard G-Unit album. It may not have been in tune with the time, and hadn't necessarily progressed artistically from its predecessor, but it harkened back to what G-Unit fans liked and wanted: their signature no-bullshit toughness. The rappers, individually, had not wavered in terms of skill. Plus, this time we got to hear some Yayo verses.
The G-Unit flag that waved so mightily in the 2000s was at half-staff by the end of the decade. 50 Cent's musical success and relevance was on a downslope, Young Buck and Game were ceremoniously removed from the picture, and Tony Yayo was, well, Tony Yayo. Which meant Lloyd Banks, G-Unit's silent assassin, was left in a discomforting position. The self-proclaimed Punchline King was reeling from a sophomore slump, as well as being dropped from Interscope. So his decision to title his third release as a sequel to his debut album felt more like a desperation move than a novelty nod to its predecessor.
If The Hunger for More was Banks' crowning solo achievement and Rotten Apple the result of lack of execution, H.F.M.2. was somewhere in between.
Given his famous incarceration, the expectations of Tony Yayo's debut were relatively slim. Not that we weren't checking for Yayo, but we weren't quite pulling for him, "Free Yayo" proto-hashtags aside. So you can't say Predicate Felon flopped, really. It's just that the slick/shit balance that blessed 50 never quite leveled with Yayo's persona—"So Seductive" (a certified banger, to be sure) and "Curious" drove