Ranking G-Unit’s Albums From Worst To Best: ‘Beg For Mercy’ Edition

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5. G-Unit- Beg For Mercy

Beg For Mercy, as its title suggests, was G-Unit's twisting the bayonet. 50 had just overwhelmed the rap game as a solo artist, and he had opened the door for his right- and left-hand men. Given the degree of 50's success (Get Rich Or Die Tryin' had been released nine months prior), the trio could have phoned this one in and had no problem with sales. What resulted was a very well-executed group aesthetic with a gang of classic songs, maybe even a classic album. 50 was rapping with the relaxed composure of someone who knew he had the game in his palm, while Banks and Buck came with the hunger.

The formula for a Beg For Mercy song was to take one of many perfect beats (the whole album was sonically reminiscent of The Chronic: 2001 to me, with a crispness that Dre had perfected just a couple years prior, despite

As a group album, it checked all the boxes. It had hit street records ("Poppin' Them Thangs"), a song for the ladies ("Wanna Get To Know You"), and many opportunities to accentuate the styles of each individual member ("Footprints," for example, is one of Young Buck's best, supported by an insane 50 hook). There was no filler. It can still be brought out today and listened to front to back. 50 was able to bring out the best in his cohorts, it seemed. Young Buck's "Stunt 101" verse was probably the most memorable ("The ice in my teeth keep the Cristal cold!"), probably because of the way that 50's and Banks' verses had set him up. Banks was the quieter, gruff, clever one, 50 was the laughing, shit-talking mastermind, and Buck was the rowdy, soulful one—and it came together beautifully.

Ten years later, I listen to Beg For Mercy more than any other G-Unit album (it doesn't have tracks that became undeniably corny like, say, "Candy Shop"), and I'll still put on "Wanna Get To Know You" any time I'm given the aux cable at a party. —Alex Russell

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