50 Cent’s ‘Animal Ambition’ comes up short

50 Cent's 'Animal Ambition' comes up short
American music producer and actor 50 Cent, pictured on April 7, attended Saturday's Pacquiao-Bradley rematch at MGM Grand.

50 Cent’s fifth album, Animal Ambition (and first outside of the Dr. Dre/Eminem phalanx), is nothing if not focused on delivering a potent dose of street hop (** stars out of four).

And at times, that’s enough to make it work: Hold On sounds like a rough mixtape cut (that’s a compliment), with 50 enjoying the role of rap’s schoolyard bully. On Irregular Heartbeat (featuring Jadakiss), he calmly and confidently sneers at the also-rans.

Still, something gets lost along the way. Perhaps feeling the weight of comeback expectations, 50 is dour throughout, missing the crass charisma and expansive sound of his best work. He’s still solid but no longer vital.

Download:Hold On, Hustler, Pilot.

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