G-Unit - The Beauty of Independence (Review)

G-Unit - The Beauty of Independance (Essence of Hip-Hop)

"The Beauty of Independence" is the latest EP from hip-hop group G-Unit (currently consisting of rappers 50 Cent, Young Buck, Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo and Kidd Kidd). The EP features no guest appearances but does feature production from Havoc, Lord Quest, Ryan "Ryu" Alexy and others. It was released on August 25, 2014 via G-Unit Records, Inc.

1) Watch Me - The first track on the EP finds the original G-Unit members (less Game, plus Kidd Kidd) doing their thing over a darker Havoc production. The beat is hype and the rhymes are better than I expected, especially from Young Buck (who sounds real hungry on here) and from Lloyd Banks (who has always been a beast). I'm feelin' this one. - 3.75/5

2) I Don't Fuck With You - The beat on this cut, courtesy of Lord Quest and Ky Miller, is also pretty good, with some horns looped up over hard drums. Lyrically the song is more of the usual from G-Unit, with each emcee kicking some violent and aggressive street bars while bragging about their money and such. I don't hear Banks on here though, which is shame. Not bad, but I'm not feelin' it quite as much as the first track. - 3/5

3) Digital Scale - 45 Music comes through with my favorite beat on the EP so far, with another ominous sample and some organs layered over head nodding drums. As far as the rhymes go, 50 sets it off first and kicks some drug raps while Buck, Yayo and Kidd Kidd follow up and do the same. This song is dope, but I think it would have been even better with a verse from Lloyd Banks. - 4/5

4) Dead A Pussy Nigga - You can tell exactly what this track is about just based off of the song title alone, with 50 and company kicking some more violent rhymes over an energetic Ryan "Ryu" Alexy and D.K.A.D production. The beat and rhymes are nice enough I guess, but this one isn't hitting me quite as hard as the others. - 2.75/5

5) Changes - After the somewhat generic previous track, Ryan "Ryu" Alexy delivers what is easily my favorite instrumental on the entire EP, with beautiful pianos and soaring strings over mellow drums that have my head nodding despite the laid back tempo. Lyrically the song is easily my favorite on here as well, with all five rappers kicking some personal rhymes about how people change and how these changes have affected their lives. 50's verse in particular is really dope as he touches on breaking up with Dre and Jimmy Iovine over their promotion of Dre's "Beats By Dre" headphones. This ones a banger and is the projects standout track for me. - 5/5

6) The Plug - The final song on the EP finds G-Unit ripping a head nodding Eric G instrumental. The beat and subject matter are appropriately dark and everyone sounds good on here, even Yayo who has a few humorous lines in his verse. Dope track. - 3.75/5

I'm going to rate the EP

3.75 / 5

because it's surprisingly good. G-Unit dropped this project pretty much out of nowhere the other day and I was somewhat skeptical at first as to how it was going to sound. It's been quite a while since the last G-Unit album and the group has had many issues internally, but they actually impressed me with this offering. The beats are about the same as they always have been, with the group preferring to spit over darker, more aggressive instrumentals that are hardcore and usually in your face. There aren't really any tracks on here that are blatant attempts for radio play - with "Changes" probably being the most accessible and also my favorite by far. Lyrically the EP is also very reminiscent of some of their older material, with Young Buck, Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo all coming correct with their verses while 50 holds it down a verse and usually the hook. The only real change is Kidd Kidd, who actually fits in nicely with the group and doesn't get overshadowed as much as I thought he would. All in all, the EP is dope and is a nice way to welcome back G-Unit after all these years.


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