Earlier this year, 50 Cent slid from the world's biggest major to an indie deal – a move that, just a few years ago, would have been as unthinkable as Alex Rodriguez stepping to the plate for a farm team. And where the old 50 – the guy who, at his height, loved nothing more than mocking his peers' failing sales and fading relevance – probably would have ripped Animal Ambition to shreds, less cruel listeners will find much to enjoy. Tracks like "Hold On" and "Pilot" have all the smirking charm of 50's glory days. At their best, they can even recall his time as a mixtape hustler with a world to conquer and nothing to lose.
From The Archives Issue 1211: June 19, 2014