Remember "Stunt 101"? That was the first time I ever heard Young Buck on a G-Unit song. I recall concluding at the time that he was the weak link in a lyrically sub-par (albeit commercially viable) bunch. Straight Outta Cashville, Buck's solid debut, arrived less than a year later and turned my argument on its head.
Fast forward to 2007. The Young Buck of "Stunt 101" makes an unwelcome reappearance on Buck the World.
Buck The World Review
Buck, faced with the daunting task of restoring G-Unit to its glory, looks inward for inspiration. He gets introspective on the searing title track and laments personal tragedies on "Slow Ya Roll." But his eagerness to redeem the Unit is sometimes marred by a lack of focus, as he goes from pimp-playa persona to typical tough-guy talk without catching a breath.
A Musical Experiment
Musically, Buck the World is an experiment of sorts, going from southern fried gems ("Buss Yo Head") to tired g-funk synths ("Get Buck"). Dr. Dre offers 3 poignant beats. (It's the least he could do after Buck stabbed a man for punching Dre at the 2004 Vibe Awards.) The hefty sound of "U Ain't Goin' Nowhere" provides a sturdy soundbed for Buck to lay his mack game on, while the menacing bass of "Clean Up Man" matches his deadpan delivery. The Doc completes his three-peat showdown with "Hold On," which features just enough horns and drum claps to make it enjoyable.
Not all the experiments yield good results. DJ Toomp's contribution on "Pocket Full of Papers" is uninspired and unmemorable. "Money Good," the weak Lil Jon concoction, which sounds like it was lifted from Game's "We Ain't," also takes away from the album.
Buck looks beyond his posse (50 Cent is the lone G-Unit collaborator on Buck the World) for collaborations. Bun B blesses the hard-hitting "Say It to My Face," while Young Jeezy makes 2 appearances on "Pocket Full of Paper" and "4 Kings." Unfortunately, the barrage of guests makes Buck a forgettable figure on his own album.
The Bottom Line on Buck The World
Buck the World has all the hallmarks of a G-Unit mantra: grit, girls, and guns. Despite the album's creative pitfalls, core G-Unit fans will appreciate Buck's blend of veracious vignettes and belligerent boasts.