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G-Unit - T.O.S. (Terminate On Sight) (G-Unit/Interscope)

G-Unit's T.O.S. is a tepid collection of rage and gun talk

About.com Rating 2.5 Star Rating

By Shannon Barbour

G-Unit - T.O.S.

G-Unit - T.O.S. (Terminate on Sight)

© G-Unit/Interscope

Sophomore Jinx

The sophomore G-Unit album, Terminate on Sight has emerged with the same formula for hype that 50 Cent is known for: beef + other rappers = publicity. Apparently, 50 taped the now viral phone conversation with Young Buck in retaliation for Buck’s disenchantment with G-Unit. The bulk of the conversation is centered around Buck’s money woes and disappointment in not touring with the group. Like a private detective trying to nab a suspect, Fiddy feigns concern while remaining detached.

Unlike the vegan beef with Kanye West before the Curtis vs. Graduation 9/11 showdown, this one is much meatier with greater consequences for all involved. Still, it is part of a predictable pattern for 50; beef precedes a new release.

Hit or Miss

Unfortunately, Terminate on Sight does little to generate its own excitement or reinforce the need for G-Unit's presence on the hip-hop landscape. It is essentially a collection of uninspired rage and gun talk over marginal production. Fiddy and Co. wanted to show that they’re capable of a grittier sound devoid of R&B rhythms and sing-songy hooks à la "Candy Shop," so they turned to mostly little-known producers digging in a bag of simple Pro Tools tricks. (The only true standout track is "Let It Go," produced by Don Cannon.)

References to classic MCs such as N.W.A. and Ice Cube, is the only way to hold listeners' attention through the album’s dull moments. "Straight Outta Southside" is just "Straight Outta Compton ’08." Where the West Coast pioneers never held back, G-Unit squanders an opportunity to dig deeper into the evils of police brutality. Banks spits, "F*ck the police with an HIV carrier/no Vaseline in the M-16." Yayo follows with "F*ck the police, they killed Sean Bell/f*ck the Feds, I still deal fishscale."

The Buck Effect

Young Buck makes his first appearance on "Piano Man," where his lines sound like a presentiment toward 50: "Everybody’s a customer, nobody’s a friend/somebody gotta do it/anybody can win." Despite his ultimate ouster, Buck’s Tennessee twang is a welcome departure from the album’s monotony, breathing life into the boring beats.

His exit is especially disappointing when considering that much of G-Unit's original appeal came from their representation of hip-hop's main regions: East Coast(Banks, Yayo), West Coast (Game) and Dirty South (Buck).

T.O.S. - A Paradigm of Mediocrity

Terminate on Sight is a model of mediocrity, where business savvy supersedes skills. Instead of taping phone conversations, 50 Cent needs to take a long swig of Vitamin Water and cool out.

Top Tracks from T.O.S.

  • "Straight Outta Southside"
  • "Let It Go" (feat. Mavado)
  • "I Like the Way She Do It"
  • "Get Down"
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