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Artist: Young Buck
Label: Interscope Records
Genre: Hip Hop/Rap
Release: Jan 2004   My Rating: 0
Duration: 56:12
Summary: Young Buck is out to show the rap world that he's no mere 50 Cent lackey. Yet, Buck and 50 share an equally intense love for firearms and hustle-specific wordplay. 50 utters death threats on the hook of "I'm a Soldier"--right after the gun shot sound effects, of course--and the thuggery just accelerates from there. "Do It Like Me" and "Prices on My Head" reveal Buck's Tupacian persecution complex. Burgeoning beat miners Midi Mafia rework a classical music sample to perfection on "Thou Shall," offering a little something to ease the tension. And when the G Unit comes together, the results are usually breathtaking: "Bonafide Hustler" finds 50 Cent dissing Wyclef Jean while Tony Yayo flips keen verses about peddling drugs, to the tune of "Mama's Gonna Buy You a Mockingbird." Crunk beats from Lil' Jon ("Shorty Wanna Ride") and Three 6 Mafia ("Stomp," "Taking Hits") bring Buck's Tennessee roots to the fore, perfectly matching the rapper's country cadence. Although the boasts about his 'hood exploits can get tiresome, Buck delivers some nasty, first-rate storytelling and jeep beats. "--Dalton Higgins"