G-Unit was full of surprises this past summer. After reuniting on stage at Hot 97’s Summer Jam, 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, Young Buck and new member Kidd Kidd quickly began releasing new music together. The Beauty of Independence is the group’s first official offering since their fallout in 2008. While they announced plans for a new project, it was unknown as to when it would actually drop. As the anticipation steadily grew, the group quietly released the EP via digital outlets on August 24th.
Putting years of animosity aside, The Beauty of Independence is a true depiction of the cohesiveness the group has finally seemed to master. Despite The Game’s absence, the core of G-Unit never lost grip on their ability to rap fluidly as, well, a unit. Even newbie Kidd Kidd effortlessly rhymes over the bass-and-kick heavy production with a certain level of comfort.
The EP opens up with “Watch Me” as all members aggressively rap and proclaim their return: “G-Unit in the house!” It’s the perfect opening track that asserts the group’s reunion is no fluke. Carrying over the same attitude into the next track, “I Don’t Fuck With You” is pretty self-explanatory. Each member plays off each other’s audacious lyrics as 50 Cent rallies the pack on the hook. “Digital Scale” finds the group rapping about illegal activities as a means of hustling – classic G-Unit grittiness. The bold production infiltrates into the next song on the EP, “Dead A Pussy Nigga.” Lloyd Banks shines on this track, showcasing a strong performance that we’ve grown to expect from him.
Kidd Kidd, the newcomer to G-Unit and a former member of Lil’ Wayne’s Sqad Up, totes a Hip Hop mentality that the core of the group proudly displayed back when they released Beg For Mercy. He meshes perfectly with the veteran members on this EP while holding his own. Despite early opinions of his inclusion into the group being negative, he deems himself worthy here. His arrogant delivery is matched with his hunger and both fit the equation that makes this new G-Unit breed work.
As the project transitions into the song “Changes,” it features a more relaxed production that helps give the overall EP a well-balanced mix of sounds. It is definitely a standout track where 50 Cent addresses matters such as his split with Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. Paired with a soulful hook, “Changes” delves into the concept of loyalty. Tony Yayo raps, “People change like the weather / I weather the storm ’til it’s better.” The final track, “The Plug,” is quite nostalgic. It takes listeners back to classics like “I Smell Pussy” where 50 Cent flaunts a slightly obnoxious and taunting flow.
As if they were hustling their old mix tapes on the streets of New York City all over again, G-Unit’s hunger-for-more outlook has made a return; it’s undeniably represented in their music. Only this time around, they seem to be even more in sync than ever before – even with a new addition. Overall, The Beauty of Independence lives up to the anticipated hype and instills the need for more from the group. It’s safe to say that G-Unit is back with a vengeance.
Overall – 7.5
out of 10
Source: Kevin Nottingham