Picks and Pans Review: Beg for Mercy

updated 12/22/2003 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/22/2003 AT 01:00 AM EST

G Unit

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After selling more than 5 million copies of his debut, Get Rich or Die Tryin', earlier this year, 50 Cent will be able to buy even more bling-bling with this release featuring the rapper with his posse, G Unit. While the disc doesn't come close to living up to Die Tryin', it should hold fans until 50's next solo album. Although 50 alternates on the mike with Lloyd Banks and Young Buck (as well as Tony Yayo, who is currently serving time for gun possession), he is still clearly the star of the show. His distinctive delivery, both mellow and menacing, boosts thug-lover tracks like the G-funkified "Baby U Got" and gangsta cuts like "My Buddy," an ode to firearms that samples Al Pacino's famous "Say hello to my little friend" line from Scarface. The other rappers display good camaraderie with 50 but can't match his lyrical flow. When Banks and Young Buck go solo—on "Smile" and "Footprints," respectively—the album suffers. Despite these missteps and a sameness to some of the tracks, the CD will keep people begging for more of 50.

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