DAR Hip Hop: Ranking The G-Unit Solo Albums

By @TrueGodImmortal

Once upon a time, G-Unit ran the land. They ran the hip hop game and ruled with an iron fist. With 50 Cent at the helm, the collective would become the biggest movement in hip hop, earning platinum plaque after platinum plaque, along with all of the accolades that comes when you run things. Today, I wanted to look back at their illustrious run and rank their solo albums from the worst to the greatest. All of the artists and their work are included, from the debut of The Game to 50's GRODT, all the way to the second album from Young Buck. Which album ranks at the top? Which album ranks at the bottom? Let's get into it.

12. 50 Cent- Curtis (2007)

-Some people love Curtis. Good for them. 50 could do wrong IMO at the time and he decided that he wanted to work his hardest to prove me wrong. This album was tough to listen to period, but recent revisits aren't any better, and the production was laughable at times. I wish the beat Timbaland gave 50 wasn't the by the numbers "Ayo Technology", which sounds like most of the songs he was making around the time. I wish that 50 would have went with the songs he put on the mixtapes prior to and after the album instead of tracks like "Come & Go", "Amusement Park", "Peep Show", and "Fire", which are all awful. Still, there are a few gems like "Curtis 187", "I Get Money", and "Man Down". Still, this is a terrible album overall, and an easy choice for the worst of the solo projects for the Unit.

11. Lloyd Banks- Rotten Apple (2006)

-I never understood why this album was so bad in essence. Banks was on top of the world in many ways and this could have been so much better. Banks was still in favor of the public even as 50 lost some fans, but this album did him no favors. He had some solid tracks, from "One Night Stand" to "The Cake" to my favorite "Survival", but the rest of the album falls flat. It is more so that the songs are by the numbers or feel generic, and lyrically, Banks doesn't bring as many quotes as he is known to do. The worst track? The embarrassing "Iceman", which wastes features from southern legends 8Ball and Scarface. I can only imagine that there would have a much better track for these artists to appear on, and yet.... yeah. I'll just blame the girl who leaked The Big Withdraw for the subpar sounds on this album. It is much easier that way.

10. 50 Cent- Animal Ambition (2014)

-This wasn't a bad project so to speak, it just felt pretty lifeless in its own right. It had good music from start to finish, but at the same time, it also had some of the most boring music 50 has ever made. With 11 songs released along with accompanying videos, 50 would experience a bit of success with this album, but it felt more like a victory lap for 50 than an album that signaled a true comeback. I enjoyed tracks like "Pilot", "Hustler", "Chase The Paper", "Hold On", and "Irregular Heartbeat", but none of those songs were classics or even timeless gems. They were just decent songs to add to the catalog for 50 and as a result, this album feels extremely generic in how it was delivered. Does it have good music? Of course. Does the album feel special at all? Absolutely not. That is why it is ranked so low.

9. Tony Yayo- Thoughts Of A Predicate Felon (2005)

-I was one of the few who actually enjoyed Yayo's album. I went out and copped the album along with Late Registration the same day, and I thought it was a decent effort. I didn't expect much, as Yayo had always been my least favorite rapper in the group, but I have to give credit, Yayo shows flashes of brilliance as an artist on this album. The problem with this project in particular is that he gets a bit overzealous with some of the songs for women, like the laughable "Project Princess" or the surprisingly decent but also laughable "Curious" featuring Joe. Yayo does shine on tracks like "Pimpin", "Live By The Gun", "I Know You Don't Love Me", and "Homicide". Overall, this album is solid, but nothing special.

8. Lloyd Banks- The Hunger For More 2 (2010)

-I actually found myself liking this album more as time went by. Initially, I enjoyed it for the most part, but never really revisited it, however, as time went by, I would  decide to give it a listen again, and my perspective was slightly altered. HFM2 is a quality album that showcases Banks at his best and doesn't overdo it with the commercial style tracks. This is probably the most pure of the solo albums from The Unit, with Banks branching out beyond his G-Unit brethren for tracks with Styles P, Pusha T, Jeremiah, Lloyd, and more. The production is solid, and of course, tracks like "I Don't Deserve You", "Home Sweet Home", and "Father Time" all helped round out a mostly solid album.

7. Young Buck- Buck The World (2007)

-This was slept on upon release, and although it didn't age nearly as well as his debut, Buck would be the first G-Unit member besides 50 to avoid a real sophomore slump and he did it in solid fashion. This album featured production from Eminem, Jazze Pha, Dr. Dre, DJ Toomp, and many more, with guest appearances from Young Jeezy, Kokane, 50 Cent, and others on tracks like "Pocket Full of Paper", "Haters", and "Hold On" respectively. All in all, this is a good album, which is good enough for it to be in the top 7, but just not enough to crack the top 5. Sorry, Buck.

6. 50 Cent- Before I Self Destruct (2009)

-It is tough deciding on where to place this project for so many reasons. For one, I think it is better lyrically than The Massacre and on par with GRODT for the most part. However, the fanfare that surrounded the album was nothing to rave home about and it would slightly be considered a failure as 50 watched his mainstream stature dwindle. However, this album was actually pretty good and showcased that when 50 wants to take music serious, he can be too tier for sure. Songs like "Death to my Eneimes", "Crime Wave", and "Stretch" all helped to make this album a great listen and I just wish that more people appreciate it when it actually dropped. The most underrated project from the turn. 

5. 50 Cent- The Massacre (2005)

-I never disliked this album one bit. While many were jumping on the anti-50 wave, I still found his music to be pretty damn good. For The Massacre, 50 took a more balanced approach, giving us hit songs for the clubs, songs that women would love, conceptual tracks, hardcore bangers, and even tracks that showcase him bragging like no one else. 50 had the right vision, it just seemed like there was a bit of laziness from time to time with this album. Still, I love this album and it's probably tied as my favorite 50 project overall. It has classics like "Ryder Music", "A Baltimore Love Thing", and "Ski Mask Way", hits like "Disco Inferno" and "Just A Lil Bit", along with more top tier songs. This features some of his best music, but none of his worst, it just was a bit too much in terms of the extensive tracklist. If anything, this shows that 50 had the right formula, he just utilized it too much on this album.

4. Lloyd Banks- The Hunger For More (2004)

-The first album from Banks in a way is vastly underrated. It isn't a hip hop classic, but it does showcase Banks and his work to the highest degree, in album form. Lyrically, Banks teeters the line between comfortable and hungry, as he gives you good verses most of the time (sometimes great), but on other occasions, he falls short. Mostly, he kills it on the mic, as he glides over beats from Hi-Tek and Timbaland, with minimal feature help. 50, Yayo, Buck, Snoop, Game and Eminem assist but this is more about Banks coming into his own and with classics like "On Fire", "Warrior", "Til The End", and more, this album would put his name in top tier conversations for MCs.

3. The Game- The Documentary (2005)

-I am sure you are surprised to see this ranked no. 3 instead of no. 2, but I'll be honest: time changes things. If you asked me this a few years ago, I would have easily said that Game's album was the second best and maybe even argued that it was the best of the best. Now? Looking back, it hasn't aged as well as hoped, and despite the album being cl
ose to a classic, I find it tough to revisit nowadays. Still, The Documentary is an extremely well put together project with amazing production from Just Blaze, Timbaland, Scott Storch, Dr. Dre, and Kanye West alongside features from of course 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, Tony Yayo, Eminem, Faith Evans, and so many more. Tracks like "Westside Story", "Dreams", "Hate It Or Love It", "Start From Scratch", and more help round out this album that is solid from top to bottom.

2. Young Buck- Straight Outta Cashville (2004)

-I have always loved this album and I think next to GRODT, it is the best album from The Unit period. Buck had something special at the time. It would manifest in the form of an excellent album with enough grit and grime to appease every Unit fan in the world. With a solid roster of guest appearances that features his G-Unit brotherhood and enlists southern rappers like Lil Flip and David Banner, and of course his old rhyme partner D-Tay. Songs like "Let Me In", "Shorty Wanna Ride", and more of the street related songs helped round out the near classic gem that turned Nashville upside down with his huge success.

1. 50 Cent- Get Rich Or Die Tryin (2003)

-Of course. This is the top choice. Always. It is not a surprise that the official "debut" from 50 takes the top spot, and I'm sure you weren't expecting anything else in this position. GRODT is the most popular album of the early 2000s honestly and for good reason. Backed by the machine of Interscope, Shady, Aftermath, Eminem and Dr. Dre, 50 was designed to win....while pissing off so many people in the process. For me, this album represents a moment in time, meaning that wherever you were at the time that this dropped, chances are most people were listening to this. That is definitely the case with GRODT and with songs like "Heat", "If I Can't", "Many Men", "Blood Hound", and many more, it is no surprise that many look at this album as a classic. Of all the G-Unit solo projects, this is easily the best of them.



Post a Comment

Popular Posts