Has any other entity ever ridden the success of one album as far as G-Unit has with 50‘s debut? Let’s face it, in between the crew’s few quality releases there have been some serious abortions. One of the foremost duds in the G-Unit catalogue was their first group effort Beg For Mercy. Despite coming on the heels of Fif‘s monster debut, the top-notch producers and not having the then incarcerated Tony Yayo weighing them down; the album was completely uninspired and unoriginal. Aside from the Curtis worshipers who will soon be calling me a hater for this review, few could argue that the album wasn’t thrown together to capitalize on 50’s world takeover.
Terminate On Sight comes under very different circumstances though. After being crushed by Kanye and losing his spot as the “it” rapper of the moment several times over to the likes of T.I. and Lil’ Wayne, 50 is far from the Hip Hop kingpin he once was. And unfortunately, Young Buck – who has a welcomed unique sound – only appears on a few tracks since he was sent the way of Jayceon.
The album starts off pretty well with “Straight Outta Southside,” the rugged pseudo-cover of the N.W.A. classic. “Piano Man” does the trick too as the Unit and their ousted member talk moving keys, hence the title. Things start to slide downhill with the throwaway misogynistic romp “Close To Me,” and the cookie cutter “Ryder Pt.2.” The latter does win points as everyone is on point with their flows (which doesn’t happen a lot on this LP), and it is catchy as hell. But it sure isn’t good. “Casualties of War” is cool, if only memorable by 50 bringing out his inner bully on the mic. Speaking of bullying, Curtis needlessly goes at Clifford (is he salty cause T.I. looks harder with the heavy artillery?), but “You So Tough” is easily one of the albums best tracks. The production is reminiscent of RZA circa ’97 and 50 is admittedly at his best when he’s being a jerk. After the dope “No Days Off” the LP grinds to a halt with the incredibly irritating title track featuring some baffling Yayo lines like “who, who want it? Which gangsta want it? Which rapper want it? Which trapper want it? My house is haunted.”
“I Like The Way She Do It” is nothing short of embarrassing. If 50‘s verse wasn’t bad enough, Yayo makes him look like Rakim by comparison. The Swizz Beatz produced “Get Down” sounds like they recorded their verses over a completely different beat and “Kitty Kat” shouldn’t even be addressed. There is a little silver lining as “I Don’t Wanna Talk About It” at least has some very dope production, and “Ready Or Not” is nice and menacing; the way the album should sound.
All said and done, this is not a good album. There are a handful of tracks worth checking, a few that are forgettable and too many that should be avoided like the plague. The worst thing is that with the exception of the abominable Tony Yayo, these guys shown they can make excellent music (especially 50). Yet they elect to make hot garbage juice like “Kitty Kat”? At least when they made Beg For Mercy the joke was on the millions who bought the album and would have bought it if it was 60 minutes of 50 telling Yayo what groceries to buy. But this ain’t 2003 and the joke is going to be them and their ego’s when soundscan holds up the mirror. These guys you either make music for the money or the scans, and it’s pretty clear what category the Unit falls into. So if the registers aren’t dinging and the heads sure ain’t bobbin’, who is going to get terminated for this one?