Too much gangsta, not enough depth

G-Unit’s Young Buck has returned to inject his southern-fried flow into the mainstream.

Buck’s sophomore effort, Buck the World, has the recipe for success. The album features production from some of the rap game’s hottest producers and guest appearances from hip-hop giants, but for an album relying so heavily on formula, something is missing.

Buck’s repetitious subject matter of rampant violence, drugs, money and women destroys the framework of what could potentially be a solid album. Buck spends too much time playing into his heavily clichéd image as a gangsta while attempting to cover all of the commercial bases.

On the better tracks such as “Push Em Back” and “Say it to My Face,” which features hip-hop legends 8 Ball & MJG and Bun B, this is not an issue. But the subject matter gets tired midway through the album on tracks such as “Hold On,” featuring 50 Cent jeeringly crooning off key, “If you can / Hold on n—- hold on / Seem like an ambulance always take so long / When you’re hit / It won’t be long ‘fore you dead.”

However, Buck The World has a few buried gems. The best tracks on the CD showcase Buck’s storytelling ability and show that a “gangsta” has emotions.

“Slow Ya Roll” is a hauntingly real track, as the listener follows Buck through personal tragedy: “My nephew Shannon / 15 years old / When I think how he died I get real cold / Cause they found him in the field with some crack stones / There was no flesh / Just bones.”

A surprising addition to the track is Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, harmonizing: “This can’t be life we’re living / cause I don’t want to live no more.”

Buck further surprises the listener by collaborating with R&B crooner Lyfe Jennings on the song “Buck the World.” Buck spins a hood tale of being fed up with the world and not feeling as though he is going to provide for his young family: “My rent due / baby need food and shoes / I’m flat broke / but still I refuse to lose.”Even with these shining moments, Buck the World reaches deep to produce some abysmal ones.

Perhaps the most disturbing track is the rock-tinged “Lose My Mind.” Eminem’s sinister production and influence drip all over this song as Buck rejects his normal flow to scream frustrations such as, “I am not going to jail / We gone smoke our weed / We don’t need no help / You don’t wanna f— with me!”

Equally as bad is Buck’s attempt to show his romantic side on the Dr. Dre-produced “U Ain’t Going Nowhere.” Buck’s lyrics are slipping on what is an obvious attempt to include the ever-present thug love song in which he charmingly states, “You ain’t going nowhere / How I know cause I told you so / And all that crying s— stop when I’m down below.”

Buck the World is an album plagued by overused themes of typical rap compilations. For an artist who is arguably the best rapper on G-Unit, this is a disappointment. Buck has the artillery, but Buck the World misses the target.

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