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G-UNIT - T.O.S.: Terminate on Sight

By Christian Cipollini

 

A very simple and direct premise for G-Unit’s latest release T.O.S.: Terminate On Sight is pure gangsta rap, no filler.  Comprised of 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo, this group takes rap back to the days when extra heavy bass, ultra violent demeanor, and supercharged sexual appetites were endemic in the category.  Nevertheless, having all these elements doesn’t necessarily denote a “must have” classic.

 

First, on the positive notes, the 50 Cent executively produced release is considerably more entertaining than prior albums.  Banks delivers better vocally, 50 always carries his weight and Yayo certainly does his part to make this a genuine “group” effort.  A few tracks in particular will stand out.  The opening banger “Straight Outta Southside” and “Casualties of War” are perfect examples of hardcore beats and rhyme these guys are capable of creating.

 

Other tracks worth mentioning include a few of the five total that Young Buck is featured on.  And yes… Young Buck is apparently the subject of G-Unit’s current dissatisfaction, but T.O.S was laid down well before the fire started between them.  Apparently at the end of the day it’s all about the money.  That said, Buck’s inclusion on the record is also a plus.  He adds some spice to the mix on “Piano Man” and “No Days Off’ especially. Swizz Beats deserves some credit too.  His production on “Get Down” is another welcomed addition.

 

The downside of T.O.S. lies primarily in the lack of dynamics.  Basically, it is what it is… another gangsta rap album. Basic beats, recycled lyrics and ego. Not uncommon in the genre of course, but there is room for more creativity than T.O.S. demonstrated when taken as a whole. As noted earlier, gunplay, womanizing and threatening lyrical flows alone don’t always make an album worth it’s weight in gold – even with the combined tonnage of rhyme spitting superstars involved.  T.O.S. suffers more than a few moments of monotony, not to mention some uncanny elements of déjà vu.  Not that borrowing from, or plucking a little off the good parts of other artist’s material isn’t acceptable from time to time, but there are certainly a few instances through T.O.S. that one might wonder, ‘Haven’t I heard this somewhere before?’  The question raised here is whether or not gangsta rap can be original anymore.  In the past, G-Unit shows it can, but they aren’t always practicing the approach.

 

Will the record have a lasting effect or achieve the status of, let’s say – N.W.A or Ice-T’s gangsta classics? Unlikely. Looking for something that embodies a smack down vibe, or perhaps just another bullet-riddled sonic attack from familiar voices – then G-Unit’s T.O.S. will probably fit the bill.  If you’re looking for originality, keep it moving.



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