On T.O.S. (Terminate On Sight), G-Unit come out with knives drawn, guns blazing and rhymes sharpened. On the title track, 50 Cent announces, "I'm on that SSK shit: shoot, stab, kill," and it's hard not to believe him. G-Unit blast through the hood, like a sawed-off shotgun with T.O.S.. In fact, 50 hasn't sounded this fierce since his 2003 breakthrough debut Get Rich, Or Die Tryin'. It's good to see that 50 and Co. can still get asses shakin', but it's more refreshing to see that they still run the streets. T.O.S. is evidence that these lions are still kings of the block and on top of the game.
After the high-gloss, pop production of last year's Curtis, 50 got the G-Unit together and released one of 2008's most incendiary mix-tapes, the Fat Joe dissin', hilarious and fresh Elephant in the Sand. It proved to be the perfect pre-cursor to G-Unit's sophomore full-length, which is about as "hood" as mainstream rap gets these days. 50 croons, "Find out what they about when the guns come out," and we certainly do, as he tears through "Get Down." His gruff cadence and jagged delivery roll smoothly on stripper pole-ready anthems like "Close to Me" and "I Like the Way She Do It." "Kitty Kat" and "Money Makes the World Go Round" slow things down with soulful, '70s-style production that highlights each member of G-Unit's distinct flow. Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo have both stepped it up as MC's. They take to the mic with bravado, humor and style that's the perfect foil for 50's raw aggro fire. Other highlights include "Party Ain't Over" and "You So Tough," both of which ooze old school hip hop grit. The bullets keeping popping throughout the whole record, keeping the energy high.
Another standout cut is "Casualties of War." At a near whisper, 50 spits the line, "Devil 'round the corner," and it echoes like a faint scream. It's a bouncy and violent track that's got enough gusto to bump in the car or on the dance floor. G-Unit have effectively found the balance between sex and war, and they're about terminate the competition with extreme prejudice.