50 always manages to create enough buzz around one of his releases to draw attention to it. Even things that don't work out well like his pitch at Citi-Field going massively awry brings attention to the Queens rapper. It's still amazing this guy can go from Good Morning America to having a melee behind him on stage at Summer Jam yet still remained untouched and have his hands in dozens of different ventures. Hell, even his jabs at Floyd Mayweather from the TI altercation helped bring some attention to Fif. Thus it's only right that after the talk of the Summer Jam stage that his album is ready and available for the public.
This album review starts at the beginning the first song "Hold On" which immediately reminds me of one of the tracks that could have been on Jay-z's American Gangster album only stripped down slightly more. It has the normal 50 lyrics but it's straight. I'm not sure if I like the title track, "Animal Ambition" where Fifty talks about what he has in his pockets now. The beat isn't bad but I'm not sure if I like it. The hook is the same way, it seems odd but not out of place. On "Pilot" he uses a more sped up flow that he hasn't really used in a while but the song is marginal at best to me.
Trey Songz makes an appearance on "Smoke" which has a dated production sound which isn't going to really help the project. The track during the verses sounds much better than the portion beneath the hook. "Don't Worry About It" is talking to the people trying to count whats in your pockets and features Yo Gotti. Jadakiss and Kidd Kidd join on "Irregular Heartbeat" which is some typical gangster rap over an extremely simplified and bass heavy beat. "Twisted" featuring Mr. Probz is another track that seems like it is a bit older in the sound on the hook which seems like it's trying to get a funky Dre feel to it.
Kidd Kidd is also on "Everytime I come Around" a typical yet forgettable track. "Winner's Circle" sounds more like an Eminem style big pop track that could be a crossover single and it features Guordan Banks. It's not too big or over the top, it works actually and fits with the theme of the album and maybe should have been the last song. Instead, it is followed by "Chase the Paper" with Prodigy, Styles P, and Kidd Kidd. Its a standard NY style hip hop song. Real solid though, but not the 'album ender' I would think on the non deluxe version. There is also "Hustler" which also sounds like something leftover from the massacre.
Bonus tracks include "The Funeral" which took me back to Get Roch or Die Trying as 50 describes the scene at a hood funeral in great detail. "You know" could have stayed unreleased as far as I'm concerned, and "Flip On You" with Schoolboy Q.
Overall 50 is at the point where he will have a few hits or misses and be wildly inconsistent as he tries to find the new formula for success while maintaining what is his signature sound. It's alright and not worse than a lot of the new material coming out these days but at the same time it isn't great or classic by any means. At the end of the day 50 can probably continue to meander on in this manner for the next few years but it feels like a comeback may elude him sort of like it did Nelly in his last time out. At some point the formula becomes old and catching that lightening in the bottle won't happen again.