Hip-hop mogul 50 Cent proves the scope of his independence with “Animal Ambition,” the heavyweight’s first indie rap album, which debuted earlier this month. Relishing his more than nine lives, Curtis Jackson bounces back from naysayers criticizing him for amassing an overwhelmingly staggering fortune from a Vitamin Water deal which, after being acquired by Coca-Cola, made his net-worth even more impressive than his mentor Eminem.

 

Instead of satiating audiences with a “Get Rich or Die Tryin’” revival, 50 makes it clear that he does what he wants to do on “Animal Ambition,” producing a pointedly brief collection of 11 songs with tracks that spew his surprise/re-assertion that he’s “rich as mother****er an’ ain’t much changed.”

 

Despite remaining fiercely independent, 50 recalls the sweet spot of his audience, delivering featurettes with “name” rappers such as Yo Gotti, Prodigy, Jadakiss, and Styles P. He even doted on his collaboration with Trey Songz on “Smoke,” calling it the “In Da Club” for this generation.

 

 

“The first time I worked on that song, it was for [Dr.] Dre … To him, it was old beats. I don’t care when the producer made the beats. Some of the beats [on Animal Ambition] are two or three years old.”

 

Sticking to his stories, the artist awards much air-time on the album to his protege, Kidd Kidd, who rhymes “doo doo” with “Blues Clues,” “Mickey Mouse” with “Mickey Mantle,” and ends a verse with “Left his brains hangin’ out like we chillin’.” Could this departure be largely successful for 50, or does his support fall on a merely generic kid?

 

Mixed reviews surround some of the tracks, but it is certain that 50 eclipses himself as an artist on this album; his courage to re-enter the hip-hop universe after strategically misplacing his energy makes him that much better, not in a prima donna kind of way but in a humble, resilient manner. Tough talk does stem from big softies after all.

 

What do you think of 50 Cent’s newest  album? Do you think the rapper deserves props for going out on his own this time around? Share your thoughts in the comments or tweet me @Kelseymbro