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Richland County Young Democrats

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50 Cent And G-Unit-Street Legend

The ubiquity of the 50 Cent myth can make it hard to cut through the kneejerk reactions to focus on the relative quality of the game. Hardly a figure of respect within informed hip-hop circles, his skills as both lyricist and emcee are not the stuff of legend. "Got the magic stick, I'm the lurve doctor," he croons on Candy Shop, and if that's not the hip-hop equivalent of "I suppose a rock's out of the question?" then I'm Big Daddy Kane. No, Curtis Jackson's elevation to the hip-hop firmament has not come about because of his dubious talents on the mic.

50 Cent And G-Unit-Street Legend

What 50 Cent does have is a marketable cartoon persona and the backing of both Dre and Eminem, both of whom reprise their roles in this "G Unit" edition of Fiddy's console brawler. Presumably the "G" stands for Gauntlet, since that's what the game has now become. The third-person ultraviolence of the console version is now viewed from a top-down perspective that will be familiar to anyone who hammered their way through the dungeons of Midway's classic button-basher. Sadly, the sparsely populated game never comes close to the overwhelming odds of that arcade legend and, worse, we don't get to hear 50 bellowing that "red wizard needs food". He does bark "I ain't playin' this shit," rather a lot though, which really is tempting fate in a title this forgettable.

A street legend before the recording of his debut even started, rapper Tony Yayo is a lifelong friend of 50 Cent and a member of his G-Unit crew. Yayo had been with 50 during his career-building years in the world of mixtapes. Along with 50 Cent, Yayo was arrested on New Year's Eve 2002 on weapons-possession charges. During a background check, police discovered Yayo had an outstanding warrant for a previous weapons-possession charge. Early 2003, he was sentenced for bail-jumping and would remain in jail until the beginning of 2004. During this time, 50 Cent and his G-Unit crew were blowing up. Videos featured the group wearing "Free Yayo" shirts, but Yayo himself was unaware of all the attention he was getting. The prison inmates Yayo shared a television with preferred watching sports to music videos, but when Eminem and 50 where scheduled to make an appearance during the Grammy Awards, he convinced everyone to change the channel. It was the first time he saw a "Free Yayo" shirt -- this time worn by Eminem. Inspired by the shirt, he started working extra hard on his rhymes while keeping in touch with the G-Unit crew let him know he was going to get his chance once he was a free man. Come January 8, 2004, Yayo was back on the streets, but presenting a forged passport to his parole officer a day later put him back in prison for a few weeks. Out again, Yayo was finally able to start work on his debut. Some mixtape appearances on the G-Unit Radio series announced his comeback at the street level while the "So Seductive" single let the rest of the world know in the summer of 2005. In August and while the single was dominating urban radio, MTV, and BET, Yayo dropped his debut, Thoughts of a Predicate Felon.

50 Cent has always had a key aspect of the hip-hop game down: confidence. You'd be hard pressed to find many dudes in rap who exude the badassery that 50 does. This week, the Queens rapper took that bravado to a new level when he put himself in a class with fallen legends Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G.

Necessary Notes: "Pardon the interruption/ A proper introduction is necessary/ When your sh-- is legendary." J. Cole may not have reached legendary status just yet, but the kid out of "Fayette-nam" (Fayetteville, North Carolina) certainly possesses the lyricism and hunger of some of the great ones. Although The Warm Up may have been the first time many people ever heard of theJay-Z co-signed J.Cole, it's actually the follow-up to his relatively unknown 2007 mixtape with DJ On Point, The Come Up. Whether or not The Warm Up is the first you've heard of J. Cole, we can almost guarantee it won't be the last.

Necessary Notes: Oh, the disappointment -- not in the quality of this mixtape, but we were hoping to catch a couple of tracks like "Club to a Bedroom" and "Disrespect My Shorty" on Kell's Untitled LP. It definitely was a great look to have a music legend as big as R. Kelly acknowledge the streets, freestyling over a plethora hip-hop tracks and even giving away original material for free. The Demo Tape was the Pied Piper's first-ever mixtape, and a warm-up for his LP.

Necessary Notes: "The older I get, the better I'm made/ The bolder I get, the older I age/ So I'mma be here for a long muthaf---in' time." Snoop is telling the truth, 100 percent. The veteran's mixtape was so cold, we feel it's almost as dope as his new LP, [article id="1623855"]Malice N Wonderland.[/article] The title track from the mixtape and premier cut from his album has to be one this year's hardest party records.

Kofi-Abrefa is Lamar. A cross between a serial killer and a court jester, Lamar is an erratic street legend whose unbelievable stories of conquest are part of hood lore. Lamar returns to Southwest Detroit to reclaim his turf and his lady. But Demetrius Flenory is occupying both, forcing a battle between old school and new.<