Like corrupt politicians and David Hasselhoff, gangsta rap isn't going away — but the played-out quality of T*O*S suggests that it's headed for an extended stretch on the down-low. Five years ago, the smashing aggressiveness of "Straight Outta Southside" would have offset its lack of originality. Now, though, redundant imagery of the sort employed by 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo (assisted by Young Buck) feels tedious, like a police drama in its 12th season that should have been canceled years ago. G-Unit's members don't seem interested in updating their stereotypically doomy sound; semi-twists such as the vocoder-heavy "Rider Pt. 2" come across as half-assed and obligatory. One cut claims that the "Party Ain't Over," and it's probably not. But the refreshments are running short and the DJ's asleep.
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