Unfortunately, Animal Ambition doesn't do much to help solve his musical conundrum. 50 wants listeners to feel like he's hungry for the top spot again — and in some spots, he succeeds — but for the most part, he falls flat. On "Hold On," for instance, he tries to remind listeners of his street credentials, recounting his longstanding feud with incarcerated label executive Jimmy Henchman. Instead, the track only serves as a reminder of his reliance on overly dramatized rap feuds. Meanwhile, the Dr. Dre-produced "Smoke" feels like a by-the-numbers single that should have been omitted from the final track list.
Despite these missteps, 50 can still be captivating when he wants to be. On the whisper-privy "Irregular Heartbeat," he confidently evokes a sense of dread, spewing verses like, "We by the schoolyard waiting for you to get your kid." This highlights Animal Ambition's greatest issue: he is clearly capable of reaching his former highs, yet can't seem to maintain a solid grasp.
Either way, Animal Ambition showcases a very creatively confused 50 Cent, trapped in some sort of musical purgatory we can only hope he find his way out of. (Caroline)