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 down the wrong highway. Five years ago, the smashing aggressiveness of "Straight Outta Southside" would have offset its lack of originality. Now, though, the redundant imagery employed by 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, and Tony Yayo (with assists from Young Buck) feels tedious, like a police drama in its 12th season that should have been canceled years ago. Unit 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, 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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