Few will forget 2007’s “The Battle of the Album Sales” in which 50 Cent lost to Kanye West in a bet saying he would retire. Yet, two years later, he released “Before I Self-Destruct”. His real hiatus has been the last 5 years and, in case you’re wondering, Fiddy says he’s still “rich as a motherfucker and ain't much changed” in “Hold On”, the opening track of his new album, “Animal Ambition.” As suggested by the title (subtitled: “untamed desire to win”), 50 Cent’s subject matter remains the same: money (“Chase the Paper”), fame (“Winner’s Circle”) and drugs (“Smoke”). Bringing up old beef, 50 Cent takes a stab at Kanye’s fashion domain in “Hustler”. Throughout the album, the music maintains an unfettered pretentiousness, but, as evident after a couple listens, there’s actually insecurity in how hard he’s trying. Track after track, “Animal Ambition” begs the question—has Fiddy still got it? While it’s hard to tell if he’s back for good, it’s in the overlooked tracks such as “Twisted” and “Winner’s Circle” that his talent comes to light.

Download: “Hold On”

Sound best when: strutting into LAVO on a Thursday night

Grade: C+