Bang 'Em

God Giveth, God Taketh Away

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In interviews, Bang 'Em made it sound like his debut with fellow Queens rapper Domination would be bigger than anything the G-Unit family ever unleashed. His short-lived association with 50 Cent's crew and the venomous beef that followed his exit (or firing, depends on whom you ask) made him someone to talk about, but luckily Bang 'Em doesn't dwell on it on his debut with the talented Domination, an equal player here despite Bang 'Em's runaway fame. God Giveth, God Taketh Away is a solid debut with plenty of newcomer enthusiasm and the lack of polish that can come with it. The usual bravado and confrontation is tempered with well-written, introspective numbers like the excellent "Misery" and kicking bangers like the out-of-control "Rowdy." Too often the album's rickety production undermines the intense posturing of the duo, and their looseness in the presence of Kurupt on "Stay Down" suggests a less anxious sophomore release will be more rewarding (which will take a while to see, since Bang 'Em remains in prison on a weapons violation as the album was released). Consider it if you're a fan of underground, East Coast thug music, but G-Unit soldiers will be put off by the lack of hooks and polish.

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