Poking his head out of G-Unit album purgatory, Young Buck made a return to the mixtape circuit this week. Ever since 50 Cent became hellbent on debilitating his former foot soldier’s livelihood, Buck hasn’t been able to mimic the success from his first two LPs. After a confusing number of supposed titles and release dates for a mixtape, Buck finally dropped the curiously titled Live Loyal Die Rich (Oh, the irony).
Cringe-worthy titles aside, the Cashville rapper seems self aware of his own fall from grace, rapping, “I made a lot of money, I blew my whole advance, people stole from me, but now I understand,” on the appropriately titled opener “2nd Chance. The Clean Up Man’s southern growl is still in prime form, and he lets it loose on the shit talking, “Think They Know,” a bouncy cut via Tennessee producer Drumma Boy. The crown jewel of the mixtape is “Drug Related,” a harsh and vivid depiction of Nashville trap life with nightly news headlines woven in throughout.
The mixtape isn’t without it’s regrettable moments. The electro-tinged dance record “Car Clowdy” has no place backing Buck’s gruff bark. Accompanied by Evanesence-esque vocals and a guest spot from the Outlawz, it’s an awkward affair throughout. Additionally, the production on here is a far cry from what Buck was rhyming over during G-unit’s heyday, helping bolster the platinum selling Straight Outta Cashville and Buck the World. Buck doesn’t have the same quality of musical resources at his disposal anymore, and it’s evident. Ultimately, while Live Loyal Die Rich is not a perfect return, it’s still refreshing to hear from Young Buck again, and see that he’s back on his buck shit. —Neil Martinez–Belkin (@Neil_MB)