50 Cent is making sure his comeback is being felt in hip-hop. When he’s not occupying himself with his beef with Floyd Mayweather, Fif has made it his priority to reassemble G-Unit and help reignite the careers of Young Buck, Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo. At the same time, he has his hands in Kidd Kidd’s rise, slowly introducing him through featured spots and molding him into the next rapper out of New Orleans to blow. The Queens veteran has built the excitement of G-Unit this year since their reunion at Summer Jam, and continued to tease that the mighty Unit is back with new music every few weeks. (Our favorite of the Unity's first five remixes, ranked here.) In the first of two EPs slated for this year, the Unit come back together for The Beauty Of Independence, a nod to officially going independent after 11 years with Interscope.

50 Cent and G-Unit have a legacy to uphold after a run of Platinum albums and the reputation of always being ready for war. The aggressive, military-minded mentality is still their focus as they stay in the same lane on the EP opener “Watch Me.” Backed by the heavy rock-influenced, gritty production of Havoc, all five members set the tone with their signature styles of rap boasts, while seamlessly playing off each other. “We charter Lears; these hoes know the party here,” Buck rhymes. Enters Kidd Kidd: “Blownin’ on that killa kill, neck on chilly-chill/Baby, let me get a feel, show me that it’s really real.” The "us-versus-them" music continues with “I Don’t Fuck With You,” where 50 shoots down the opposition over hard drums, while Buck shows his loyalty to the Unit never faltered. “Ever since I said send the Yay/You fuck niggas been in the way/I’m just doing what 50 say/Puttin’ a hundred rounds in the K—Buck!”

G-Unit has gone through so many roster changes over the years that rap fans have questioned whether their chemistry remains the same as on their classic debut, 2003’s Beg For Mercy. For G-Unit in 2014, the core members have let go of their feuds with 50 in hopes to put out the best possible product. The band of brothers reach a pinnacle with the exceptional “Changes,” where Fif’s now infamous lines about his relationship with Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre (“All I hear is Jimmy want my shit to flop, Dre don’t care if I blow/Goddamn, all of this for selling headphones?”) provide details into their rich past. Of course, the track sees the rest of G-Unit talking about their changes in their lives through personal narratives that’s rare to see from the group. Not only that, but they come in and finish each other verses that displays they're really cohesive as a unit. To satisfy their dedicated fanbase, though, G-Unit keeps the drug-talk flowing on cuts like “Digital Scale” and “The Plug,” which proves that their street cred is still 100 percent real.

Even if their musical output is moving in the right direction, there’s still an uncertain future for 50 Cent and G-Unit. Maintaining a connection to today’s rap audience and staying relevant isn’t easy, but Fif has managed to spark interest again for his crew who once ran the show. For the most part, splitting ties with Dr. Dre and Eminem means Fif has complete control over where to steer the G-Unit ship next, suggesting that a bigger impact will happen once their second EP and new album are released. Motivated by the will to be the industry’s top competitors again, The Beauty Of Independence shows that G-Unit is back in the house. For good.—Eric Diep