Young Buck has been through some ups and downs over the past decade. He's seen mainstream success and the perks that come with it, but he's tasted what it’s like to get hot quick and burn out even quicker. However, despite his past problems, Buck is now back in a good place musically. The past year showed Buck getting back on his feet and finding his footing with his gritty Southern sound we've grown to love him for. With the reunited G-Unit and on his own material, Buck is back to really rapping.

Last month’s mixtape 10 Bullets was not only a refreshing piece of authentic Buck but a prelude of what's to come, serving as the first entry in a 10-installment mixtape series he will be releasing over the next several months. So far, Buck has kept his promise, delivering his second Ten-A-Key tape, 10 Bricks.

10 Bricks is a 10-track mixtape that features Young Buck doing what he does best. Buck has never been a stranger to gun bars, drug talk and all around rap that makes you feel like you are about to rob a bank, and it's clear that nothing has changed. Aside from the 16-second Snoop Dogg intro, the tape wastes no time showcasing Buck’s tough talk: “I’ve been bussin’ blocks top down,” is the first line he delivers without any kind of buffer or beat build. Is it a little unconventional? Yes. Does it work? Yes.

From the first bar it's obvious Buck just wants to clear out everything else and just rap. The first third of the tape plays to Buck’s penchant for talking about the trap, the violence and the women in a formulaic way. They all follow the same setup-punchline structure that Buck can deliver while barely breaking a sweat.

But the fourth track, "Proud Of You," is where he really begins to shine over a soft yet soulful sample that is more similar to something found on Straight Outta Cashville or Buck The World. There are still plenty of typical Buck lyrics but his flows are experimental and his tone seems a little more serious. The same goes for Bandplay-produced track "Timeout," the tape’s most personal song. It isn’t exactly "Shorty Wanna Ride" but it’s got some semi-relatable rhymes about Buck’s never-ending gangsta love story.

Features-wise, Buck keeps to himself, just as on the last tape. The recent G-Unit reunion would make you think that each track would be littered with Lloyd Banks, 50 Cent, Tony Yayo and Kidd Kidd placements but he doesn't addresses them until "Get Ya Money Right." Buck briefly touches on every member of the Unit, lifting the veil on a crew not as united as they once were, but they still certainly on the same page. If Young Buck has been anything over the past decade, it’s brutally, unapologetically honest. If he had a problem with someone, he wouldn't hold back.

After a couple plays, though, the repetitive production formula can start to feel stale. Songs like "Refill" and "All Night," with the exception of maybe a chord here or there, have the exact same beat.

All in all, Young Buck’s 10 Bricks gives you exactly what you would probably expect: gangsta rap mixed with some personal insight and retrospective opinions. This tape may not challenge your intellectual capacity, but if you're looking for something to fuel your workouts this summer, 10 Bricks will definitely have you getting Buck. —Scott Glaysher