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September 08, 2005 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-09-08

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily - Thursday September 8, 2005 - 13A

ThE HOTTEST PICKS IN ENTERTAINMENT
FROM A DAILY ARTS WRITER
The Statement - Next Thursday, The Statement, which is replacing
WeekendMagazine, will debut in this very paper. The magazine will fea-
ture more in-depth reporting pieces along with the restaurant reviews and
random student interviews that you all know and love. It will be smarter,
better-looking and definitely more thought provoking than last year. Plus,
they put me in charge of it. Yay for self-promotion!
"The Aristocrats" - Who would have ever thought that watching
more than 100 comics tell the same joke over and over would be enter-
taining? Fortunately, the film is a great way for viewers to compare
the style and delivery of their favorite comedians - everyone from
Chris Rock to Carrot Top is featured. But leaving out Colin Mochrie of
"Whose Line Is It Anyway?" fame is a travesty.
"Lost" on DVD - The show that took ABC by storm last year comes to
3 DVD just in time for casual viewers to catch up before the second season
premiers Sept. 21. The multi-layered storylines, surreal backstories and
dramatic cliffhangers in the season's 24 episodes are still just as captivat-
ing as when they aired. Sorry "Survivor," this is the new island hit.
Kanye West - Hip hop's latest controversial figure backs up everything
he says (And he does say a lot.) on his sophomore effort Late Registra-
tion. He seems to want to talk forever (forever? forever ever? forever ever?)
but his emotional rhymes are smooth,
slick and a breath of fresh air in the rap
game. Plus, Kanye even has an emo-
tional song about his mama, which
every rap album needs. Holla we want
prenup!
iPod Nano - As if there weren't
enough students walking around "
Ann Arbor with white headphone
buds in their ears already, Apple
yesterday unveiled the iPod nano, 4.
the successor to the wildly pop-
ular iPod shuffle. Cheaper,
easier to use and no larger
than a pencil, the nano fea-
tures a color screen that will
display photos and album art, a
hard drive that holds up to four
gigabytes of music and a 14-hour
battery life. The tolerable $199
price tag doesn't hurt either.
Courtesy of Apple

Courtesy of G-Unit

A gangster with puppy eyes? Never a good sign.

FORGETTABLE FELON
G-UNIT MEMBER DROPS FAMILIAR DEBUT

By Evan McGarvey h
Daily Music Editor

G-Unit is a brand name. Anyone with his eyes
near a television in the past year could see their
cavalcade of albums fritter-_
ing their time in the greasy Tony Yayo
spotlight. Lloyd Banks dis-
appointed, Young Buck actu- Thoughts of a
ally succeeded (though no Predicate Felon
one seemed to give a damn), G-Unit
The Game got ex-communi-
cated and now Tony Yayo, the
often-imprisoned, marginally skilled wingman,
gets his turn to handle the rock.
The clothing line is in stores, the video game
and movie are coming out this fall and the cover
art and liner notes on Thoughts of A Predicate
Felon - our hero off to one side of the photo,
caught in a hustler's repose - look exactly like
Lloyd Banks's Hunger For More. 50 Cent has
taken all of his friends and put them in the rap
world's "Groundhog Day."
But considering Yayo is far and away the least
charming, most maladroit rapper in the stable,
Predicate Felon could be heaps worse.
"So Seductive," the serviceable first single, is
an open-palm slap of a tune, stuffed with crack-

ing, unstable hi-hats and a weird static effect that
numbs Yayo's pride: "My waves keep spinning,
my charm get major women / You know them
black and them white and them Asian women."
50 Cent wisely takes a verse of his own and laces
the track with an easy, Richard Scary hook.
Fresh out of the joint, Yayo wisely lets his
impressive (frightening?) experience do most of
the talking for him. He knows women don't love
him, he knows what it's like to watch a man die
("Homicide"), etc. This is all fine work, and the
cinematic, rumbling production that appeared on
all of the other G-Unit releases as well make a
nice, albeit temporary, aural impact.
But oh, oh the missteps. Concealing Yayo's
weak points is exactly what a musically boring,
big-budget vanity project is supposed to do. Put-
ting a dude whose last name means coke in a
wart-riddled, thug-love jam about a girl with an
abusive husband ("Curious")? Eh, not the move
I had in mind. Let Eminem and his increasingly
pathetic production ability (big, confrontational
strings; unoiled, Abrams Tank percussion) make
a song about how dangerous he and Yayo are
together ("Drama Setter")? More than a little
expected, and little more than fast-forward fod-
der. He did it for The Massacre and it stunk, so
why again? But hey, it worked for Banks, Game
and 50. Goose and gander are inseparable in
the disturbing oligarchy of G-Unit. Forfeit your

name; get some bills; repeat with new guy.
Why? Because this is fast-food rap, McThugs
and McHustlers all around. No skits, no concept
and tracks ordered without any particular aes-
thetic effect in mind.
It's not screamingly bad, just musically the
same buffet kids have been slurping from since
'02. Angry, angry drums and the creaking blades
of Pro-Tools noise. If you liked the weaker tracks
from Get Rich or Die Tryin' (which is clearly the
golden mold for all 2kwhatever rap) you'll have
no trouble tolerating this.
Predicate Felon doesn't spelunk any new
depths in foulness for the genre, it just sort of
hovers near the cave entrance. Yayo's genuine
enthusiasm for the dank keeps "I'm So High"
off the ground, but it's the same old story:
quiet, tinny effects on the verses leading to the
achy-breaky keyboard synths in the chorus.
Yayo's old mix-tape career gets cannibalized
for "Pimpin'," one of the few charming songs.
Thankfully, it doesn't do much more than a few
tiny digital-guitar frets and his boasts about for-
gettable women of all shapes and sizes. Simplic-
ity kind of works for Tony but it's not the real
G-Unit manifest destiny.
Hey, this might sell four million copies, but
toss it between anything else from the G-Unit
Limited Outfitters, and you try and tell the dif-
ference.

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