Young Buck’s second album puts the Mayor of Cashville in a tough position: It may be the best G-Unit release in a while, but it still lacks enough fluidity and originality to show that he could stand on his own sans top-shelf producers and Interscope’s backing. Although he has played it cool lately, offering to squash beefs with the Game and criticizing Tony Yayo’s slap-happy self, if Buck were to leave “the house that Curtis built,” his career might take a turn for the worse.
The Tennessee-native chooses to skip past an obligatory album intro, leading off with actual music. In fact, there are no skits or interludes on Buck the World, which is welcome. The first verse on opener “Pushd ‘Em Back” is a sign of things to come: Buck the World is loaded with bars portraying violence, braggadocio, and street sagas. “Ain’t nobody goin’ broke, everybody sellin’ dope/ Everybody gettin’ money/ It’s some niggas tellin’ though/ We ain’t talkin’ on the phone/ I don’t know ya, I ain’t servin’ ya/
Nobody neva heard a ya/ you fuckin’ wit some murderas.”
Its follow-up, “Say It to My Face,” is a decent collabo with Southern rap vets 8Ball, MJG, and Bun B, as is “I Ain’t Fuckin’ Wit U,” which features Snoop Dogg and Trick Daddy. In fact, nearly all of the guest spots are solid, especially “Pocket Full of Paper,” featuring Young Jeezy. Other standouts include “Buss Yo’ Head,” “Get Buck,” and “4 Kings,” but tracks like “Puff, Puff, Pass” (obligatory weed song) and “I Know You Want Me” (obligatory attempt at a club-banger) seem a bit out of place.
Buck the World doesn’t quite match his 2004 debut, Straight Outta Cashville, which nothing reaching the level of the elder album’s “Stomp.” In some ways, the album is similar to Game’s Doctor’s Advocate (2006), loaded with star-studded producers and cameos but falling short in terms of emotion. But with the way things are unfolding in hip-hop, especially with G-Unit, Buck should have a lot more to get off his chest for the next LP. Maybe he can count on one name — his own — to sell records.