Gangsta rap drives by… err, I mean, rides again! If you’ve been longing for the sound of cocking and shooting gats being used as percussion in songs, then grab a four-tay and pick up 50 Cent’s debut Get Rich or Die Tryin’. It’s time to live the thug life.

For a guy who has been shot nine times, used to deal crack and claims his favorite clothing accessory is a bulletproof vest, there is no doubt that 50 Cent walks the walk. The New York mix-tape legend earned the praises of Eminem and Dr. Dre, who scooped up 50 and executive produced Get Rich. In its first week of release, Get Rich skyrocketed to #1, selling a mind-boggling 872,000 copies. With fans already claiming that 50’s debut deserves a place alongside The Chronic and Doggystyle in the canon of gangsta classics, Get Rich is stirring up an unprecedented amount of strong street buzz. But can 50 live up to the hype?

Since it has only been sitting on shelves for a week, it’s too early to declare Get Rich a classic, but it is definitely a blockbuster album. 50’s delivery is effortless and cool throughout and Eminem, everyone’s favorite matinee idol, contributes a couple of sharp cameos. Expect to hear party anthem and MTV hit “In Da Club” bumping on dance floors until drinking malt liquor goes out of style.

Unfortunately, with the recent murder of Jam Master Jay, a gangsta rap revival seems like a step backwards; you’ll hear more gunfire on the 4-minute track “Heat” than you would in an entire week at a shooting range. Hopefully 50 will be able to rise above Get Rich’s thuggish narratives and not have to worry about surviving gunshot number 10.