Simon Vozick-Levinson
November 09, 2009 AT 07:40 PM EST

50 Cent’s longawaited Before I Self-Destruct arrived as an exclusive iTunes Music Store offering today in an effort to combat widespread leaks; physical CDs will follow next Monday. Read on for EW’s review.

50 Cent

Before I Self-Destruct

Rap (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope)

After months of release-date delays and speculation about his commercial future, you might expect 50 Cent to be gunning for a pop crossover hit. Instead, he spends most of his fourth solo album doubling down on the kind of gritty gangsta-isms that will impress his most devoted fans even if they alienate many others. Growling violent threats over hard beats, 50 sounds the hungriest he has in years. Of course, there’s nothing remotely original about the formula he’s returning to, but at least he’s going through the motions with gusto. B– —Simon Vozick-Levinson

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