Let's just face it, Young Buck doesn't get his due. Pumping out reliable projects like clockwork – 10 Street Commandments is is the sixth entry into a series only since 2015 – and consistently maintaining the paradox of the thinker's street rapper, with bars to match the likes of a Boosie Badazz (minus the overpowering homophobia), he still receives less than a third of the hype and love in return. He's always able to paint the picture: this is a guy who rapped about losing his home while in jail, only to come back trapping and walk into the auction buying back his things with the drug money. Seriously, if you are cocking an eyebrow, just pour up your favorite poison and go through any of Buck's recent releases, and take in his weathered, stark honesty, oh so expertly melded with gangsta bravado and party-ready energy.

There's a reason, after all, that even during 50 Cent's attempted blacklisting of his career after the G-Unit fallout that Buck continued receiving props and features from rap stars as diverse as Atlanta trap royalty in Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka and 2 Chainz, to old school banner-holders in Prodigy and Redman, all the way to hip hop head favorites such as Brotha Lynch Hung. The rap world always responded to Buck's clear, strong persona and presence, for some reason, the audience just never quite latched on.

Here, 'Paperwork' starts things off with streetwise musings ("I've never seen so many niggas told on they homeboys still in the streets goin' ratchet"), Buck smoothly swinging into hype next on 'Emoji Mad', most of the album expertly balancing these two sides of the artist, 'Out the Streets' presenting an emotional perspective on the life of a hustler. 'Penitentiary Pics' closes the show with thoughts on allies locked up, and Buck's love for his friend's children as his own. Granted, these are well worn themes, but no more so than those anyone else in his lane are working with. In trap music, it all comes down to the perspective given, and Buck makes depicting his reality it look easy.

During his tenure on Interscope/G-Unit, he created big moments: he hosted the infamous 'features as diss tracks' between T.I. and Ludacris on 'Stomp', graced Dr. Dre and Eminem beats, hell, just go back and listen to 'Get Buck', it's guaranteed to get you moving. This was all overshadowed, somewhat fairly, by, well, him stabbing someone at the Vibe awards, along with his dramatic dismissal from G-Unit.

Naturally, G-Unit was eventually revived during 50 Cent's own fading fortunes, but the wound Curtis inflicted perhaps never quite faded: he “exposed” (by leaking a phone call with a frantic, apologetic Buck) his underling for being, well, human during a time when hubris still meant far more in the brand of gansta-pop 50 himself had largely created than reality.

In 2017, a mixture of frankly presented weakness and cool should open doors. Yet, Buck, much like Lloyd Banks, despite possessing far more potential to crossover in the current rap era than his G-Unit compatriots, seems roped right in with them in listener's minds and ears.

Contrary to likely assumptions, 10 Street Commandments is no dinosaur, with much of its material begging for a Migos appearance, it wouldn't sound out of place on any present playlist. It doesn't have quite the urgency of C U L T U R E, to be sure, but having released seven album-length projects in less than 3 years, Buck manages to make being drained sound lived-in and vibrant. He remains mandatory rap listening that no one is hearing.