Lloyd Banks – Mo Money In The Bank Pt. 5

Lloyd Banks - Mo Money In The Bank Pt. 5Mixtapes aren’t usually worth reviewing. However, when you’re arguably rap’s punchline king, and have recieved awards based on the fact mixtapes is part of what you do, compromises can be made. Lloyd Banks second LP (“Rotten Apple”) lacked the commercial success of his debut, but if there’s one thing Banks has proven, it’s that his gritty lyricism and punchlines have remained in tact. This is the last installment of his “Mo Money In The Bank” series, and features countless freestyles over popular instrumentals.

1.) Kill A NY Cop (Intro): Nothing more then an intro, this features the beginning of a New Line movie, followed by countless cops feeling the wrath of the streets.

2.) Almighty U.N.I.T.: Over a smooth bassline, Bank’s catchy hook, and smooth delivery make this track noteworthy. Punchlines still in tact (“Think of a sliced diamond/that’s kind of how I’m shinin”), this is a good opening track for the mixtape.

3.) Showtime (The Game’s Over): To say that exiled G-Unit member The Game has been attacking his former crew, is an understatement. This is Bank’s retaliation track. Clocking in at just over 3 minutes, Banks’ diss features memorable lines (“The hood made him cover up the butterfly/Now Ima make ya cover up the other eye/Cause you ain’t never merked nothin, that’s another lie/Nigga don’t make me hum you a lullaby”), the beat lacks the power of a great diss track. However, most fans will be pleased to see Banks go back at The Game. Good track.

4.) Time To Chill: This beat is very old school, and while Bank’s delivery is great, the hook and actual song is boring. Decent song at best; otherwise skip it.

5.) Eminem Speaks (Interlude): A radio conversation of Eminem biggin’ up Lloyd Banks, and hailing him as the “punchline king”.

6.) Reppin Time: Taking Dipset’s “Reppin Time” beat, Banks tries his flow over a Southern instrumental. Point being, that Banks is flawless on this song. However, the only drawback is that Banks doesn’t usually do southern beats, and his fans might not like the new sound.

7.) NY NY: A very different type of track, Lloyd Banks declares his love for the Rotten Apple over this very solumn and depressing beat. Great track with clever lines reminscent of his old days.

8.) Get Yo Guns: Over a bouncing Dre-inspired beat, Banks’ “Get Yo Guns” is only a minute and a half long, but bangs hard enough to be put on repeat with above average lines (“I grind hard, and shine like Ferrari lights”).

9.) On My Hip: Banks again switches up the flow and remakes Rich Boy’s breakthrough hit “Throw Some D’s”. Banks adapts once again, cleverly remaking the hook, and flowing smoothly over Polow Da Don’s smooth production. The only drawback is Bank’s lazy flow over a more upbeat track.

10.) Mary Jane: This song is only a minute and a half long, and is unfortunately boring, without any memorable punchlines, verses, or hooks. Nothing more then Bank’s half assed dedication to the chronic. Average at best.

11.) Body Erasers Skit: Typical mixtape filler skit…Skip it.

12.) Show Discipline feat. Tony Yayo: This is more of an album track. Great track in every aspect, with Bank’s reworking Cormega’s “American Beauty” bassline, with more uptempo drum kits. Classic lines like “I’m lightning on the tracks, like Tyson on the mat” make for a superb song. Even Yayo holds his own. Don’t skip.

13.) What Y’all Wanna Do: Lloyd Banks comes up short on this one. After the last track, this is a dissapointment. While the beat is on point, Bank’s subject matter (jewelry, TV’s, etc.) is a little played out. Listen only if you need to own everything Bank’s puts his name on.

14.) Ride Slow: A rework of Kanye West’s “Drive Slow”, Bank’s flow is at an all time high. While the theme and concept hasn’t changed (diamonds, fresh fits, and cars), Bank’s lyrics work perfectly (“I’m a trendsetter, sittin on Benz leather/You know the 10 letters – Lloyd Banks, nigga”). Great song.

15.) The Flow: “The Flow” is more of an upbeat track, with Bank’s attacking the beat like he should’ve on “Rotten Apple”. While not packing hte punch of any of the tracks on “Hunger For More”, this short (but inspired) track is hopefully a sign of things to come. Good song.

16.) Black Superman feat. Tony Yayo: This song features G-Unit’s original members explaining while they are no “Captain Save-a-hoe”. The beat is on some West Coast tip, and while Bank’s rides out, Yayo’s voice and energy doesn’t work well with this track. Skip Yayo’s part, and you’re good to go.

17.) Help: Featured on Bank’s “Rotten Apple”, this is the 2nd single (also a video), and was just thrown on the mixtape for promotion and good measure. Check out my review of “Rotten Apple” if you want to know more about this track.

18.) Clipz: These are the songs Bank’s works the best over. A remake of The Clipse’s “Mr. Me Too”, Bank’s smoothly croons the instrumental at just over a minute, with a smooth delivery and a swagger matched by none. Good mixtape track, and more of what I expected from Banks.

19.) Make A Move: Also featured on Bank’s “Rotten Apple”, this track is an upbeat instrumental featuring live drums. Great track, up and down. Check the “Rotten Apple” review for more on this song.

20.) Born & Raised: Lloyd Banks closes out the mixtape on another southern beat. This time it’s Trick Daddy’s “Born & Raised”, and Banks re-does the hook to his favor, because he’s certainly not from the county of Dade. He reworks the song perfectly however, and is a suprise to most listeners as Banks chooses to work southern instrumentals. This song would only work better if it were a little bit longer.

So in conclusion, Banks “Mo Money In The Bank Pt. 5” is a somewhere in between his other releases. While lacking the punch of “Money In The Bank”, but noticabley better then “Mo Money In The Bank Pt. 3”, this is an average release. I, personally, expected more out of hearing “Mo Money In The Bank Pt. 4” at the beginning of 2006. Unfortunatley this is the last chapter, and proves that before Banks drops his 3rd solo effort, that he needs to polish his beat selection and energy.

Overall Rating: 3/5

Lloyd Banks – Rotten Apple

Lloyd Banks - Rotten AppleWith the recent decline in G-Unit’s popularity, and more importantly; sales, Lloyd Banks has been put in a “make or break” situation. The first G-Unit artist not named 50 to go platinum, the weight of his label is put soley on his shoulders. With recent flops from Mobb Deep (an album that has yet to go gold), and the extremely popular “G-Unot” campaign still in full effect, does Banks have what it takes to bring back the once powerful label? Or does he even have enough savvy punchlines and slick hooks to top his well received solo album, “The Hunger For More”??? He answers these questions with his sophomore effort, “Rotten Apple”.

1.) Rotten Apple feat. 50 Cent, Prodigy: After a very climatic intro, the title track opens with with 50, Prodigy, and Banks sticking to the original Guerilla Unit formula. This track works suprisingly well. Bank’s punchlines flow smoothly over this grimey New York instrumental.

2.) Survivor: Another mellow beat follows, with Banks harmonizing the hook (wonder who he learned that from?). Bank’s punchlines are again on point, but this track is nothing more then mixtape material. Nothing stands out, and that’s what ends up hurting it the most.

3.) Playboy 2: The original “Playboy” (featured on “The Hunger For More”) is a classic track in every sense of the word. A very intimidating bassline backed up with Bank’s punchlines and smooth delivery made it perfect. The sequel lacks in every aspect. The beat is another bland instrumental lacking punch. Bank’s hook is uninspired; and makes for another track you’d expect on one of Bank’s mixtapes.

4.) The Cake feat. 50 Cent: A very well put together track, features a clever sample, and Banks turns it into a great track. 50 does well here also, as this makes for one of the better tracks on the album.

5.) Make A Move: Live drums are blended with the beat, as Banks croons and sings the hook again. His flow is put to use on this track, and really puts the shine on him, strictly because of it. The beat is up tempo, and works well for the G-Unit soldier. Good track.

6.) Hands Up feat. 50 Cent: Featuring production from Eminem, this is your typical G-Unit single. 50 singing the hook, and Banks inviting everyone to come party with him. Verses are suprisingly good here; as Bank’s showcases his punchline savvy to a national market. Doesn’t save the track though. Very dissapointing choice for a single.

7.) Help feat. Keri Hilston: A very smooth track for the ladies, featuring a relaxing piano influenced instrumental. Banks shows the ladies he cares with an impecible flow. Good choice for the second single, and video. Top notch track, where Banks shines the most.

8.) Addicted feat. Musiq Soulchild: Just looking at this track, I expected a perfect collaboration. While it is decent, something’s missing. The beat isn’t on Soulchild’s level, as Banks spits more bars about his clout and wealth. Average track at best.

9.) You Know The Deal feat. Rakim: Despite the tracklist, this DOES NOT feature Rakim. It samples him perfectly, however, as Bank’s showcases his best flow on the album, that really lets you “know the deal”. Great track; and is Bank’s in his purest form.

10.) Get Clapped feat. Mobb Deep: Boring production, and Prodigy’s lackluster flow ruin this track for the most part. Havoc comes correct, and Banks is in typical punchline fashion, but makes for an unworthy track.

11.) Stranger: Yet another song that finds Bank performing his own hooks. While it works sometimes, in this case it doesn’t. A very monotonous hook, and average verses (at best) make for a fairly boring track. I expected more out of Banks, at this point.

12.) Change: A little bit of improvement is shown on this track. Bank’s growth as an artist is apparent, and if more tracks were made like this, maybe he’d be able to branch off on his own.

13.) NY NY feat. Tony Yayo: “NY NY” features another track produced by Eminem. Good track none the less, and finds Banks and Yayo spitting good verses. More of a track I expected out of an album titled “Rotten Apple”. One of the album’s highlights.

14.) One Night Stand: Very, very good track. Soulful hook, and is once again something I’d expect out of Bank’s. The end of the album proves to be the best. Great track.

15.) Iceman feat. Young Buck, 8Ball, Scarface: Attempt at appealing the southern audience, Banks falls out of place here, but manages to save the track with appearences from southern legends. Catchy hook, smooth bassline, and great guest appearences, make for a good track.

16.) Gilmore’s: Although failry short, this track (while not the best to close out an album) is very catchy and has an addicting beat. Pretty original concept, and the hook is above average for the most part.

So did Bank’s live up to the hype? In my opinion: No. The reason for this is, he’s so concerned with keeping it street on this album and saving good songs for his mixtapes, that it hurt his sophomore solo. While not terrible, this probably won’t go down as Bank’s best work down the line in his career. While some tracks are superb, some tracks are terrible. My advice to the Unit, if you’re looking for somebody to re-kindle the flame, Bank’s isn’t your best choice right now.

Rating: 3.5/5

Lloyd Banks – The Hunger For More

Lloyd Banks - The Hunger For More01.) “Ain’t No Click” (feat. Tony Yayo) (4.5 out of 5) Produced by Havoc

Lloyd Banks kicks-off his highly anticipated debut effort with a lyrical assault over a very impressive production courtesy of Mobb Deep’s Havoc. Havoc has really been on a hot streak as-of late. Tony Yayo rides shotgun and offers-up a very impressive 16… It’s great to have Yayo home.

02.) “Playboy” (4 out of 5) Produced by Ron Browz

Ron Browz is another producer who’s been offering-up quite a-bit of heat as-of late. Banks does a very nice job riding Browz’ difficult production. “Playboy” serves as proof that Banks is quite possibly today’s top punch-line MC.

03.) “Warrior” (5 out of 5) Produced by Thayod Ausar

“Warrior” is quite possibly Banks’ best lyrical performance to-date. “So, if that’s ya man warn him/’Cause theres enough bullets in here to hit every NBA patch on ’em” is arguably “The Hunger For More’s” best punch-line. The catchy hook along with the impressive production of Thayod Ausar have made this track a staple in my playlist for the past few months.

04.) “On Fire” (5 out of 5) Produced by K1 Mil

The epic production of new-comer K1 Mil (a.k.a. Kwame) is what’s most impressive about Lloyd Banks’ lead single. Banks does the production justice by dropping two outstanding verses and by providing a catchy chorus along with mentor 50 Cent. I just can’t get enough of this track.

05.) “I Get High” (feat. 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg) (3.5 out of 5) Produced by Hi-Tek

Lloyd Banks does a decent job with this track. It almost goes without saying that he’s capable of MUCH better than these two verses… Especially his second verse. Snoopy drops what may-very-well-be his weakest verse to-date. If you ask me… Snoop has smoked himself wack. What saves this tracks fate is the catchy hook and the typical (but dope) production of Hi-Tek.

06.) “I’m So Fly” (4.8 out of 5) Produced by Timbaland

The irisistable hook and the outstanding production of Timbaland make this an almost too-easy choice for the second single. “You think that bandana makes you look gangsta but all I see is a hankerchief!” and “I’m in the hood with more straps than a Jan-Sport!” are just two examples of how brutally Banks treats Timbaland’s keyboard-driven production.

07.) “Work Magic” (feat. Young Buck) (3.8 out of 5) Produced by Scram Jones

Lloyd Banks and Young Buck (more-so Young Buck) do a very nice job with the bass-heavy production of new-comer Scram Jones. The only problem I have with this track is the repetitiveness of the production… It becomes half-way annoying after a while. I also think that the hook could have been better.

08.) “If You So Gangsta” (3.5 out of 5) Produced by Chad Beat and Sha Money XL

The Boy Wonder is obviously following his mentor’s blueprint for multi-platinum success with this track. “If You So Gangsta” is obviously Lloyd Banks’ version of 50 Cent’s 2002 classic, “Wanksta”. Still, the bouncy beat and the catchy hook make this track acceptable… Eventhough it’s obvious mix-tape material.

09.) “Warrior, Part 2” (feat. 50 Cent, Eminem and Nate Dogg) (5 out of 5) Produced by Eminem

If you have-yet to read the album credits then you may think that this track is produced by the legendary Dr. Dre. Well… It’s not. Eminem has really came into his own as a credible producer. It’s really difficult to decide who to call the star of “Warrior, Part 2”. This is because all three MC’s do an outstanding job with their respective verses. I have one question for you… Is it even possible for Nate Dogg to come half-way wack on a hook? Because right-now I’m thinking that it’s damn-near impossible.

10.) “Karma” (5 out of 5) Produced by Greg Doby

Is it just me or does it smell like a smash hit-single in here? This is my personal favorite track featured on “The Hunger For More”. The chorus and the production on this track are absolutly perfect. I wouldn’t be the least-bit suprised if more people are now knocking on the door’s of R&B crooner KC and producer Greg “Ginx” Doby as a result of this track. Call me optomistic… But I’m thinking right about now that Lloyd Banks must have read my review of “Smile” because he’s really stepped-up his rhyme game on this track… Especially when compared to “Smile”.

11.) “When The Chips Are Down” (feat. The Game) (4.5 out of 5) Produced by Black Jeruz and Sha Money XL

There is no question in my mind as-to who is the star of “When The Chips Are Down”. The Game absolutly MURDERS the outstanding keyboard-driven production of Black Jeruz and Sha Money XL. In case you haven’t noticed… There is a reason why there has been such a massive buzz around this kid. The Game WILL resurrect the West Coast.

12.) “‘Til The End” (5 out of 5) Produced by Eminem

First off… This is the best production featured on “The Hunger For More”. Eminem’s career-best production is proof that he is well on his way to becoming one of the Hip-Hop game’s premier producers. Lloyd Banks does an excellent job crafting excellent verses over Eminem’s bass-heavy piano-driven production. I’m also REALLY feelin’ Nate Dogg’s background vocals on this track.

13.) “Die One Day” (3.5 out of 5) Produced by Baby Grand

It’s easy to ignore the very average production of this track when you pay attention to Lloyd Banks’ outstanding lyricism. Suprisingly… This is the only track featured on “The Hunger For More” that is worth the listen simply for it’s lyricism.

14.) “South Side Story” (4.5 out of 5) Produced by The Diaz Brothers

“South Side Story” showcases Lloyd Banks’ outstanding story-telling abilities. The first verse in-particular is alone Hip-Hop Quotable material. It may very well be the best verse of Banks’ career. The guitar-driven production of the Diaz Brothers is also great. I’m also lovin’ the hook featured on this track. This was a great way to conclude this album.



Lloyd Banks’ debut album “The Hunger For More” features classic material. But is it a classic album? The answer right now is… No. Now, down the line do I think it will creep up into the world of classic material… Possibly. The problem with the album is that it features tracks that just don’t match up to other tracks featured on the album. At times it’s rather obvious that the product was rushed. But it definitly wasn’t rushed to the extent of “Beg For Mercy”. “The Hunger For More” seems to land right-smack-in-the-middle of the status of “Get Rich Or Die Tryin'” and the status of “Beg For Mercy”. Next time around I’m expecting Banks to concentrate on his lyricism to the extent that we were promised that it would be concentrated-on this time around. With the production featured on the album Banks had more than enough inspiration to craft 14 classic tracks… Instead he crafted five classic tracks: “Warrior”, “On Fire”, “Warrior, Part 2”, “Karma” and “‘Til The End”. Now… Is “The Hunger For More” worth checking out? Without a doubt it is! I love this album. If you ask me… “The Hunger For More” is easily the hottest album of Summer 2004. I would DEFINITLY pick-it-up again if I could do it all again. I advise you to do the same as I did and purchase Lloyd Banks’ debut album.

FINAL RATING: 4 out of 5