Mixtapes 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