Lloyd Banks: the king from Queens, NY

You can’t think of G-Unit and not think 50 Cent. Well, you should also think Lloyd Banks as well, not singling out Young Buck, The Game or Tony Yayo, but that’s not where the focus is being lead this time around. Lloyd Banks is a lyricist. His lazy but aggressively confident story-telling voice layered the mellow scene for the loud and aggressive group that is G-Unit; that balance was and still is essential for the group.

In 2004, Banks released his debut album Hunger For More. The album debuted at no. 1 on the Billboard 200 sold 433,000 copies in its opening week.

I was one of the fans who went to purchase the album. At the age of 11, I had no internet, no phone–nothing but a cd player and a boom box that got me through my listening experiences. On June 29, 2004, I woke up at 8 A.M. and went to get to go get the album from Target, along with a Digernos pizza, meat lovers, I’ll never forget. I went home and listened to the album as I played Madden; Vick was on the cover that year.

Listening to the album, I was impressed but not fully aware of what it was I was listening to exactly. I knew every word of each song, but as time would have it, the album’s greatness would improve.

“On Fire” was a for-sure hit that would take over MTV Jams, 106 & Park and radio. I can still hear the static from 95.5 as the 50 Cent-assisted single dropped. The music video was shot by Jessy Terrero and previewed “Warrior,” track three from the album.

That same summer, I went to a county fair and my step dad gave my step brother and our friends $20 each. I went to a booth and purchased a G-Unit spinner bracelet. I wore it the next day to school and my friends loved it. It broke about a week later, but I’d never forget it.

Remembering Lloyd Banks' debut album 'The Hunger For More'

The same way I won’t forget the bracelet, is the same way I’ll never forget that album. Havoc, Eminem, Hi-Tek, Timbaland, Ron Brows and having 50 Cent and Sha Money XL as executive producers. Banks was set up for success.

One of my favorite tracks is “When The Chips Are Down” which featured The Game. The Game said “Banks they think I’m Yayo’s replacement.” That alone, had me in shock.

Banks’ story-telling abilities is remarkable and it shows heavily on songs like the album closer “South Side Story” and “Till The End.”

I watched Everyday Struggle today (8/3) and they spoke on whether or not Banks is underrated. “Everybody who can rap that’s from New York is underrated,” Joe Budden replied. This is all subjective, but Lloyd Banks will forever be in my top 5 personal list of rappers. Quiet but loud with his words, I connected to that. Introverted in thought and remaining true to self is model that I too follow to the core. I’m excited to get new music from Banks very soon and it’s coming.