June 3, 2007

Drink Coasters: Lloyd Banks - The Hunger For More (June 29, 2004)

Okay, okay, not quite what I've been teasing for two weeks now, but I'm working my way up to it. (I have to be in a particular state of mind to write about certain albums.) For now, this is close enough.

Lloyd Banks was a founding member of G-Unit, which is Curtis Jackson's sorry excuse of a posse made up exclusively of weed carriers. He made a name for himself on the mixtape scene with his (admittedly) funny punchlines and lackadaisical flow. He was poised as the second of the crew to blow, and was pretty successful when he dropped The Hunger For More in 2004. The problem with mixtape rappers, though, is they never seem to understand how to write a song versus writing a string of jokes like a bad stand-up comedian. The problem with The Hunger For More is that it sounds awful, but I'll be the first to admit that it's not wholly Banks's fault.

The project has the quality of product that's been rushed to the shelves to capitalize on the popularity of a name brand. The guest appearances (and there are many) aren't very welcome, and the beats are either from no-name producers looking to make a name for themselves (and failing), or discarded leftovers from seasoned veterans. The exception is the only track on here that actually works, "Warrior", which is also the shortest song on the album. (Coincidence?) The instrumental is appropriately menacing, yet accessible enough for Banks to get his message across. Every other song on this album sucks dick. There. I said it.

The first single, "On Fire", co-produced by Marshall Mathers, is the commercial track for the bitches, but any woman who dances to this track without taking offense to what I just wrote may just deserve the moniker. The Timbaland-produced "I'm So Fly" doesn't really gel, but it was probably produced by his frequent collaborator Danja anyway, so I don't blame Timbo. Eminem's other contributions, "Warrior Part 2" (featuring Eminem, Curtis, Nate Dogg, the cat, the cradle, and the silver spoon), and "Til' The End", both sound dark, eardrum-threatening, and, overall, as weak as most other Eminem productions sound (which everyone should agree is pretty fucking weak). Every song calculated for the club or for the chick fails miserably as Banks doesn't sound very comfortable with the subject matter (although it's not like he's any better with that gangsta shit). The opener, "Ain't No Click" (by the way, Banks, thank you SO much for not including an album intro!), held up the album release, as Banks insisted on waiting for fellow co-founder Tony Yayo's contribution before he would turn it in to Interscope. Unsurprisingly, Yayo brings absolutely nothing to the table. (I realize that I mentioned that the album sounds rushed, even though I just wrote that Banks held up the release of his own album for Yayo. That should say a lot.)
Even the inclusion of The Game (on "When The Chips Are Down"), obviously done well before the falling-out, isn't enough to encourage even a cursory listen of this garbage. The Hunger For More just isn't a good album, and, now that I think about it, may not even be a good fit as a drink coaster. Don't go so far as to wipe your ass with this CD, though, as that will hurt.

-Max

(Disagree with the above review? Leave a comment below!)

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11 comments:

  1. Needless to say Max, this is not something tat I've checked out and have no intention of doing so. This is the sort of bullshit that manages to get me angry: and I haven't even heard it.

    Dan

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  2. I'll level with you, I kinda liked 'Til The End' and 'Southside Story' for the story-telling elements. But it would help if Bank sounded more like he gave a shit.

    In case you're unaware, it's a similat story on his follow-up, which is probably worse when I think about it.

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  3. hy from france; i've never been fascinated by G-unt and Co but this release is pretty good,certainly the best of this crew,tht's just my opinion, and i can't understand all lyrics (maybe a chance sometimes!)

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  4. I agree with most of your points, but I wouldn't be so negative about the whole album.
    As far as G Unit albums go, this is a pretty good release, ahah...

    Oh, and Slim Shady should really stick to rapping!

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  5. I have'nt listened to this, but from who's asked me to get them this tells me that real hip hop fans should never even consider this hip hop, its pop and should be only brought by minors and the deaf!

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  6. EF HuttinJune 10, 2007

    I actually thought "Ain't No Click" was pretty decent, even though it was all downhill from there. But Yayo is entirely useless, cause he cain't rap for shit.

    And smackin' up 14 year old kids? In the words of Riley Freeman, that is VERY not gangsta.

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  7. Thanks for writing this.

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  8. Finally, someone who straight up says that Eminem's production SUCKS!

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  9. Drink coaster? No No No! I have a better idea for this album. It should be used as a sewer hole cover in the Bronx! Naw! How about we use it to wipe our asses! Lloyd Bank is garbage!

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  10. This album is perfect proof that hip hop isn't dead muthafuckas!!!!!

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  11. Well, despite me not being a G-Unit stan I actually did find this modestly enjoyable. "Ain't No Click" has a quite nice, sinister beat. Banks' verses are good as well and Yayo's agressive ab-libs contrast nicely with Banks' "cool as the other side of the pillow" delivery although the hook does leave a lot to be desired and Yayo's verse... well, it does suck but not in an offensive way. It's just boring.

    "Warrior" is straight fire although the sequel does indeed suck BALLZ.

    And "Karma" is quite good a love-rap if you like that type of thing.

    Yes, the beats on here are boring as fuck but that doesn't mean that Banks or even this album as a whole is bad. It's just that the beats aren't as good as Banks' his punchline raps. I guess that's what you get from signing with Curtis' label where any good instrumental gets "Massacre"'d and you end up rhyming over some of Marshall's creations. (That's kind of like being on Bad Boy in the '90 and having Diddy dropping a verse on your album. Also, being on Def Jam during Jigga's reign of terror wasn't that different in getting all good instrumentals snatched from you for the boss' record.)

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