Artist: Lloyd BanksTitle: The Hunger For MoreRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Javid
You can never get enough of a g-g-good thing. It appears thats what Lloyd Banks has judging from his first solo album, The Hunger for More. Ask anyone circa 2002, what they thought of the boy wonder and you would have gotten some responses that the boy Banks is hotter than his man 50 and his combination of cold delivery and greasy metaphors, would soon make him G-units top shooter. Switch the scene to Summer 2004, G-units capo has a single that is On Fire and turning clubs from Newark to Compton into a tizzy not seen since In The Club (okay, maybe not quite). Armed with more promotion than the R. Kelly tape, Banks long awaited album is finally here and features appearances from the whole G-unit crew as well as the mandatory Eminem feature.
The album opens up with pure energy on the hyped up Aint No Click which features a fresh out the bing Tony Yayo contributing ad libs that contrast well with Banks laid back delivery. Unfortunately, Yayos verse is sub par and will leave you wondering if he will be able to regain his place in the Units hierchy or be reduced to the crews street soldier/ hypeman. On I Get High Banks enlists 50 Cent and Snoop to tell us how he flies even when hes not on the G-4. The Hi-Tek production seems a little too soft for Banks and caters more to Snoops laid back pimp than it does the laid back gangsta. Even hook master 50 Cent fails to nail it this time around. The bouncy Timbaland produced Im So Fly is a definite club hit and will have thugs scuffin up their Timbs in the name of love or in this case being fly.
One of the albums highlights features both stars of G-Units new breed Banks and Buck on the amped up Work Magic. The combination of horns and deep bass give Young Buck an opportunity to give us a taste of Cashville and shows he can more than hold down G Unit South. Ironically, one of the albums lackluster performances is on Warrior Pt. 2 which features the all-star line of Eminem, Nate Dogg, and 50 Cent. The guitar heavy, Eminem produced track sounds bland and would have been better suited for the 8 Mile Soundtrack.
Overall, Banks debut is far more than you would expect from a rookie, and proves without a doubt he can hold his own. The albums main flaw is its blatant attempt to emulate the mold created on Get Rich or Die Trying. Rather than picking up where 50 left off, Banks gives us more of the same, putting his ability to develop creative song concepts in question. However, what Banks lacks is 50s charismatic personality and knack for creating memorable hooks, leaving him to rely on his lyrical content, which is not shabby at all. Although the G-Unit empire will only grow with this release, hopefully artist will begin to stray from 50s mold and create their own Next stop Cashville, ten-a-key.