Artist: Whoo Kid/Lloyd BanksTitle: Mo' Money In The Bank Part 4 (Mixtape)Rating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Jamiyl "J Boogie" Samuels
Lloyd Banks is still hungry for more. Having the release of his anticipated sophomore album The Rotten Apple delayed, Banks has kept busy by setting the table for his summer release with installments of his DJ Whoo Kid-helmed Mo' Money In The Bank series. With Mo' Money In the Bank Part 4 Banks comes out swinging addressing haters who have the nerve to doubt him, naysayers who think he can't win again, and G-Unit enemy The Game. Whoo Kid, for his part, makes his presence felt by punctuating Banks' punchlines with gunshots and intermittent comments (i.e. "let's go" and "damn"). Banks never lacked for confidence and Mo' Money Part 4 shows that the controversy surrounding the reported leak of the original version of his sophomore album has not shaken the Boy Wonder.
This installment is a pleasing one, though not without its faults. Banks' debut The Hunger for More was refreshingly devoid of skits, so a reversion to interludes would be an unfortunate setback for Banks if they were to appear on the new album. Mo' Money 4 is painfully full of skits (Dan Akroyd pops up after the final track "Been Around the World" fades out) that take away from the impact of the actual songs. The most annoying being the intro and skit combo that begins the CD. With the next two selections ("Gang Green Season" snippet and another skit) clocking in at a total of approximately 2 minutes, the listener finally gets to the first full track "The Sh***y City". This track, which takes it's bass line from the MC Lyte classic "Stop Look Listen", is vintage Lloyd Banks, as is "The Workout Part 4" where he spits "I button yall ni**as up like Jay-Z" over Hova's beat for "Lyrical Exercise". Though this track says featuring 50 Cent, the G-Unit general only appears on the hook and for the requisite commentary at the end of the track. 50 lets the listeners know he's playing the background because "it's Banks time".
After another pointless skit comes the lead single from the forthcoming album, "Cake". This clever heater, featuring 50 Cent, utilizes a sample that screams the title during lines in the verse and as part of the hook. The booming "My House" wastes a sure shot Timbaland beat with a weak hook and was thankfully pulled as the lead single. On the sinister "Take A Picture", a brooding organ serves as the back drop as Lloyd claims that "the punchline kid is back ni**a/Look what my punchlines did for rap/Inspired the new jacks that's why they sound like that" are strong words for the youngster who has been accused of stealing Fabolous' flow in the past. "Killa's Theme" is fast forward material replete with simple bass line and more "better than you" commentary from Tony Yayo. On "Lamborghini Lloyd" Banks stands out over the jacked "AM to PM" beat from nemesis Cassidy. Banks takes a shot at the Game on this one when he spits "I'm beefing wit' a ni**a that was on Change Of Heart" and follows that up with one of the best lines on the CD: "Still on stage with the hammer like Gallagher". Banks uses "70 Bars" and the beat from Raekwon's "Ice Cream" to state that he has "a b*tch for every letter in the alphabet" among other arrogant claims.
Although "Mo' Money In the Bank Part 4" shows that Banks has plenty of enjoyable lyrical fire, the 15 song/snippet effort (22 tracks w/ skits) becomes a tedious listen. Some snippets of female-driven songs a la "Smile" and "Karma" are sorely missed. One can only stand so much braggadocio, though Banks attempts to get introspective on "1970 Something". This is a mix CD so Banks cannot be faulted for the abundance of punch line heavy songs. It is common knowledge that Banks has skills, however, so we can only hope that The Rotten Apple reveals the core of Lloyd Banks.