Tale Of The (Mix)Tape: Banks Cools Down, Busta Still Handling His Biz

AllHipHop Staff

Guess who’s back? Its no question, The Honorable One is here once again to get TALE OF THE TAPE roaring into 2009. Haters take a deep breath, the column that snatches your eyes for a bit of time each week is prepped and ready to deliver the best in mixtape analysis across the board.

This week, we headline with the third entry of Lloyd Banks’ Return Of The PLK series with The Cold Corner. After giving new life into his career late in 2008 with the mixtape hustle, we see if the third time was the charm. Stat Quo tries for the same magic as he gives a tour of QuoCity. Blacksmith Music’s muscle, Strong Arm Steady, delivers some Gang Mentality, Termanology wonders If Heaven Was A Mile Away,finally criminally underrated Busta gets Back. Let’s welcome 2009 with a bang.

Lloyd Banks

The Cold Corner

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Fans, haters, and stans can agree Banks was no where near his 2005 status of the punch line dominator as recent as nine months ago. However, something lit a fire under him, starting with his Return Of The PLK mixtape, as he started putting together music to climb back into Hip-Hop’s punch line elite. Although The Cold Corner is pretty solid (“Cold Corner”, “Do It For This Block“), it just not as hot as bothof the previous two entries. After running out the gate, he could be losing his breath.

Stat Quo


Heavy Rotation

Stat Quo keeps getting better. After The South Got Something To Say series started dancing on mediocrity, the The Bailout showed just why Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine signed him. QuoCity shows off a slightly more polished Stat Quo dropping jewels on the recording situation (“In California“), some funnier skits by J Newt (“J Newt Speaks“) and up tempo anthems (“QuoCity”). This isn’t a classic on the mixtape scale yet, but Stat has unquestionably positioned himself quite nicely.

Strong Arm Steady

Gang Mentality

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People tend to think that Blacksmith is a Dirty Apple-centric record label that’s a prisoner of its own consciousness. West Coast underground titans Strong Arm Steady have pretty much been down with Talib since the label's inception, killing that misconception. Affion Crockett hosts Gang Mentality and as long as you can ignore him, you’re given a good dose of that Westside mentality (“Sunny C.A”, “Don’t You Remember”). Next time, more SAS, less impersonation mess. Seriously, Affion Crockett isn’t fun or funny.


If Heaven Was A Mile Away (A Tribute To J Dilla)

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After teasing the world with being a major player in the mixtape game, Term’s actual album went through with little fanfare. I thought that the rapper lost his edge. It seems that going on J Dilla (R.I.P) beats gives him a boost. He seems to go off at times (“Circulate“), while getting together with some good talent (“Pay Jay”, “Say It”) to deliver a tape that is worth a download. It probably wont stay on your hard drive for too long however.

Busta Rhymes

Back On My S**tHeavy Rotation

Busta Rhymes somehow slides under the radar. I never understood why as he has given the world critically acclaimed records, street anthems, and singles that still get a party jumping. That isn’t even mentioning the way he takes over almost every remix he has ever appeared on. Much like he makes a statement on any given track, he shows the world he Back On His S**t with the music. He still got the music down (“Conglomerate“), and brings the same energy (“Arab Money”) and emotion (“Black President”) that all his fans are used too. Don’t miss this one.


Tale Of The Tape 01.07.09