Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Album Review: Lloyd Banks - "H.F.M. 2 (The Hunger for More)"

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Four long years have passed since the last time a new album came from Lloyd Banks. Following a weak effort in 2006 with Rotten Apple, Banks had to prove himself. It was after his album release that the G-Unit movement began to fall off.

Because the Banks release signaled the end of a big moneymaker, Interscope Records never gave him a solid release date. Last year, Lloyd Banks had enough and left the label. After leaving Interscope, he returned to the mixtape scene.

Long before G-Unit made it into the mainstream, they dominated the New York mixtape scene. As a soldier for G-Unit, Lloyd Banks was one of the most popular mixtape rappers in the years before G-Unit exploded onto the charts. In need of a boost, he returned to his grind and built a following.

Early this year, Lloyd Banks recorded the mixtape single, "Beamer, Benz, or Bentley." While the song was catchy, no one expected it to become the hit it has become. The song was so popular that 50 Cent decided to have Lloyd Banks release an album. 50 Cent used the popularity of this song to market G-Unit to a new label. Throughout the summer, there were rumors of the label heading to Def Jam, but in the end, EMI agreed to distribute the next few releases from G-Unit Records.

With a solid record deal behind him, Lloyd Banks recorded an album to support his hit single. The feeling he had when he went in the studio was hunger. Six years ago, Lloyd Banks was so excited as he put together his debut album and he simply wanted more. Despite being a veteran in the game, Banks still wanted more and to take things back. This was the reason he ended up naming his album The Hunger for More 2. Not only was it a return to his rawness, but it was a return to the hunger he did not have on Rotten Apple.

As more songs were released from the album, anticipiation built for the new release. Lloyd Banks promised he would not let the fans down with this album. Banks felt as if he really had to come through for his fans because he has been overshadowed by Kanye West and Nicki Minaj. In an effort to push the creativity, he decided to feature West on the album. Unlike his other two albums, H.F.M. 2 (The Hunger for More) is star-studded with appearances from Ryan Leslie and Juelz Santana.

Lloyd Banks hoped to prove he could handle himself with other heavy-hitters by collaborating with so many artists. What time Banks was heard on the album, he held his own, but the album comes off as more of a compilation because more of other artists are heard instead of Lloyd Banks, himself. But, every artist on this album came with their best, including Banks. Because of this, the album is still very good, but it appears more as a compilation instead of a solo release.

The album was filled with verses from other artists, but Lloyd Banks held fans down, even after being overshadowed on his "Beamer, Benz, or Bentley" by Juelz Santana. The Hunger for More 2 is definitely a good album and worth the listen.

Hip Hop Vibe's Rating: 6/10


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