Banks and where he at (with Lloyd Bank’s interview)

The story of G Unit has had so many ups and downs and has been so commercially available that it is almost impossible not to know what it’s all about. 50 in the center of it all and making noise. Banks, Buck, Yayo and Olivia were joined by Hot Rod, Mobb Deep, MOP and Mase (although the last one is there mostly in spirit). Then you have Spider Loc running things in LA.

There’s been rumors, controversies and even lies surrounding this group for a while now. First Game broke off and started a rather unneeded confrontation. Claiming that his music willl sell out more than 50’s he didn’t count on lack of experience. Now he’s trying to patch things up with 50. Let’s see where it’ll end up.

Let’s not forget the Ja Rule conflict. After 50 decided to drop the hammer on the 2Pac act-alike (or so he claimed) there were just way too many conflicts coming out of it. Starting it off with taking Ja’s chain off of him during a tussle and ending it with Piggybank. Taking a stab at just about everyone on the New York scene in that song 50 effectively eliminated the competition. Unfortunately he may have eliminated the very nature of NY Hip Hop for a short while. Or perhaps NY Hip Hop was just waiting for someone to come and do that job.

Some things went right and others didn’t. Olivia did not get replaced by Keyshia Cole. Buck begun producing his own stuff and is about to pleasantly surprise the world with his new album. So what that its getting pushed back again? Hot Rod is still on a lockdown here on the East Coast but is beginning to spread his wings and combine a thug and a ladies’ man in one. DJ Whoo Kid put out a few mixtapes with 50 and others in ’06. He also managed to say that “back in the day it was corny rap”. Despite promises, not every G-Unit member dropped an album last year. Blood Money didn’t do so well. Mase still has well over a year under Bad Boy and Puffy ain’t letting him go. MOP is focused on their own label more than on G-Unit. Freeway became a joint venture of Def Jam and G-Unit and LL’s dissatisfaction with Jay pushed him toward 50 as well.

When in doubt its often about taking it back. It all began with 50, Banks and Yayo. At first Banks was all about representing his music on the streets with mixtapes. Making a name for himself quickly he dropped his debut album The Hunger For More. Achieving Platinum status quickly he continued to tour the world with G-Unit non-stop. ’06 was a tough year for all in Hip Hop, East, West or South being equal. Only one artist came out with an album in ’06 and went Platinum in ’06. That was T.I. himself. Lil Wayne’s December ’05 album so Platinum in ‘06 as well, but otherwise the year was not a great one in terms of record sales. Taking a small break from touring, Banks spent more time on his next album. Who knows what it would have been if not for the unpredictable turn of events. Everyone is familiar with Banks leaving a finished but not copyrighted album in a girl’s place. The album must have not been that great or the girl was that bad, but everyone knows not to piss off a woman. After not getting a follow-up call she turned her entrepreneurial skills on and sold that album to a radio DJ to become a street mixtape. Clearly, that didn’t have much of an effect on Banks’ intentions. She still didn’t get a callback and the Rotten Apple was born. Seeing a much lesser success than the freshman effort, the album put a stamp of ‘Born in 06’ on it.

So what is new with Lloyd Banks? He is still his usual calm, cool and collective. Ladies still love him, he got the hood thumping to his records and he’s touring all over. Taking some time away from music and the ladies he gives some to WNT in this interview.

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