There are three guarantees in life: death, taxes, and a rapper putting his homeboy on. Even when this rapper is the almighty and heavily-successful 50 Cent, there is no guarantee that his homeboy – Lloyd Banks – will see the same level of accomplishment. 50 got hot, and put Banks on. Now, with Banks’ third album, The Hunger for More 2, the fans decide whether Christopher Charles Lloyd falls into the stereotype of a somewhat popular homeboy rapper; or, breaks away from the cool club, and gains his own notoriety as an artist.
Despite Banks’ above-average rap skills, he’s shown no growth. Lyrically, he is the same Banks that entered the scene seven years ago. The album is 60 minutes of punchlines and machismo lingo. His flow and tone remain the same, and beat versatility equates to zilch. It almost seems as though Banks is afraid of doing something different, and consequently, growing as an artist.
Unfortunately, production receives the highest rating on the album. While Banks is very talented when riding beats, he lacks lyrical versatility; therefore, the beats generally have the same feel. The production is held back from Christopher’s inability to grow as a lyricist. Despite that, it offers the same speaker-bumping, pulse trembling feel that hardcore street rappers like to produce. Not bad, for many listeners.
Hunger for More 2 is a mixtape. It has no formal structure and no direction. Granted, not all albums need be concept-based; but they should have an overarching theme or purpose. Hunger for More 2 is a compilation of songs packaged into a CD with a pretty cover. If that isn’t bad enough, much of the music sounds like a Banks re-run. Songs like “Payback,” “Celebrity,” and “On the Double,” stand out, but each could have made the first Hunger for More. Essentially, there is a sense that Banks is digging for already-discovered gold by trying to recapture the success of his first album.
There are rappers, and there are artist. Anyone can create music as essentially, music is nothing but a sound projected. A much smaller number of individuals however, improve their craft enough that they may be considered “artists.” These individuals create a sound and a feel that create a universal appeal. Banks is not an artist – at least not yet. Unfortunately, he only re- established his claim as one of the better rappers.