At this point, it's hard to imagine anyone waiting for a G-Unit record to really blow their minds (our love for Buck Marley and irrationally high expectations for next Neveruary's MOP record notwithstanding). You kinda just hope to get the businesslike satisfaction of some bangers and some good punchlines with (ideally) a minimal amount of groan-inducement. 50's great at this; his proteges haven't quite mastered the formula. But Lloyd Banks is ready to give it another shot with his sophomore LP, Rotten Apple, out this October. We listened to it yesterday and will give you an idea of what to expect after the jump.
Rotten Apple f 50 Cent and Prodigy
Havoc on the beat, decent but unexciting opener. There are promises of "that morphine flow," which we're not convinced is necessarily a good thing. For a bunch of millionaires, dudes could stand to cheer up a smidge.
Make A Move
Crazilly solid rock drums courtesy of Midi Mafia. Lloyd is sort of snoozy on the first verse but picks up on the groove with his second ("You get out of pocket, I'll play soccer with your head," etc etc) PS remember the summer 50 Cent Is The Future came out? Memories...
"I got a TV the size of Kevin Garnett." You could watch hella Celebrity Fit Club on that! Slum Village beatmaker Young RJ provides nice thwack and violins.
Iceman f Young Buck, Scarface, and Eightball
Finally! This one is real dope. Over heavy sub-bass and organs, both Banks and Buck kick a very LA kind of flow ("My name is Banks, but you can call me igloo..."), and Face and Ball shine in their guest spots, Scarface's off-measure, spoken word verse in particular.
Dollar Bill f Rakim
If by "featuring" you mean "sampling his voice on the chorus" than yes, this song is featuring Rakim! Not bad, and perhaps the best Banks-being-Banks moment on the album: This ain't chinchilla/ It's plucked parrot/ Part rabbit...
Help f Keri Washington
The girl song. And it's pretty decent, way more "Curious" than "Karma". Producer Ron Browz kills it with a clever "Top Billin" reference on the drum track.
Addicted f Musiq Soulchild
More slow jams. The addiction in question isn't ladies, however, but...music. Aaww. Why's it gotta be Musiq and not Bilal? Billal and Dr Dre are friends! Just kidding (sort of). This one is decent too, nice little guitar licks.
Hands Up f 50 Cent
Anemic, wildly generic single. Thanks Em!
Banks's ode to paranoia in the club ("Keep havin dreams of niggas havin drops on me...") with a dope, surprisingly evocative (and backpacky!) beat from G-Unit album cut master, Nick Speed.
Get Clapped f Mobb Deep
Did anyone hear the Cormega and Lake album? Does it have joints? Spine? Bueller? Bueller? Sorry, back on topic. This Queens team-up falls a little short, even with a solid beat from Needlz. That said, "I need the cops to get the fuck off my dick" is the kind of sentiment that unites us all.
One Night Stand f Keon Bryce
We thought the R&B section was two songs ago! Psyche, this is good. 9th Wonder on the beat, dropping a shimmery string loop, and QB crooner Keon Bryce assists on the hook.
NY, NY f Tony Yayo
Not to keep harping on the guy, but how are you going to have Eminem produce the NEW YORK SONG?! Also how is Tony "mad hype like a crack baby" Yayo going to only get eight bars? His bucket hat should get eight bars for itself! Slightly redeemed by Banks's "I'll throw a bitch out the crib like Jazzy Jeff," though.
Playboy Pt 2
More good stuff from Ron Browz, bringing wild fast hi-hats on a very TI-sounding beat. Banks chops up syllables and details his "hologram rims." We still think the whole "Blue Hefner" persona is stretching it a bit.
Woah, secret end-of-record heat. Plastic funk from Young Lord, and awesomely reflective, sing-song flow from Banks: We ain't got shit to live for/ Either you headed for the pen or you on your way to Gillmore/ In the middle of a real war/ A five-dollar bill is the shit niggas kill for...
You heard this one before and it's great.
Life f Spider Loc
Play "Gilmores" again.