When Lloyd Banks dropped Hunger For More 2 right around this time last year, he found himself in the curious position of being a New York rapper without much competition from other New York rappers. The album wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad either. For a brief moment, it seemed like his hoarse voice could maybe become the defacto sound of New York, long after G-Unit’s reign over the city was over. The other option was for him to pull a Prodigy (or a Raekwon), and come back as an exaggerated version of himself—satisfying rap purists while also gaining new fans who are looking for the grimiest of grimy East Coast rap. Now that there’s a whole new generation of New York dudes getting radio play (and internet attention), The Cold Corner 2 feels like Banks is going that second route. It sounds like vintage G-Unit, which can sometimes sound like vintage Mobb Deep, which in turn sounds like the coldest New York winter.
Download: Lloyd Banks, The Cold Corner 2