Lloyd Banks

Rotten Apple | G-Unit
By MATTHEW GASTEIER  |  October 24, 2006
1.5 1.5 Stars
Lloyd Banks has officially followed G-Unit leader 50 Cent into sophomore mediocrity. It’s not much of a surprise given the junk-food content even when Banks and 50 rode high on their respective debuts. But what was once energetic and tasty now seems to weigh you down and hurt your sex drive. The lead single, “Hands Up,” was so bad that not even a 50 guest spot could get it decent airplay. It led to a delayed release and a new single, the much-improved “The Cake,” which still stalled. Most of the disc is a typical G-Unit head scratcher, mixing radio-friendly bangers with love songs in search of a target audience that doesn’t exist. Neither template works well, mostly because Banks doesn’t do much to make them stick, and his big-name producers (Eminem, 9th Wonder, Needlz) have clearly decided to keep their best beats for rappers who deserve them. But what’s most depressing about Rotten Apple is the refusal to run any risk: it’s all focus-group beats under interchangeable flows and choruses. For a gangster, Banks sure plays it safe.
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