Rotten Banks 

Rotten Apple
Lloyd Banks
G Unit/Interscope Records

A CD coming out of the G Unit troupe about nothing but busting caps and controlling the streets is unsurprising. What is surprising is how music this clichéd still sells millions of records.

Lloyd Banks became a platinum artist with 2004’s The Hunger for More, but his follow-up, Rotten Apple, is about as far from Hunger as one can get, even with mentor and G Unit leader 50 Cent executive producing the project.

The gangsta rap era has been around long enough that its followers change the rules of the game to stay fresh. Artists like Banks aren’t doing that. On Rotten Apple, the East Coast rapper sounds as if he’s just going through the motions, knowing full well his couplets will hit on name recognition alone.

To be fair, Banks gives a serviceable performance, but it’s not strong enough to differentiate him from the plethora of other hustlers making the scene. Even 50 Cent has that slightly somnolent delivery everyone recognizes. Banks sounds like too many others. His flow isn’t always smooth. In fact, it comes out garbled at times.

Done right, rap is a vital form of communication. Banks and his ilk, however, represent nothing more than an epigone of the form, with an unhealthy fealty for ill-gotten profit and power that should’ve run its course by now.

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