Throwback Thursdays Vol 41

Inspired by Complex Magazine’s excellent best 25 Lloyd Banks’ verses and on the back of the release of Banks’ heavily anticipated third LP, The Hunger For More 2, I’ve decided to take us back to a time when 50 Cent was merely an underground king and Banks, alongside Tony Yayo, his noble foot soldiers.

2002 was a busy year for 50 and his G-Unit imprint, with the release of now-classic mixtape 50 Cent Is The Future, compilation album Guess Who’s Back, today’s featured mixtape No Mercy, No Fear, before finishing the year with God’s Son and putting the final touches to his 2003 debut album Get Rich Or Die Tryin’. But all this wouldn’t have been possible without the solid footing 50 had in the underground and the lyrical prowess of a certain 20-year old keen to follow in his mentor’s footsteps.

I always admire emcees who are brave enough to tackle classic tracks. I’ve recently co-signed Diggy Simmons for not only taking on Nas’ Made You Look, but also and more recently lacing Mobb Deep’s Shook Ones Pt II. Then there’s Reks who on his In Between The Lines 2 dropped some superb bars over Nas’ Represent. But when you choose a joint which showcases one of the best verses by one of the greatest of all time, then you’ve got to be pretty self-assured. Banks’ chose Puff’s motivational, Rocky-inspired Victory which of course, was one of the last joints Biggie did his thing on before passing.

As the momentum swells, in a similarly styled introduction to Puff himself, 50 lays some tidy bars which all seem so long ago before, at the climax, passing the mic over to hungry, protege Banks. Banks drops punchline after punchline before showing the audacity and ability to effortlessly switch things up towards the end.

“You reach and I’ll put a dot on ya head like its part of yo religion.”

“Run, move startin’ a wave and leave wit 12 shells in ya mouth like a carton of eggs.”

“Niggas love to hate you, but love you when you disappear
catch me on the boat wit weed smoke and fishin’ gear
heavy when I toke, C notes from different years
Besly in the robe, re-motes for liftin’ chairs.”

No Mercy, No Fear was not only the mixtape which helped introduce 50 into wider audiences, but it was also one of the first chances we got to see Banks in full force. And boy, did he deliver. Hell, even Yayo sounded bearable in 2002.

You can get hold of the original Puff/BIG/Busta version here and whilst you’re there you might as well grab Puff’s mashup of both Banks/Biggie and decide who came out on top.

Hunger For More 2 in stores and iTunes now!

50 Cent & Lloyd Banks – Banks Victory

Murray’s BDK Rating:ger

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