Song of The Year-Daily Betrayal by Lloyd Banks produced by Tha Jerm
The Banks music I’ve come to love reminds me in some way of old Mobb Deep bangers that make you scrunch your face up and see your breath in the cold air. This write up is probably going to be a hard sell (which is why I didn’t write a full mixtape review) since my case is that his new project All or Nothing Vol. 1: Failure’s No Option is another poorly mixed DJ Drama project but this time with none of the bangers you are used to from the former G-Unit 1st lieutenant….and its awesome.
The audio mix makes each song seem like a whispered confession. The content has shocking pockets of self-evaluation. I swear that when I tell you All or Nothing is the closest Banks is going to get to putting out PJ Harvey’s 1992 album Dry I’m not messing with you. Listen to how he starts this song “I never wanted to be center stage that’s out of character, bonuses of my inner rage.” That’s an admission that will forever inform how I view Lloyd Banks. In a slick nonchalant way he’s making the case that he’s not someone who messed up being in the spotlight (as 50 Cent has often accused him of being) but someone who was never looking for it; just a dude who loves to rap.
Look at the tracklist. You’ll see songs like The Plague and Pain In Variety. If you’ve heard his series of V mixtapes you’ll recognize the producer names (Tha Jerm, Don Pesci) but they’ve turned down the boom bap and given Banks a haunted house soundtrack of subtle tones. The purity of his stress all wrapped up in his determination and set to a Hitchcock score. When he says “They steppin’ up as if the champ fell…” that unbending scowl of a flow seems to shudder from fearful paranoia. The same variety of which resides in the songs title.