26 November, 2010@2:27 am
In 2010, the still (barely) waving G-Unit flag has been held up by Lloyd Banks. With head honcho 50 Cent doing off doing what he does best (Chelsea Handler, making bad movies, inciting random beefs, making strange youtube cameos/collabos, and crashing teleconferences), the one-time successful label has fallen on hard, not to mention… strange, times. But just when we started forgetting about G-Unit, Banks dropped the successful and thousand times remixed “Beamer, Benz or Bentley” which helped to keep G-Unit afloat and semi-relevant. With H.F.M 2:The Hunger For More, the sequel to his 2004 debut, Banks looks to put himself, his label and crew back on the map.
H.F.M 2:The Hunger For More continues the trend of the sequel album that a lot of artists are falling back on in attempts to either revive careers or find motivation after previous terrible releases. In the case of Lloyd Banks, it could be the latter, as his last album Rotten Apple is probably the most accurately titled album of all time; as it was certified garbage. Rotten Apple displayed an emcee that was no longer hungry, whereas H.F.M 2:The Hunger For More presents an emcee that looks to actually want to reclaim a modicum of success. Don’t get it twisted, Banks still talks about the same things; getting money, pushing whips, stuntin’ and using all three to get laid. However, in crafting this album, he attempts to step up the beat game, guest game and maybe even (gasp) his lyrics.
The strength of H.F.M. 2 lies in production, strong guests and well structured posse cuts. This is evident on tracks such as “Unexplainable” which finds Banks linking up with Styles P and “Home Sweet Home” with Pusha T. Both tracks are dope, but not memorable as far as collabos go. Speaking of which, collaborating with his G-Unit brethren brings mixed results as Banks succeeds on “Take ‘Em To War”, which finds a flow-riffic Banks back on the warpath with glorified hype-man Tony Yayo, who makes another forgettable appearance. With that said, Yayo makes a better showing than 50 Cent who makes a lazy and fairly annoying appearance on the skippable “Payback”. The ridiculously dope “Sooner Or Later” (feat Raekwon) is by far the strongest collabo and features a sick Frank Dukes produced track. The best collaboration comes in the form of the iTunes bonus “Where I’m At” (featuring Eminem). But again, it’s a bonus track and leaving it off the original track list is a complete head-scratcher.
The two strongest tracks featured on <em>H.F.M 2</em> are by far the aforementioned “Beamer, Benz or Bentley” and recently released single “Start It Up”. It’s pretty obvious that Banks knew which two money makers would sell the album. Of the two, “Start It Up” is the hands down winner, even though”Beamer, Benz or Bentley” still knocks nine months later. As usual, Banks does his thing for ladies in the decent “So Forgetful” feat Ryan Leslie and the club friendly “Any Girl” featuring Lloyd-from-another-mother, Lloyd.
On the downside, it’s almost as if Banks needs guests in order to make a decent track. His monotone flow has never really excited, but production always helped to bring it up. Tracks such as “Father Time”, “On The Double” and “I Don’t Deserve You” feat Jeremih are completely forgettable. “Celebrity” finds Akon again doing his usual shtick, searching for 2008, creating another forgettable track in 2010. <em>H.F.M 2</em> suffers from the just-good-enough syndrome. Overall it’s not a terrible album, but rather just good enough to push a few singles and get radio play. It’s is a quick fix for a couple hot singles to put on the workout mix, but as far being a classic, it just doesn’t happen. Rather, it’s a collection of thirteen songs with no real direction or bond and leaves the listener starving.
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