Breakthrough: Lloyd Banks “Banks Victory”

at the Nokia Theatre on April 29, 2010 in New York City.

Victorious.

Following Biggie’s footsteps is no small task. But back in 2002, Lloyd Banks was up for the challenge. Although the G-Unit lieutenant was introduced on 50 Cent’s 50 Cent Is The Future, it was on track five of his follow up No Mercy, No Fear, that left a lasting impression. Over Puff Daddy’s “Victory” he ran anchor alá Christopher Wallace with some unforgettable wordplay. With Hunger For More 2 on the way, The Boy Wonder reminisces with Rap Radar on his victory lap.

That has to be overall the most—the biggest freestyle I had as far as impact wise. Even DJ Clue will tell you that’s when he felt I went from being a mixtape dude to the next dude they expect to pop from the mixtapes.

I can’t remember where I was at when I wrote the verse. I was probably like 19-20 [years old]. I had rapped to [50] in his grandmother house and we started playing around with the intro and by the time we got to Sha Money studio that’s how it came about.

It wasn’t recorded in a million dollar studio, but the line was clever because of what I was doing at the time. At that time, I was recording the mixtape material in Sha Money basement, but we were flying back and forth to L.A. to Dre studio. So, I was in Em, Dre studio with that mentality, bringing that back to Sha Money studio.

Honestly, I knew what I was following behind. Biggie was one of my favorites. When I did “Victory”, everybody knew that was one of his biggest verses. So to fall behind him, I knew there was pressure behind it. I just wanted to add a different feel.

At that time, I was thinking punchline wise. A lot of people used to ask me, “Yo you going to run out before the album,” but when I write naturally, I write witty. I write from the perspective of being different. So, that was one thing that never troubled me. There was a few lines [I liked]. I said, “I think I’m the last rapper to scare niggas since Craig Mack.” There was even the Master P line and its funny because I have 100 percent support for Master P, but his sneaker was [ugly] at the time. And a lot of people don’t know Master P booked a lot of 50 first shows outside in the south. So we went on a 10 tour show with them and I would perform that shit while we were on the tour.

That was the first freestyle I performed. Not only did it help me as far as my recognition goes, but it helped me performance wise cause I got used to being by myself for a whole verse. It’s hard to keep people in tuned for a whole verse with no chorus—on a mixtape too. The breakdown toward the end of the verse, is when I learned over time you can’t rap the same bar cadence throughout 50 bars you got to at some point change it up.

Puffy called and got 50 on the line and wanted me to be part of the [Ready To Die] album cause they rereleased it. And of course I did it just off the strength [because] that’s one of my all time favorites. I put my all into that, bar for bar.

“Banks Victory”

Last Time: Kurupt “Doggy Dogg World”

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55 Comments
  • KING. H

    THIS TRACK IS DOPE !!!!

    BUT DIDDY STAY A KFC ASS STRIPPER!! THIS NIGGA IS THE BIGGEST BIIIIITCH IN THE INDUSTRY!!!

    THANK GOD HELLO GOOD MORNING FLOPPED HARD, IN THE VIDEO DIDDY IS SHAKING HIS KFC ASS LIKE A PROFESSIONAL!!!

    CORNBALL!!! LAST FLOP TO PARIS WON’T EVER COME OUT!!!!

    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    KING H IS THE TRUTH ✔

  • dashing

    This was a dope verse. I hope that Banks gets back on this spittin’ shit. I think the platinum plaques had em thinking that all he needed was some catchy hooks and shit. He needs more shit like this. Hard beat, hard rhymes….

  • KING. H

    *LIKE A PROFESSIONAL STRIPPER

    BIIIIIITCH!!!!

    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    KING H IS THE TRUTH ✔

  • pro-rican

    That was a good summer.

  • bigjay2501

    BANKS RIPPED THIS SHIT!!

    I dare anyone to say he didnt

  • BrooklynRaw1

    Think all the beefin 50 do is holding his people back why wouldnt you want to work with other people in the industry

  • ???? still best rite now!!

    wow……RapRadar is actually doin some actual journalism?? lol

  • Pat

    Why is 50 having an orgasm at the end???

  • Can

    “I don’t remember where I was when I wrote the [freestyle.]”

    when I wrote…

    the freestyle….

    wrote…freestyle…

  • Post no billz

    @b.dot.. Thanks for another one of these posts.. I was gonna ask u what happened to em.. U should do posts with sleeper albums as well… When this joint came out on the mixtapes it was HUGe on the streets..

  • Corporate coon

    Ahhh so refreshing to hear raw hunger from a rapper. Damn I miss that time. All I checked for was shit from banks.

  • iceyjesse

    @Can like 99% of all freestyles are wrote now why u sound surprised

  • midway

    he most likely wrote the verses in different order than whats on this final cut…just came out the way that worked for him when he was in the booth (freestyling) what he had been previously rehearsing or working out in his head

  • JERZZZ

    That Victory was the dopest shit to come out that whole year, But G-Unit was killin the mixtapes then, everything they put out was fire.

  • BrooklynRaw1

    Freestyle men off the top beat and speak
    that it

  • http://tenhudson.blogspot.com Ten

    LMAO @ the GREAZY talk by Fif @ the end… *smh* So disrespectful. #classichim DAMN

  • bk82

    HOT !!!!!!!

  • Rhyme

    Banko, my nigga.
    H.F.M.2 the only album on my radar till Sigel drop.

  • http://dopenativeboy.com DopeNativeBoy

    AHHH! this has over 3k repeats on my ipod!!!

    HFM2 is gonna be a problem…..if youll didnt know already

  • 2Much

    lloyd banks has the strength and ability to be in the same position as 50 or even jay, i think he’s a really cool and smart guy and i’ve never seen a lloyd banks hater or something in that direction, i don’t know why and how but he really looks like he has leader qualities which he haven’t realized and used yet…he could be on top if he pushes his career to the limit…just take a look at lil wayne for example…who would’ve thought that this little guy who first caught the attention of the world with his appearance in destiny’s child’s soldier would be named as one of the best rappers alive today??? if somebody had told me this years ago i would laugh my ass off…but see how things can change…people will call soulja boy the greatest rapper alive after biggie and pac in the future, you’ll see hahaha…

  • 2Much

    *people will call soulja boy the greatest rapper EVER (not alive) after biggie and pac in the future

    sorry my bad…

  • http://emperor123.wordpress.com/ Emperor’s Turf

    I Guess Marshal Is On Banks “Hunger For More 2″

  • thisisravenstwn

    @2much Shut the fuck up nigga

  • cj

    dope verse im about to find that mixtape….thats when g – unit was them niggas

  • sway-z

    This was the shit!!! Lyrically Banks is still right there, he just has to get back to using that voice, it sounds like he overdubs and doubles his shit way too much now. Back then it was more raw, more sharp and clear.

  • GTFO

    Man that join was tight… His lyrics were always fire.

  • 2Much

    @thisisravenstwn hahaha NO… or wait i’ll think about it after your white ass sucked my dick

  • DUH

    “I don’t remember where I was when I wrote the [freestyle.]”

    when I wrote…

    the freestyle….

    wrote…freestyle…

    GUESS U DON’T KNOW WHAT A FREESTYLE MEANS IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY?

    ITS WHEN YOU WRITE A SONG OVER AND ALREADY EXISTING BEAT! NOT OFF THE DOME SHIT!

  • casper21

    “I put a dot on your head like it’s part of your religion” always liked that line. Too many people been buggin about the context of what freestyle mean. It used to mean off the top of the dome, but the word has evolved. A verse written on its own with no hook is essentially a freestyle, not a full song. Why is that so hard for some of you to understand. If everything else about the music industry has changed, why can’t the definition of a fuckin word be taken loosely?

  • Android

    Yo i feel comebacks frm all sides man. G-unit WILL RETURN!(curtis lets work), Nas killmatic coming soon!(ESCO LETS GO!), When detox drops(pipe dreams) its OVER!, That shit might get em on th right track 2. Many others. The right dudes seem to b fallng off too. Ym, garbage swag rap, coons arent appealng no anymo. Hiphop is tht U!!!

  • fuckin haters

    banks killed it showed his talent to the fullest my favorite banks freestyle till this day get’em banks

  • Young Mo Fo

    @can
    Freestyle just means not the same style as a full song. Like as in no hook basically.

    This song I remember blasting like 10 times back to back in my mom’s Subaru lmao. I was in middle school still, this shit was hot as hell and G-Unit was the shit

  • yer

    Royce’s freestyle>>

  • N Black

    Banks is ill with punchlines, truthfully i wanna hear Banks & Em on a 10minute freestyle session….that would be dope or Banks & Jada but the real PLK is R I P> BIG L

    “I record all my battles on a camcorder/ so i can sit back and see how i manslaughter.”~ BIG L

    “Fucking chicks is a rule/ if my girl think im loyal then that bitch is a fool.”~ BIG L

    “Forever hunting/ hot temper quick to body something/ you looking at me like im probaly frunting.”~BIGL

  • Black Shady

    Banks RIPPED this beat. Nobody can do better…

  • Belize

    Banks definitely didn’t insult Biggie on this one! He’d be proud there’s someone from his hometown who ain’t totally full of it!

  • notaurious

    One of my favorite Banks verses

  • WES

    i kno the watch bothering ur vision
    but reach n i’ll put a dot on ur head like its part a ur religion

    WHAT HAPPENED TO THIS NIGGA HE STR8 GARBAGE NOW CANT EVEN HEAR WHAT HE’S SAYING

  • Dante

    Everytime i hear Banks rap i wanna go to sleep. Dude is a lame ass Fab soundalike. Fab is kinda lame too.

  • http://twitter.com/zarioonline mistah_zee

    this cant fuck with banks on hot 97 on the speaking in tongues beat haha but this guy is so under rated he has the potential and lyricism to be one of the greatest. his tone is really low tho and it drowns allot of his good lyrics.

  • herbsaac

    This was what got me hooked to Gunit forever.. Then beg for mercy sealed.. G G G G – You know the rest

  • Mike B

    Belize says:
    Thursday, September 02 2010 at 7:53 PM EST
    Banks definitely didn’t insult Biggie on this one! He’d be proud there’s someone from his hometown who ain’t totally full of it!

    Queens….Brooklyn

  • killacrack

    banks IS a beast on THIS track, I remember when i heard THIS —— i was like DAM THIS bastard killed the TRACK ——FIFTY was like GET EM BANKS & he went CRAZY

  • unconform_normality

    “Fresh out of surgery, flashy as fuck you gona have to murder me”

    Smh..that was 20002…I was on the block, heard that line of the victory freestyle. I just walked off. I was done.
    G-unit…was the squad then. And they murder every song they ever did over! Then the interscope machine got them and started putting out product instead of talent (when it came to the unit).

    Do yall niggas remember the song “G-unit thats was up”on 50cent Is the Future mixtape?

    “Now I know to keep low when the heat blow/ I’ll have niggas posted up on your block like Im shooting a free throw”- Banks

    “You anit got like or love me but you will respect me you need a fif and two clips to try and check me” -50cent…
    “I hustle hard and at 19 I brought a benz / i did/ the older niggas wasnt really feeling the kid tried to find out where I lived so they can run in my crib but you cant hustle a hustler I peeped it and slid
    -50 cent “cutmaster c shit”

    And “Tony Yayo Explosion” on that same mixtape?! They were fucking disgusting back then…that keeps me a loyal fan to them.

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  • dockevoc

    banks this shit still gets play in my ipod every gunit radio is bangin

  • GTboy

    “…you ain’t heard notin but hit from me, quit dummy…”
    he’s my favorite .. that’s for sure …

    and you cant forget : V5 – Big Bully

    peace!

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  • illaDeuce

    lmfao @Can’s a joker he’s all surprised banks write this AHAH he prolly still think freestyle battles on grindtime and the old smack dvds are all off the top.

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  • THE REAL mac DIESEL

    @ B.Dot

    YOUR WRITING ABILITY IS LAUGHABLE!!!! COLLEGE DEGREES AIN’T WHAT THEY USED TO BE!!!!

    ……..HA!!!!! NIGGA, YOU AIN’T QUEENS ENOUGH TO WRITE ANYTHING ABOUT A REAL QUEENS NIGGA!!!! STILL NO G-UNIT INTERVIEW IN SIGHT!!!! YOUR SUCK UP OF A BOSS ALREADY BURNED THAT BRIDGE!!!! YA’LL SOME SUCKAS FOR REAL!!!!

    SIDEBAR: BANKS FELL OFF!!!! LET’S HOPE THIS G-UNIT REUNION CAN REIGNITE THAT LAZY BUM!!!!

    DON’T HATE ON MY OPINION!!!!