You’re still not happy with the state of New York rap? Well Lloyd Banks is back to alleviate your Big Apple blues. You know how the lyrical assassin from G-Unit does it. And if you forgot, I’ll let him tell it. “What’s up with all the clowns?/I gave you years/How dare you doubt me?/Even when I ain’t here, you hear about me,” he boasts on the opener, “The Natural”.
With DJ Drama playing co-pilot (” I never lose/I either win or I learn”), the project is appropriately titled F.N.O. (Failure’s No Option). Sticking to the script, Banks delivers potent bars over production from a bunch of unknowns. He’s quick to spank the new jacks on cuts like “Lead The Blind” (“You rookies don’t rhyme right in the limelight’) and “Daily Betrayal” (“Fools rhyming with no purpose/New lines out of my old verses/You ain’t lay it, that ain’t your Rolls Royces”).
There are however a few folks worthy of sharing mic time. We The Best’s Vado lets his slime flow go on “Paint The Sky”; Styles P brings his passion to “Cover Me”; and Raekwon cooks up some marvelous shit on the previously-released “Drop A Diamond”. That’s a whole lot of power from the Empire State.
Although some songs are indistinguishable with a full listen, Blue Hefner knows how to drop a jewel to break up the monotony. He switches the flow on “House Pride” and lays claim to his place in the game: “Give me big praise and high cries/Let the hate fall while I rise/The fuck these niggas talking ’bout? Top 5!”
Queens pride FTW! —YN