Lloyd Banks - V6: The Gift (Mixtape Review)

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4.16

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Ultimately, if Lloyd Banks wants to return to Hip Hop's shortlist of in-demand emcees, "V6" won(TM)t be the project that launches him there.

Lloyd Banks has been making headlines lately, but not for his music. 50 Cent has gone on record in several interviews to say he hasn’t spoken to Lloyd Banks in over a year, stating that Banks is “on his own” and all but literally calling Banks either lazy or incompetent in handling his own career. Indeed, the (former) members of G-Unit have shown a surprising lack of enterprise in general, with Young Buck being an unfortunate example of why you don’t bite the hands that feed you, and Tony Yayo serving little more than the Memphis Bleek to 50 Cent’s Jay-Z. Still, Banks has kept somewhat busy, with 2010’s The Hunger for More 2 being a return to form, and The Cold Corner 2 dropping in 2011. However, with V6, Banks has an opportunity to show either prove 50 and other detractors wrong, or confirm his former boss’ discouraging statements.

“City of Sin” is truly something lovely, with its sinister organs and gritty drums. Lloyd Banks delivers on all levels, from his grimy verses to his outstanding hook. Young Chris comes off the milk carton for a spell with a energetic verse, to boot. “The Sprint” is a bit generic, with relatively forgettable bars and a synthy, but “Open Arms” is practically luminous, with phenomenal production courtesy of Doe Pesci. V6 gives a survey of the different styles Banks can pull off. He waxes about the finer points of the playboy life on “Bring It Back,” talks street shit on “We Run the Town,” and adds a touch of introspection on “Chosen Few,” where he rhymes, “I lost my pops in October, it made me colder / No longer able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder / You know when it’s over, no rewind, no controller / No degree, no diploma, just a heart of a soldier.” On the latter track, Jadakiss arrives with a typically reliable verse, cementing the cut as the project’s best.

One baffling aspect of this project is Banks’ vocal delivery. It’s appropriate that Banks has often been compared to Shyne, as both emcees have undergone stark changes in that department. Somehow, between The Hunger For More and V6, Banks’ pitch has become noticeably higher. Maybe Aftermath studio engineers do magic in the lab; maybe it’s a conscious decision. Either way, unless you’ve never heard Banks rhyme before, it’s eminently distracting. Still, this can’t detract from the fact that this is one of the better-produced mixtapes of the years. Banks understands how to bring a cohesive sound to a project, even if he insists on a grating delivery.

Ultimately, if Lloyd Banks wants to return to Hip Hop’s shortlist of in-demand emcees, V6 won’t be the project that launches him there. However, it’s a solid release that suggests maybe he has more left to say. Perhaps 50 Cent, who struggles with relevance in 2012, shouldn’t be so hasty to cast Lloyd Banks aside, as the latter has found a way to continue making hard-hitting street music in 2012.

DX Consenus: "EP-worthy"

Listen to V6: The Gift by Lloyd Banks

92 Comments

  • COMbKO LLOEC 1

    LIL FLIp CROWN ME 2 (1) LLOYD bKaNks V6 (2) aRE thE haRDEst M1XtapEs EVER CUZZ.76st

  • Max Murda

    Banks is a lyricist in its purest form TOP 5 in game right now, and V6 proves it

  • Anonymous

    Banks one of the illest lyricist..the mixtape is fire. ps...not much difference to his voice..just banks being banks.

  • Anonymous

    This tape goes hard. Banks shits on 50 all day when it comes to the mic.

  • Your Father

    Thought I was the only one who noticed his annoying as shit delivery. He's been like that since The Big Withdrawal. Round that time him and Em got tight and Banks started mimicking Shady's flow and that's when this high pitched mess started - check out: Without My Glocked for proof.

  • Lionel

    Lloyd in my opinion has more then enough lyrical skill to stand alone as an MC and this mixtape is hot shows that he grew alot as a spitter since his GUnit days he doing his thing aight he'll just need consistency and he'll be aight

  • Anonymous

    50 was correct this dropped no videos no interviews cmon banks

  • Curran

    I agree that Banks needs a DJ, at least for one album. He's still my favorite rapper and im always gonna be a fan. As far as Banks goin to MMG...fuck that he's already established. It would be tight to hear him and Meek on a track but get off Ross' dick. Everyone dont need to be in MMG to be succesful or relevant. 3 or 4 years from now when MMG aint shit no more and there's a new Label out you'll want everyone to join them.

  • Artscola

    As Much I would hate to admit it LLOYD would do wonders if he joined MMG!

  • paperboy

    killn more than 90% of niggas mixtapes n albums

  • paperboy

    Mfs sleep on dis shit

  • Anonymous

    banks needs to sign with MMG hate or love ross he gets behind his artist and promotes well banks would be a great fit there i would love to hear him and meek mill make a joint that would be crazy!

  • Anonymous

    "Big 10, Lost Tape, 5 Murder By Numbers and the new single New Day" None of those got released to stores, and New Day will be forgotten by the time his supposed real album comes out, which it probably won't. 50 fan or 50 hater, his track record has gone to that very hot place where people shovel coal all day.

  • Anonymous

    50 needs to give Banks a big budget for the new album so he can use some dope producers i really dont like the ones his using at the moment but his bars are still dope

  • G

    HipHopDX yall some haters mos def losing respect for this website

  • Anonymous

    FUUQQ YEEZ MY NIKKAS FINALLY IT HAPPENED - JUST GOT A NEW RIDE - A CAM A RO CONVERTIBLE.GOT APPROVED FOR 26 LARGE. BEEN 5 YRS SINCE IVE GOTTEN SHYT APPROVED, BUT NOW ALL MY CRE-DIT SHEET GONE. ALL OF IT. IF YOU STRUGGLING WITH THAT CREDITT HISTORY ISHH, GET RID OF ALL DAT TODAY - CALL THESE PEEPS AT 8^8^8-9-2-7 -3-3-5-6. . THEY DO AMAZING WORK AND THEY ARE CHEAP AS FUQQ. GOT RID OF ALL MY SHYYT IN NO TIME. MY HOMEBOY WAS IN THE GUTTA TOO, AND HE CLEANER THAN ME NOW-gettin a condo!! Hit em up - THEY WILL HELP U!!

  • rob

    awesome tape. definately one of my favourite recent mixtapes anyway. I'll be jammin it for a while

  • Anonymous

    that hater Slava Kuperstein back hating on 50 again. This is about Banks, not 50 you sucker!

  • Dear Hiphopdx

    I know u genuinely hate 50 cent..i dont know why but how can u say he has struggled with relevance in 2012? He has the number 1 single or most discussed single on your Website..The Lost tape was downloaded over 500,000 times all in 2012..Jus shows u how everyone at DX doesnt support 50..smh..50 said what he had to say abt banks and then banks did a reasonable mixtape..Shut the fuck up hiphopdx..U have the most fucked up reviews and i hope u read this post.

    • Anonymous

      50 struggling to get the mainstream attention he used to get, you can't argue that

    • Anonymous

      Slava is a known 50 hater! That loser dedicated half of the article to 50 smh.

    • Facts

      Totally agree..The Entire album should be about Lloyd Banks and Lloyd Banks only..They are so quick to find some way to TRY to bring down 50..Its unbelievable for them to say that 50 isn't really relevant in 2012..Big 10, Lost Tape, 5 Murder By Numbers and the new single "New Day" Guess because he doesnt have the radio songs u guys think hes trash now? wow..Really Fucked up website

  • Hard AF

    this is a good mixtape.. enuff said.. P.S. Not a big fan

  • REALHIPHOP1984

    Im a big banks fan,,,,but Banks just aint got the ability to do what 50 do,,,,comming up with countless hook after hook after hook,,,,Banks I think its time 4 u to link w/Dj Premier,,,you need a ill producer to make your entire next album,,,,My Dream would Be Lloyd Banks next album executive produced by Pete Rock,,,,them 2 would make a hiphop classic with Pete Rocks production skill,,,and Banks punchline after punchline,,,,overall its still a dope mixtape but its just missing that "IT" factor that Beamer Benz and Bently had

  • weaponz

    this album is not a mix tape and its tight as hell

  • GiveUntoCaesar

    Not a big Banks Fan. I thought the dude fell off but i gotta admit this shit is tight

  • GiveUntoCaesar

    Not a big Banks Fan. I thought the dude fell off but i gotta admit this shit is tight. I also checked Cold Corner 2 and V5 and what can i say. Maybe i was wrong

  • GiveUntoCaesar

    Not a big Banks Fan. I thought the dude fell off but i gotta admit this shit is tight. I also checked Cold Corner 2 and V5 and what can i say. Maybe i was wrong, maybe

  • Cutie21

    We love u Bank$ 5/5 .. Getn by my fAV

  • Liberator

    this Mixtrape is album material. if u cant undestand his voice get the lyrics for the songs.. they are pretty tight.. Good work Banks

  • carl

    been on repeat since it dropped

  • bronx bomber

    this album is pretty slick. carefully crafted, you can tell. nice one banks, you sound alive!!

  • biged

    what the fuck happened to this dudes voice. the early gunit mixtapes he sounded way better. even shyne sounds better now damm

  • Doublespeak

    Lloyd Banks is ill and this mixtape is pure fire like all his mixtapes.

  • gutter man

    this release is more like a mixtape album and it kills most of the albums out there today. dx has rated much worse socalled mixtapes. and by the way if a release is long enough (over 38 minutes) and quality enough it is basically an lp no matter what designation the artist or whoever trys to give it in order to play it safe and avoid judgement. in reality its an album and its solid.

    • Anonymous

      It's quite clear "bigboss101" oh I mean "gutter man"...

    • Kishn91

      It's a mixtape. It's whatever the rapper designates this shit to be. If he says its a mixtape then its a mixtape. You say this tape has album characteristics? Take a look at track 11 Live It Up. It's a recycled beat already used by Masspike Miles in the song Flatline which is garbage but I'm trying to prove a point. Rapping over a beat thats already been rapped on is a characteristic of mixtape. Btw this isnt Banks best work. His hooks suck on this. His singing is hella off pitch and it sounds like horror. Heres the criteria for a successful hip hop album for today's time. High profile mainstream features r&b feature is a must. Club records, and records catering to the female audience. This tape fits not one of anything I listed.

    • gutter man

      is you special buddy? never back up my own shit ho. you mad cause you dont agree...

    • Anonymous

      Backing up your own comment...

    • bigboss101

      Not alota people are going to get that but its true an album is an album. if a release has enough album characteristics than its an album! certain rapers and sites try to skew the spectrum and bend it on ordwr to serve there interests but a lot of socalled mixtapes are really albums. even if its not mixed that well and it had little promotion. an albums an album.

  • gutter man

    ahhh shit, dx pissin me off again. dont matter i know this album is a 4/5. banks pulled off some dope lyrics and different more animated styles on this one. raps different on a bunch of tracks, seems more inspired. tons of style and some amazing hooks. production is top notch on most tracks- most beats arnt basic and actually have interesting elements to them like layers of sounds and quirky synths. and dx has a negative effect on another dope artist by not even rating the album. whats that supposed to imply its not worth rating?

    • gutter man

      thats subjective pal, the songs are all nice.this release is more like a mixtape album and it kills most of the albums out there today. dx has rated much worse socalled mixtapes and by the way if a release is long enough (over 38 minutes) and quality enough it is basically and lp no matter what designation the artist or whoever trys to give it in order to play it safe and avoid judgement.

    • @CJonno90

      What so you read it? Because at the bottom it says DX Consenus: "EP-worthy" They have 3 ratings for mixtapes they are: "Just A Mixtape", "EP-worthy" & "Free Album" And in my opinion they got in spot on because if you took the 6 best tracks off this it would make a dope EP but this project certainly ain't good enough to be claimed as a "Free Album"

  • youngvito79

    The most annoying voice in Hip Hop!!

  • Kennyis22

    Hiphopdx hates G-Unit. This tape was great. 50 Cent's last one, 5 (Murder by Numbers), was good as well. It's certainly better than the 2.5/5 HHDX gave it. You check the individual song ratings from that album and they're mostly 4s and above. And Banks' last tape, Cold Corner 2, was definitely a top 5 mixtape of 2011 but HHDX didn't even bother to review it. Get off the Rick Ross train, giving his last album a 4. That's crazy.

    • @CJonno90

      So your claiming that HipHopDX has some sort of grudge against 50? 50 Cent has way more dickriders than haters nowadays it ain't 05 anymore just look at the comments on "New Day" they're plugging the song on iTunes for him I have never seen that done before, a lot of the times when there's what seems like a neutral point of view complimenting the song there's a comment underneath saying "you already know" has been posted at least 20 times and also "they can't stop it!" has been posted a ton load of times. The dickriders are going so far as to say it's the best song of the year!! They need to listen to more music... Absolutelyboasting if they're hearing the song on the radio, never heard that before I would understand it if it was a Underground artist's song but it's not it's 50 Cent and jumping on anybody's comment who actually explain how they ain't feeling the song with a reasonable explanation deeming them a "hater". Andre 3000 don't really have "dickriders" most of his fans are grown and you couldn't argue the point that any song on 5 (Murder By Numbers) were better than "Pink Matter" by Frank Ocean feat. Andre 3000 but they got better ratings than it, So whatever the user rating is actually at doesn't really reflect on the quality of the music.

    • Kennyis22

      80%? Pulling statistics out your ass? And Cold Corner 2 was out last November. HHDX definitely reviewed mixtapes prior to that as well. And you can't seriously believe that 50 Cent has more dickriders than haters. Lets be real, 50 Cent isn't even relevant right now. His last album sold less than the Gold certificate it was given. And an Andre 3000 feature pretty much automatically gets all the dickriders out.

    • @CJonno90

      The Cold Corner 2 was released before they did mixtape reviews you dipshit! What the fuck do yo mean "Isn't it more likely that an Andre 3000 song would get more 5s than a 50 Cent song" No because it was Officer Ricky's song and if your saying 50 gets hate you should look at Rick Ross posts, you dipshit! And because like 80% if not more of people just rate the music regardless when a mainstream musicians music is posted so whatever the rating is, is irrelevant you dipshit! And 50 Cent has A LOT more dickriders than haters nowadays so you can't really take his ratings seriously... YOU THICK CUNT!

    • Kennyis22

      Man, that's some aggression for no reason, you dipshit. I'm looking at Cold Corner 2 that didn't even get a review, you dipshit. Isn't it more likely that an Andre 3000 song would get more 5s than a 50 Cent song, you dipshit? 50 Cent gets so much hate, people calling him irrelevant and yet everyone is still listening, and his songs get high ratings, you dipshit. You're saying how people rate a song, which is a medium for people to express how good people think a song is, doesn't reflect how good a song is, you dipshit.

    • @CJonno90

      Just because people rate doesn't reflect how good the album/song actually is you dipshit! Look at all reviews on 50/G-Unit before judging if "Hiphopdx hates G-Unit" Look at the comments on 50's new song just look at the dickriders he has that are plugging it on iTunes and updating on how it's doing of course they gonna give it a 5 without even listening to it. Just as people are going to rate Rick Ross a 1 before listening to it (although he is rapping about bollocks on so many levels and kinda deserves it) but a lot of 50 song off 5 (Murder by Numbers) have been rated higher than "Sixteen" feat. Andre 3000 and they ain't better songs than that.

  • Ch

    WTF? This is probably the best mixtape that has been released in the last 5-6 months. Lloyd is a monster and hiphopDX should really hire better writers, who can actually appreciate and recognize real talent.

  • Anonymous

    lol G-Unit the sinking ship.... Do you really cal yourself rapfans by listening to this weak shit.

  • Anon...

    I really think it would be a wise decision for Lloyd Banks to move labels maybe to Shady as Eminem is racking up talented MCs at the 2.0 version and as 50 Cent isn't the best label executive and since Sha Money XL left the label has been going down the pan.

  • Hiphopisalive

    This mixtape is up there as the top 10 of 2012. I don't really listen to Banks but I def will ride to this mixtape. That track with Fab is sick

  • ....

    Yeah this would be dope if it was cut down to 7 tracks and released as a EP... Spot on HipHopDX

    • ....

      And calling comparing Tony Yayo to Memphis Bleek well if that ain't giving a member of G-Unit a compliment then I don't know what is.

  • T

    This blog making it seems like 50 said "F Banks, dat nigga don't do shit, I did everything for him" NO! All fif said was it was his time to be his own man and take the spotlight...he wanted Banks to run his own shit completely n kind of come out of the lil brother shell that he has been under from him. While, he works on his stuff let both him and Yayo work on there's. He would never diss them. Those are his brothers. He wants them to win! He made that clear on Big Boi's neighborhood interview. They came into the game together.

  • Hmmm

    Can't really say I give a shit...

  • Anonymous

    Not his best but still a great free mixtape

  • HHPX TRIPPY MANE

    Once again HHDX are tripping with their reviews

  • Chris

    It's much better than fifty's murder by numbers. Lloyd Banks is on a run since H.F.M. 2 !!! Keep it up Banks !! Lloyd Banks = the only good rapper from G-Unit ! ;)

  • FIRE SLAVA

    SLAVA IS A PURE 50 CENT HATER STOP WITH GOSSIP AND STAY ON THE MUSIC WHY PUT SO MUCH HATE IN THE REVIEW

    • Lord Meth

      @ Fire Slava - You son of a bitch! You're the dick head from Datpiff who hated on me cuz I said Banks wasn't top 5. Get out of here, you pole jocking stan!

    • StapShootKill

      You really dickriding if you think that there is some conspiracy against 50 on this website they've given good reviews and bad reviews if it was up to you every G-Unit affiliated album would be rated 5 star so you ain't in a position to give a honest opinion.

  • #TeamYayo

    another classic by banks

  • GGG-UNIT

    The UNIT ALWAYS release that heat haters gonna hate