During an exclusive interview with XXL magazine, G-Unit rapper Lloyd Banks recalled the moment he realized the music he fell in love with was changing. The rapper revealed that at one point he had to take his mind off of the music industry completely.
According to Banks, who says he ultimately grew frustrated with the music industry, there are “a lot more political relationships” in the business.
He also added that rather than relying solely on releasing good music, artists today have to follow a step-by-step process in order to receive praise.
“Nah, my mind wasn’t on the music [business] for a point,” Lloyd Banks said. “I always make music, so I can’t be like I was zoned out because I never got out the zone. It was more about the game…So I just realized after a while, and then watching the comments, that music is changing. This is not what made me fall in love with music. So if I’m watching all the pieces that made me fall in love with it not be relevant anymore… Like it don’t matter what’s being said but [it matters] who did the beat. Status, or anything like that. I didn’t fall in love with that.
“There’s a lot more political relationships, as opposed to just saying, ‘I like this person, he’s dope,’” he added. “That shit frustrated me. It frustrated me that if I don’t do step-by-step what [they] want me to do, then I don’t get the praise. Does that also mean that the people that get the praise don’t actually deserve it? How do you gauge that? If you’re an artist that’s successful—like look at Kendrick Lamar. He dropped a body of work and it was so good that people live with that until the next one. They don’t need a bunch of in-between shit.”
Banks later recalled being so engulfed in making music that he eventually became “mad at the music” due to what he missed out on. He says he wasn’t there when his best friend passed away or when the body of his father was found.
“I had to deal with all of this shit in the media,” he said. “I lost my grandmother, I lost my father, I lost my best friend. I grew up in the shit. My whole 20s was sacrificed to my friend’s family and hip-hop. I don’t have no girlfriend, I don’t have no kids. I was completely locked in on it so much that it made me mad at the music. It made me mad that I put so much into this shit, that I missed so much. I wasn’t there when my best friend got killed, I wasn’t there when my father was found. It makes you kind of resent the same shit that you love. So my fans are going, ‘Where you at?’ [But] I hated it. I love to make music but I hate what it did to me and what it did to my friends. So I fell back from it.”
The Queens, New York lyricist also recalled reuniting with G-Unit earlier this year. He says the process of reuniting took a few months once it was initiated, and shared that the reunion “happened collectively.”
“It kind of happened collectively,” Banks said. “Like me and Yayo were talking, then I eventually ended up reaching out to 50. Went to go see him and just get things out the way. I spoke to Buck before I spoke to 50 but Buck gave me [50’s] number. It was kind of like everybody felt it was time. So we all ended up talking to each other, we crossed pathways. Before you know it, we were all in one room. But it wasn’t like it took one person to get everybody together. We all felt we had something that we needed to make right with each other.”