The Hunger for More
“When I say 'The Hunger for More,' it could be referring to more success. It could be more money or respect, more power, more understanding. All those things lead up to that hunger for more because my more isn't everybody else’s more. I feel like I made it already because I got already what everybody on the corners of the neighborhood I grew up in is striving to get.” Lloyd Banks
Rapper Lloyd Banks rose to fame as a member of the rap group G-Unit, which was also comprised of 50 Cent and Tony Yayo. Their studio debut album, “Beg for Mercy” (2003), debuted at No. 20 on the Billboard 200. The artist has since been successful on his own thanks to the No. 1 hit “The Hunger for More” (2004), Banks' debut solo album that was certified platinum by RIAA. The second album, “Rotten Apple,” was released in 2006 and the album “H.F.M.2” should be released in 2010.
Banks, who was shot twice in 2001, was arrested in 2005 after officers discovered guns in a van Banks and his entourage drove. When the incident happened, fellow G-Unit member Young Buck was in the same vehicle. The charges were dropped in November 2006 after an investigation found that neither Banks nor Buck owned the weapons.
Childhood and Family:
“My mom is Puerto Rican. My pops is black. It was kinda like when I was with my mother's side of the family, I was the bad seed. I was the one who was most unlikely to succeed. And then when I was with the black side of the family, I was the angel because all my uncles are career felons.” Lloyd Banks
Born on April 30, 1982, Christopher Lloyd, professionally known as Lloyd Banks, was raised primarily by his mother in South Jamaica in New York City because his father spent a great deal of time in prison. Lloyd’s young parents were not married when he was born and when his father was a convict, Lloyd took care of his younger brothers when his mother was out.
“I listened to Big Daddy Kane a lot ‘cause that's what my pops listened to.” Lloyd Banks
No stranger to poverty and violence, young Lloyd discovered poetry and rap and that became his salvation. Inspired by the work of such hip hop artists as Slick Rick and Big Daddy Kane, he rapped his rhymes on the streets of New York with his childhood neighbors 50 Cent and Tony Yayo. He later performed in city shows. At age 16, he dropped out of August Martin High School to further pursue his interest.
Lloyd Banks left school at age 16. He continued to work on his rhymes and performed on the streets of New York City. Encouraged by the good responses of audiences, Banks teamed up with local producers and recorded a number of tracks. Shortly after, he built a reputation as one of the neighborhood's best unsigned rappers.
Banks attracted the attention of childhood friend and competitor Tony Yayo (Marvin Bernard), who along with another childhood friend who rapped under the moniker 50 Cent, asked Banks to perform in a group and G Unit was born. Through G Unit, the trio had a string of successful street albums that they produced. The success of G Unit was further established when 50 Cent, who led the group, signed a deal with Shady/Aftermath/Interscope Records and released his solo debut, “Get Rich or Die Tryin'” (2003), which featured Banks on the song “Don't Push Me.” Later that same year, G Unit launched a studio album under their record label G-Unit Records called “Beg for Mercy.” Consisting of singles like “Poppin' Them Thangs,” “My Buddy,” “Stunt 101,” “Wanna Get To Know You” and “Smile,” the album rose to the Top 20 on Billboard's 200 and was a commercial hit, selling two million copies in the U.S. alone and four million internationally. The group followed the success by embarking on a world tour. When the album was recorded, Yayo was jailed for gun possession and was replaced by Young Buck. Yoyo rejoined the group in early 2004.
In June 2004, Banks enjoyed success with the release of “The Hunger for More,” a solo album featuring G-Unit members 50 Cent, Young Buck, Tony Yayo and other artists like Eminem, Nate Dogg and Snoop Dogg. Recorded for G Unit/Interscope Records, the album scorched through the charts and landed at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, and the United World Chart. It also sold over 400,000 units during its first week of release and has since sold more than two million pieces worldwide and received platinum certification from RIAA. Some singles released from the album include the hits “On Fire,” “I'm So Fly” and “Karma.”
Also in 2004, Banks won an award for Mixtape Artist of the Year at the Mixtape Awards thanks to his appearance on G Unit’s mixtapes and his “Money In The Bank” and “Mo Money In The Bank” (both 2003). Commenting on this honor, he stated, “When I won the Mixtape Artist of the Year 2004, after that I didn’t want to get away from it because that right there is where I got my satisfaction, from the fans giving me that award. It wasn’t like an award show when you got some big fat guys in suits on the podium that never even heard my album giving me a rating or judging what I deserve... that's actually my most proudest trophy right now.”
Banks released the sophomore album “Rotten Apple” on October 10, 2006, to mixed reviews. The album peaked at No. 3 on Billboard's 200 and “The Cake” and “Hands Up” featured guest performance from 50 Cent. The single “Help” was produced by Ron Browz. David Morris produced Banks' single “Iceman,” which was released in January 2007.
Banks’ album “H.F.M.2” should be released in 2010.
Mixtape: Artist of the Year, 2004