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Lloyd Banks
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Lloyd Banks was born Christopher Lloyd in Baltimore, Maryland and was raised in the South Jamaica section of the Queens borough of New York City, New York. His mother is Puerto Rican and his father was African-American. His parents were young and never married. His father spent most of Banks’ childhood in prison because of his status as a repeat offender “squeegie guy”. This left Banks’ mother to raise Banks and his siblings alone. Young Christopher Lloyd had the responsibility of taking care of his younger brothers when his mother went out. Like many kids around him, Banks felt trapped in the cycle of poverty and violence, and found his haven in words.
Banks started writing something resembling poetry at a young age and it started taking form, but Banks wouldn’t share it with the outside world. Eventually, he got the courage one day and rapped his rhymes on the streets of Jamaica, Queens. People’s reaction to it stunned him. Many said he should record them. So he wasted no time in his pursuit to be a rapper. His mother was responsible for nurturing Banks’ early desire to be a rapper. She would play hip hop music around the house and took Banks to his first hip hop concert. His rap heroes were Big Daddy Kane, Rakim and Slick Rick, three men who influenced his own style
Lloyd Banks grew up around the corner from 50 Cent and Tony Yayo so they all would usually rap together. Lloyd Banks attended August Martin High School in Queens, New York. Even when he was in school, instead of doing his school work he would write down everything that came to mind. Even when he wasn’t rapping he would write. It was something he did in his spare time. He could not flourish lyrically in a structured school environment, so he dropped out before he turned 16.
He took his great grandfather’s name — Banks — passed on by his uncles who also shared it.
Yayo being an older and more experienced MC went on the road with 50 Cent on the Nas promo tour\the Cash Money/Ruff Ryders Tour. Banks remained at home waiting for 50 Cent and Yayo to return, he started rapping around the neighborhood to create a buzz for himself. Then he hooked up with neighborhood producers and made tracks for local mixtapes. Lloyd Banks has a well-built reputation on the underground mixtape scene. [1]
Banks was shot twice in September 2001, by what’s believed to be stray gunfire in his neighborhood.[2]
G-Unit was founded when Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, Domination, Bang Em Smurf and 50 Cent decided to make a group with each other. They met Young Buck when Cash Money group came to New York and 50 Cent heard Young Buck rapping. After 50 Cent got his contract with Shady/Aftermath they took Buck in the group and signed him, Domination and Bang Em Smurf left the group because of a personal feud with 50 Cent and Tony Yayo was sent to prison on weapons charges.
Fronted by 50 Cent, G-Unit quickly redefined the urban music industry back to gangsta rap. They produced a series of mixtape albums with original numbers and high quality artwork, making the discs something more than a bootleg, but not quite an independent release.
50 Cent was soon signed to Shady/Aftermath/Interscope Records and released the album Get Rich Or Die Tryin, which Banks was featured on the song “Don’t Push Me”. Lloyd Banks then became one of the first artist signed to Aftermath subsidiary G-Unit. G Unit released their first official group album Beg For Mercy in November of 2003, which remained in the top 20 of the Billboard 2000 after four months on the charts.
In 2003, Banks was anointed 2003’s Mixtape Artist of the Year due to his appearance on G-Unit mixtapes as well as his own Money in the Bank series. Though these successes allowed Lloyd Banks to tour the world multiple times over, one accomplishment means a bit more than all the rest.
Lloyd Banks released his solo debut album The Hunger For More in June of 2004. Lloyd Banks released the summer smash hit On Fire featuring 50 Cent to help his album sell over 433,000 its first week and eventually selling over 1.5 million records in the US and 2.3 million worldwide.
In 2004, Banks was the target of a false rumor started by an unknown source which featured a man that resembles Banks having gay sex in a video clip that circulated on the internet. The man in the video clip did not have one of the extensive tattoos that covers Banks’ body. The rumor was falsified after the actual actor of the film Ty Lattimore stepped forward to verify it was him in the video clip.
In August 2005, Lloyd Banks, Young Buck and their entourage were riding in a van, when the vehicle was pulled over after running a red light in midtown Manhattan. Officers said they discovered a loaded handgun and another weapon in the van. Prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss the charges after an investigation determined that neither Lloyd Banks nor Young Buck were in possession of the guns. Felony gun charges against Lloyd Banks and Young Buck were dropped on November 8, 2006.
In October of 2005 Banks rumored sophomore album The Big Withdraw was leaked on to the streets which featured some tracks produced by Scott Storch and tracks featuring 50 Cent. Lloyd Banks left it at a women’s house after they had a threesome with another woman. She then sold it to a DJ who turned it into a mixtape. Banks had to scratch all the tracks of that album and begin work on an a new sophomore album.
Lloyd Banks sophomore album is titled Rotten Apple. The Timbaland produced track My House was thought to be the first single, but Banks confirmed it was not and he sold it to the movie: Little Man. “Rotten Apple” is a play on New York City’s nickname “The Big Apple”. Rotten Apple was released on October 10, 2006, the album sold 143,000 copies in its first week and sold around 267,000 copies worldwide. Last reports have the album at 1.4 million sold records. He has released three singles of the album Hands Up, The Cake, and Help.
The Game
After Doctor’s Advocate dropped, Lloyd Banks released “Your Not Authentic” a track listed in the Mo Money in the Bank Pt 5 mixtape, in which he takes shots at The Game’s previous butterfly tattoo, hiding in the closet, and suicidal thoughts at a younger age.

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