H.F.M. 2 (The Hunger for More)

A few months ago, Kanye West tweeted that Lloyd Banks is "prolly the most underrated MC in the game." Banks, best known as 50 Cent's sideman, is an un-showy virtuoso, rapping in a gruff, sleepy-eyed near-monotone that obscures his wit and rhythmic gifts. His thundering street hit, "Beamer, Benz, or Bentley" is a cascade of tightly interlocking, goofily evocative rhymes: "Where my ring and my confetti?/I'm Kobe Bryant ready/ Pink rosé and chronic smelly/While I'm stumbling out the telly." His third solo album is uneven and overlong, but, thanks in part to a rappers'-rappers guest list (Pusha T, Raekwon, Eminem, Fabolous) and several dank, hard-hitting beats, it has moments of rhyme-geek bliss.

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