Without question, Lloyd Banks is the most lyrically-inclined emcee in G-Unit since their inception; and other than when Eminem is writing verses for 50 Cent, that statement has stood the test of time, decades later. The Course of the Inevitable III: Pieces of My Pain is Banks’ third solo album in three years, all falling under the banner of the same series, if you will. In this 16-track effort, Lloyd Banks doesn’t disappoint with his hardbody lyrics, NY boom-bap beats, and patented cadences. That being said, if you put this joint on and said it was made in 2004, I wouldn’t be able to confidently argue with you that it wasn’t.
This type of Hip-Hop music isn’t prevalent in society or the mainstream like it used to be. That being said, it only makes me appreciate artists who throw it back like this even more. To me, this project feels like the type of music Lloyd was meant to make. G-Unit was great for what it was, but Banks has all of the makings of an underground icon. At only 41 years old, Lloyd Banks has been actively releasing music pretty much this whole time, but it goes entirely overlooked because it’s “not G-Unit.”
Now to dissect the music, there are a lot of things I enjoyed about this album. The simple, East Coast style, the late ’90s, boom-bap type beats, heavenly present throughout, signaling what Hip-Hop is supposed to be. On the other hand, it can get repetitive fast, especially pairing them with Lloyd Banks’ vocals. Not to knock the rapper, but we’ve more or less seen the extent of his stylings, for lack of a better term. The track “Money Machine,” if made in the early 2000s, would be an iconic song being played by every old head like myself to this day, definitely earning a placement on my Hip-Hop playlist.
“101 Razors,” featuring the infallible Method Man, is a lyrical masterpiece and gets my highest praise. Also, Cormega is featured on the last song of the album “Deceitful Intentions,” which is a gritty and gully song focused on street life. The highlight for me was the song “Daddy’s Little Girl,” which features Lloyd Banks’ daughter as a baby. We need more empowering songs like this in Hip-Hop about being good fathers and what it means to bring life into this world and raise children.