Lloyd Banks - The Course of the Inevitable 2 Music Album Reviews

Lloyd Banks - The Course of the Inevitable 2 Music Album Reviews
The former G-Unit rapper is not as dynamic or adventurous as many of his contemporaries, but his wisdom and skill make it hard not to get caught up in his second act. 

Not many rappers get second winds like Lloyd Banks. His come-up as a part of 50 Cent’s G-Unit is well-documented, and his punchline-heavy raps were once called “underrated” by Kanye West, a one-time rival of 50. On songs like G-Unit’s “Stunt 101” or Diddy’s “Victory 2004,” Banks’ clever wordplay and gruff monotone made him a sturdy foil for the more animated personalities of 50 and Young Buck. Eventually, his mix of gaudy flex raps and vivid storytelling led to his own solo albums and hits, peaking in the late 2000s, just before the era of swag rap took hold.

As he recently told GQ, creative “stagnation” after his 2010 album The Hunger for More 2 and the birth of his children in the mid-2010s led to an extended break from solo recording. Then, in 2021, he emerged with a new lease on hip-hop and The Course of the Inevitable, his first proper studio album in over a decade. Banks is an analog to roughneck workhorses like Roc Marciano and Griselda, so hearing him rap over that kind of production—with a new Beanie Sigel-esque grumble to his voice—was a full-circle moment for a strain of East Coast rap currently basking in the sun. Inevitable was a solid return to form, with Banks’ ice-cold reflections on street life slotting well into an era of Instagram stunting and renewed vigor for independent artists. The Course of the Inevitable 2, his latest project, is more of the same but without the extra benefit of his grand return to music. For better and for worse, he sinks deeper into his comfort zone.

Banks’ raps have always toed the line between the spoils he’s earned and the struggles it took to get them. He weaves between past and present—Louis Vuitton linens and close calls on the corner—so effortlessly his life comes across like an anthology series. Take the beginning of “No Reward,” where he wrings the drama out of his rags-to-riches story: “Too cerebral, off leader horses, the coupe’s medieval/Stayed to myself ’cause it’s hard for me to get used to people.” On “Menace,” he doesn’t just have thick skin—it’s “tough as Bacardi glass.” The whiplash of pain and pleasure continues to be his sweet spot, but it hits harder when he uses his years of experience for teachable moments. Standout track “Dead Roses” might as well be called “Free Game,” each line a terse nugget of wisdom (“Niggas gotta see your bloodstream to make your streams go up,” “Bangin’ on rumors, damn, I miss hanging up with my flip phone”). His role as a weathered rap veteran gives added weight to the Brazilian marble round tables and weed smoke blowing out of Ferraris he raps about on other songs.

While his writing can be vivid and compelling, the technical aspects of his bars aren’t as distinctive. Banks’ flows are as rigid and predictable as his subject matter, which adds a level of consistency but tends to make the 14-track project blur together. Only so many references to COVID and cancel culture can help make a song sound fresh. There are lyrical gems and occasional flow switches throughout songs like “Living Proof” and “Trapped,” but their production would barely pass muster on a “real hip-hop type beat 2022” YouTube search. In fact, most of the beats on Inevitable 2 skew generic, drawing from the same palette of muted drum patterns, piano stabs, and warbling synths. Producer Cartune, who handles eight songs, is particularly guilty, offering faceless boom-bap on “Menace” and “Traffic.” Attempts to switch things up lead to mixed results: Producer Mr. Authentic’s stagger-stepping beat on “Power Steering” give Banks’ words some room to breathe, but the hi-hats and warped sample of Fortnoxx’s “Fell in Love” sound like something Drake or Tyga would’ve rapped on four years ago. His stories are harder to invest in when the beats feel culled from discarded Elcamino or Estee Nack folders.

And that’s what’s most frustrating about The Course of the Inevitable 2—it works at a fundamental level but doesn’t leave an impression. Banks’ combination of above-it-all cool and rawness has inspired rappers from Griselda’s Benny the Butcher and Conway the Machine—both of whom appear on this project—to the madcap gonzo attitude of Papo2oo4. His influence is widespread, and his commitment to straight-edged bars is both a blessing and a curse, depending on the beat. He’s not as dynamic or adventurous as many of his contemporaries, but his wisdom and skill make it hard not to get caught up in his second act. “​​Mе and adversity cruise togethеr/Counted me out again? Yes, who do I owe the pleasure?” he raps on “Living Proof.” Banks is done proving himself—his only goal now is to stay the course.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Lloyd Banks - The Course of the Inevitable 2 Music Album Reviews Lloyd Banks - The Course of the Inevitable 2 Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on July 29, 2022 Rating: 5


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