Back when G-Unit could do no wrong and Ja couldn’t do anything right, Banks was my favorite MC in the game. He didn’t have one wack bar and his flow was so crazy that it deserved its own channel. But then he dropped Hunger For More and that pretty much proved that Lloyd Banks was in fact human. He went from Boy Wonder to Wonder Bread (The dough made him soft). He showed that he could make mistakes. Almost half an album’s worth (The album was cool, but a let down nonetheless).
But after dropping a very weak second album and a few weak mixtapes, Banks finally got it right. The Cold Corner is exactly what I was hoping to hear from the Blue Hefner: hip-hop music. On “Be That Way Sometimes” he used a retarded flow to murder a soulful beat that had a sick sample with guitar strings getting plucked spitting, “I’ve been waiting, I’m impatient/would’ve flipped if I wasn’t cakin’/I’m a long way out of that basement/and that hallway’s hotter than Satan/I ain’t for a lot of debatin’/I’ma call out and replace him/I’ma ballout and disgrace him/in a mall out on vacation/I’m against whatever’s against a G/this bitch industry ain’t meant for me/it’s full of girls and punk niggas/that right there ain’t the way to be...” Sick!
And that was just one of a bunch of tracks that he got it in on. “Good Company,” “On My Way,” “What Am I Doing Here” – all those joints had me mean mugging while boppin’ my head. That’s the kind of hip-hop I need in my life.
The only true flaw of the mixtape was that sometimes his hooks weren’t sharp enough to catch a goldfish. Repeating, “My corner cold. My corner cold,” over and over on “Cold Corner” wasn’t one of his most creative moments. Did he really think it was a good hook? Gotta get those Marv Alberts out of your circle, homie. They’re just hiding those stockings and panties under their jeans so you won’t figure out they’re just groupies too.
But even the lazy hooks weren’t enough to keep The Cold Corner from being one of Banks best projects. The music speaks for itself. The mixtape was packing a bunch of gutter sounding beats, gully bars and different flows. Given, he’s not as hungry as the Ethiopian he was when he came into the game, his rhymes and rhyme pattern is as clever as it’s been in a minute. Lyrically, yes, he’s still bragging about money, cars and girls, but he also throws some jewels and gems here and there. Though he wasn’t at his absolute best, Banks definitely didn’t disappoint on this one. I tip my fitted to the young god. I hope this is one of the first steps to Banks crafting his first classic LP… if he can. -The Infamous O
Hottest Joint: “Be That Way Sometimes”
Weakest Joint: “On The Arm”