“The Punchline King.” It’s the self-proclaimed title that Lloyd Banks has rocked for years now. With his brand new mixtape, V6: The Gift, Banks proves that he’s probably best fit to wear the crown. That’s because the set sees Banks rumbling through respectable production from the likes of Beat Butcher, Cardiak and Doe Pesci with plenty of hard-hitting punchlines, nimble flows and dizzying wordplay alongside the carefully-chosen lyrical likes of Fabolous, Jadakiss, ScHoolboy Q, Young Chris and Vado.
Banks runs out of his corner like a prized-fighter throwing jabs, hooks and of course knock-out punches. The G-Unit star is totally in his element on tracks like “City of Sin” featuring Young Chris, “We Run The Town” with Vado and “The Sprint,” the last of which has him offering lines like: “Menage in Venezuela, hope DR is even realer/Turn the bedroom into the ER when I drill her/Highlights like an athlete, I need clips/Everything take a backseat to V6!” and, “I’m always kitted, this time I overdid it/Too hard to hold a blizzard, throw dough off the pivot (Uh)/My flow’s frigid, yeah this is my frozen style/Banks bend bars like the Golden child.
Later, there’s a welcomed change of pace, as Banks gets introspective alongside Jadakiss on “Chosen Few,” rhyming about his late father. “I lost my pops October it made me colder, no longer being able to stand shoulder to shoulder/You know when it’s over, no rewind, no controller, no degree, no diploma/Just the heart of a soldier.”
Aside Fabolous rhyme slinging with more horsepower and getting the best of him on “Bring It Back,” Banks’ V6 is super-charged and indeed a gift to listeners. —Mark Lelinwalla