Christopher Charles Lloyd (born April 30, 1982), better known by his stage name Lloyd Banks, is an American hip hop recording artist and member of East Coast hip hop group G-Unit along with childhood friends and fellow American rappers 50 Cent and Tony Yayo. Raised in South Jamaica, Queens, he dropped out of high school in 1998. G-Unit released two albums, Beg for Mercy in 2003 and T.O.S. (Terminate on Sight) in 2008. Banks released his first solo album The Hunger for More in 2004 with the top ten hit single "On Fire". He followed with Rotten Apple in 2006 and left Interscope Records 2009. In 2010 G-Unit signed with EMI to distribute Banks third studio album The Hunger for More 2, which was released on November 22, 2010.
Banks was born in New Carrollton, Maryland and raised in Queens, New York City; he is of mixed Puerto Rican and African American descent. His father spent most of Lloyd's childhood in prison, leaving his mother to raise him and his two siblings. Lloyd attended August Martin High School but dropped out at age 16. For his stage name, he took his great, great-grandfather's name Banks, which was passed on by his uncles who also shared it.
Career with G-Unit (1999-present)
G-Unit was founded when childhood friends Lloyd Banks, 50 Cent, and Tony Yayo decided to form a group. They met Young Buck when UTP group came to New York and 50 Cent heard Young Buck rapping. After 50 Cent signed his contract with Aftermath Entertainment they took Young Buck in the group and signed him. Tony Yayo, being an older and more experienced rapper, joined 50 Cent on the Nas Promo Tour, the Cash Money Tour and the Ruff Ryders Tour. As Banks remained at home waiting for 50 and Yayo to return, he started rapping around the neighborhood to further increase his buzz on the streets. He then hooked up with neighborhood producers and recorded tracks for local mixtapes, becoming renowned on the mixtape scene. While Banks was recording Mixtapes,
50 Cent was soon granted his own record label by Dr. Dre and released the album Get Rich or Die Tryin'; Lloyd Banks was featured on the song "Don't Push Me", and the remixed version of "P.I.M.P". Soon after the group had established their own record label, G-Unit Records, G-Unit released their first official group album Beg for Mercy in November 2003, which went on to be certified double platinum.
During August 2005, Lloyd Banks, Young Buck, and their entourage were traveling in a van, when the vehicle was pulled over after passing through a red light in midtown Manhattan. Officers said they discovered a loaded handgun and another weapon in the van. Prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss the charges after an investigation determined that neither Lloyd Banks nor Young Buck were in possession of the weapons. Felony gun charges against Lloyd Banks and Young Buck were dropped on November 8, 2006.
In the early morning hours of January 9, 2010, in a Kitchener, Ontario hotel, an alleged altercation took place between Banks and a concert promoter over performance fees. Banks, and three of his associates, were later charged with forcible confinement, aggravated assault and robbery, and released on $50,000 bail.
Feud with The Game
The most well known feud involving Lloyd Banks is the feud between himself and The Game, which became public after The Game left G-Unit. Banks speculates that The Game was jealous about the attention Banks received after the success of his debut album The Hunger for More as well as Banks winning a lyricist title.
The Hunger for More (2004-2005)
Lloyd Banks released his solo debut album The Hunger for More in June 2004. The first single was the summer smash hit "On Fire" which featured 50 Cent, however he was uncredited. Banks explained the reasoning behind the album's title:
The album was a commercial success, receiving positive reviews. It debuted at number 1 on the Billboard charts with 500,500 copies sold in the first week. The album has since sold over 1.5 million copies and has been certified platinum by the RIAA.
During an interview, Lloyd Banks commented on his first week sales:
Two other singles were also released from The Hunger For More, "I'm So Fly" and "Karma", the latter was a hit reaching number 17 on the Hot 100, number 9 on the R&B charts and number 6 on the rap charts.
Rotten Apple (2006-2007)
The Big Withdraw was intended to be Lloyd Banks's second album. The album was leaked to the internet after Banks had a ménage à trois encounter with two women and left the CD album behind. The leaked version of the album contained 23 tracks.
During an interview, Lloyd Banks commented on the issue, he said:
It's truth to that rumor. That comes from me doing too much. I was just lost in my ways, fucked two women at one time. It's the little things you don't pay attention to. I had the CD in an actual DJ Whoo Kid mixtape cover. It was just a blank CD with just tracks. I got over 70, 80 tracks, so you can't get them all on one CD. So I might have had 14 tracks of the last two weeks or something like that. Next thing I know, [I] can't find the CD. I'm assuming it had to be from one of those situations when you got too much going on around you. Maybe I'mma just stick to one girl from now on. That's the only explanation that makes sense. Sticky fingers.
Due to the leak, Lloyd Banks began work on Rotten Apple. "Rotten Apple" is a play on New York City's nickname "The Big Apple". It was released on October 10, 2006. The album debuted at #3, selling 143,000 copies in its first week. Rotten Apple was not considered as a commercial success because his debut album sold a significantly higher number of copies in its first week. He has released three singles from Rotten Apple: "Hands Up", "The Cake", and "Help".
Departure from Interscope
Banks was dropped from Interscope Records in 2009. He is still signed to G-Unit Records, which will release his new album. Banks released a mixtape on his 27th birthday, which fell on April 30, 2009; it included the track "Officer Down" that dissed Rick Ross. Banks also released a mixtape in 2009 called V5.
In 2010, a year later, Interscope Records reached back out to try to re-sign Lloyd Banks. Lloyd Banks didn't go for it and put his third album out under G-Unit Records.
The Hunger for More 2 and signing with EMI (2010-present)
In late January 2010, it was announced that Banks would release a new song, "Beamer, Benz, or Bentley" featuring Juelz Santana, from his upcoming third studio album. "Beamer, Benz, or Bentley" charted at #49 on the Billboard Hot 100. In early June, Banks released the second single off the album, "Any Girl" featuring R&B singer Lloyd. Later on November 2, 2010 he released the third single Start It Up featuring Swizz Beatz, Kanye West, Ryan Leslie & Fabolous. Lloyd released the fourth single off the album called, I Don't Deserve You and the song featured R&B singer Jeremih.
Lloyd Banks release info via his Twitter announcing that the title for his third album has tentatively been called 'The Hunger for More 2' and will attempt to take him back to his best work. However, the G-Unit label later stated that the title is not set in concrete and still may be altered. The title of the album was confirmed by 50 Cent as The Hunger for More 2 in an interview with MTV News. According to Banks, Interscope is trying to get him back due to the success of the single "Beamer, Benz, or Bentley", but failed when Lloyd Banks revealed that he had signed a deal with EMI.
After being dropped by Interscope Records in 2009, Lloyd Banks announced on Friday, August 13, 2010 on MTV News that EMI Label Services has signed a deal with 50 Cent's label, G-Unit Records, in which EMI will distribute and promote releases on the G-Unit roster in North America including Lloyd Banks third album H.F.M. 2 (Hunger for More 2).
Banks' had this to say about the deal,
In 2004, Banks was awarded 2004's Mixtape artist of the Year at the Mixtape Awards. Lloyd Banks commented on this award in an interview with AOL Sessions:
When I won the mixtape artist of the year 2004, after that I didn't want to get away from it because that right there is where I got my satisfaction, from the fans giving me that award. It wasn't like an award show when you got some big fat guys in suits on the podium that never even heard my album giving me a rating or judging what I deserve... that's actually my most proudest trophy right now.
In 2005, "On Fire" was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Rap Solo Performance. In 2006, "Touch It [Remix]" was nominated for Hip-Hop Video of the Year, and won for Best Collaboration at the BET Awards. The award was shared by Banks and his collaborators, Busta Rhymes, Mary J. Blige, Rah Digga, Missy Elliott, Papoose, and DMX. In 2010 with the excitement surrounding the release of H.F.M. 2 (Hunger for More 2) and his return to Hip-Hop's spotlight Hip-Hop news website HipHopDX wrote that Banks had the "Comeback of the Year".