By Rahman Dukes
Lloyd Banks is a man of his word. Earlier this year, one third of the G-Unit declared he would restore order back to the New York hip-hop scene, and his latest album, The Hunger for More 2, does just that by living up to the hype.
On Tuesday night (November 23), Banks and a few friends descended upon New York City's Best Buy Theater to celebrate the MC's album in front of a packed crowd that looked hungry for authentic New York hip-hop. With his hype man in tow, Banks emerged dressed in all-black everything topped with a New York Yankees fitted cap, and immediately jumped into his remix of Diddy's "Victory."
"It's showtime," Banks told the crowd. "Make some noise NYC!"
From there Banks went into his cut "Warrior," followed by another familiar tune.
"Let's do something for the fly n---as out here," Banks said, kicking off a second record from '04's The Hunger for More, "I'm So Fly."
With the audience swaying back and forth over a number of hits, the Punchline King reminded them why he's ranked among the fiercest MCs.
"What's your favorite track off Hunger for More?" Banks paused to ask. "I wanna take them back to the record that got me here," he added, sending the crowd into a frenzy with "On Fire." But Banks' most notable record was upstaged by a handful of tricks he'd unveil throughout the course of the evening. Shortly after tossing an oversize football jersey into the crowd, one that he'd donned for one of his music videos years ago ("If I get locked up for inciting a riot who's gonna bail me out?" Banks asked as a group of fans fought over the throwback jersey), PLK got down to business.
All was forgotten though as Pusha T crept onto the stage, joining Banks for the thunderous "Home Sweet Home" cut from HFM2.
But the Clipse MC wasn't the only guest performer to hit the Rotten Apple for Banks, as Ryan Leslie, Red Cafe and more came through to offer their supporter. Still, it was one record that tipped the scale. At one point, PLK, shaking his head, told the crowd some critics had written him off as recently as January 2010.
"Let me go into what made my career," Banks warned.
"Beamer, Benz or Bentley ... Beamer, Benz or Bentley ... Beamer, Benz or Bentley, my jeans are never empty," Banks rapped as Juelz Santana stormed the stage, igniting the crowd.
Following his biggest single to date, Lloyd Banks capped his set with his latest gem, "Start It Up." Fabolous, Pusha-T, Swizz Beatz, R.Les all hit the Best Buy platform saluting Banks in what many fans would forever remember as an unforgettable night after an unforgettable year for the Queens MC.
Were you at Banks' Best Buy Theater show in NY? Tweet us at @MTVRapFix or tell us in a comment below!