The Boy Wonder, Lamborghini Lloyd, Big Truck Banks, Mr. Punch Line King, whatever you want to call him, got his “official” start on this mixtape.
This mixtape came out in the summer of 2003, and served as both an appetizer and a proper introduction of Banks. At the time, he was making strides through the rap and mixtape worlds, appearing in the early 50 Cent and G-Unit records that helped build a tremendous buzz for 50.
Banks had yet to be fully featured by his lonesome up until this point. Plus, it came out three months before G-Unit’s debut album.
The mixtape was cool.
It showed off Banks’ skills and versatility as a rapper. It could’ve been better but I believe Banks was holding himself back because he was working on the G-Unit album and his debut. Plus, I felt like he wanted to let people get to know him before delivering harder rhymes.
Banks took the opportunity to rhyme over a variety of instrumentals including The Notorious B.I.G.’s “I Got A Story To Tell,” the LOX’s “Breathe Easy” and Clipse’s “I’m Serious.” He also jumped on a Snoop Dogg instrumental but for-the-love-of-almighty I cannot figure out the record.
On “Story To Tell,” he painted a picture with hiss storytelling on a fictional character that shares some of the same characteristics that Banks has, could it be semi-autobiographical? Who knows. Banks is simply displaying his storytelling talent.
“Gangstas” with Ludacris was dope! Ludacris outshined Banks. Luda’s verse was filled with clever wordplay and slick metaphors.
“Unknown Freestyle” is just that, unknown. It has Banks reflecting rap on his career and his life at that moment.
Banks hit us with a bit of nostalgia by having a live performance of “E.M.S.” off No Mercy, No Fear on this mixtape. He also had a live performance of the classic “Victory 2004” verse, which might be one of Banks’ best verses ever. The metaphors, the punchlines, the wittiness, the cleverness, and the delivery are all top-notch. Both of these were from 50’s set at Summer Jam of that year.
The former has 50 claiming he isn’t like producer Hi-Tek or Talib Kweli, who are great at what they do, just not as popular. He is somebody. He should receive complimentary service, and be treated special. Even before the huge boost of wealth and fame, 50 already knew he was a big shot.
The latter, well that speaks for itself.