Christopher Charles Lloyd (born April 30 1982), better known by his stage name, Lloyd Banks, is an American rapper and member of the rap group G-Unit.
Lloyd Banks was born Christopher Lloyd in Baltimore, Maryland
and was raised in South Jamaica, Queens. His mother is Puerto Rican
and his father was African American
. His parents were young and never married when Banks was born. His father spent most of Banks' childhood in prison which left Lloyd Banks' mother to raise him and his siblings alone. Lloyd Banks was left to care for his younger brothers alone when his mother was not around.
Banks started writing something resembling poetry at a young age and it started taking form. Eventually, he got the courage and rapped his rhymes on the streets of New York. People's reaction to it stunned him. He kept free styling and participating in local battles, creating an unstoppable growing buzz for himself.
Lloyd Banks grew up around the corner from 50 Cent and Tony Yayo so they would usually rap together; they starred in many city shows. Lloyd Banks attended August Martin High School in Queens, New York. Even when he was in school, instead of doing his school work he would write down everything that came to mind. Even when he wasn't rapping, he would write. It was something he did in his spare time. He could not flourish lyrically in a structured school environment, so he dropped out before he turned 16.
He took his great, great grandfather's name, "Banks", which was passed on by his uncles who also shared it.
Rise to fame
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 made tracks for local mixtapes. Lloyd Banks has a renowned reputation on the mixtape scene.
Banks was shot twice in September 2001, by what's believed to be stray gunfire in his neighborhood.
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.
G-Unit was founded when childhood friends, Lloyd Banks, 50 Cent, and Tony Yayo decided to make a group with each other. They met Young Buck
when Cash Money
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 was later sent to prison on weapons charges.
Fronted by 50 Cent, G-Unit quickly redefined the urban music industry back to gangsta rap. They produced a series of mixtape albums with original numbers and high quality artwork, making the discs something more than a bootleg, but not quite an independent release.
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". 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 of 2003, which went on to be certified 2× Platinum.
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. The album debuted at number 1 on the Billboard
charts with 433,000 copies sold in the first week. The album has since sold over two million copies and has been certified platinum by the RIAA.
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:
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 #16, selling 46,000 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".
Lloyd Banks tries to keep the lowest profile in the G-Unit camp but feuds willingly to support his "crew". Feuds initially involving 50 Cent have caused him to engage in this Hip-Hop practice. The most well known of these feuds involving Lloyd Banks is the feud between him and The Game which started publicly after The Game left G-Unit under perturbed circumstances. The Game and Lloyd Banks were rumored to not get along during the Game's tenure in G-Unit. Lloyd Banks speculates that The Game had jealous insecurities involving the attention he received after the success of his debut album The Hunger for More
and Banks winning a lyricist title. After leaving the group, The Game released a series of diss songs against G Unit with most of them featuring Lloyd Banks' name in them. Lloyd Banks nationally replied to the Game on a Rap City
freestyle booth session. The Game quickly released a "diss" record called "SoundScan" where The Game pokes fun at Lloyd Banks' album Rotten Apple
falling thirteen spots on the Billboard 200
chart and disappointing second week sales. Lloyd Banks replied on his mixtape Mo' Money In The Bank Pt. 5: Gang Green Season Continues
with a song called "Showtime (The Game's Over)". Lloyd Banks states that 50 Cent wrote half of The Game's first album The Documentary
and pokes fun at The Game's suicidal thoughts.
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, he said:
- BET Awards
- 2006, Best Collaboration ("Touch It [Remix]") with Busta Rhymes, Mary J. Blige, Rah Digga, Missy Elliott, Papoose, & DMX [Nominated]
- BET Hip-Hop Awards
- 2006, Hip-Hop Video of the Year ("Touch It [Remix]") with Busta Rhymes, Mary J. Blige, Rah Digga, Missy Elliott, Papoose, & DMX [Nominated]
- 2006, Best Collaboration ("Touch It [Remix]") with Busta Rhymes, Mary J. Blige, Rah Digga, Missy Elliott, Papoose, & DMX [Won]
- Grammy Awards
- 2005, Best Rap Solo Performance ("On Fire") [Nominated]