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Lloyd Banks - Rotten Apple

Lloyd Banks is an American rapper and member of the hip-hop group G-Unit. He released his second studio album, Rotten Apple, on October 10, 2006, under G-Unit Records and Interscope Records. The album features guest appearances from 50 Cent, Prodigy, Keri Hilson, Musiq Soulchild, Rakim, Mobb Deep, Young Buck, Scarface, and 8Ball. The album debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 143,000 copies in its first week. It received mixed reviews from critics, who praised Banks' lyrical skills but criticized the production and lack of originality.


Background and recording

Lloyd Banks began working on Rotten Apple in 2005, after the success of his debut album, The Hunger for More (2004), which sold over two million copies worldwide. He wanted to show his growth as an artist and a person, and to reflect the harsh realities of his hometown, New York City. He said in an interview: "I named the album Rotten Apple because that's what New York City is to me. It's a place where you can make it or break it. It's a place where you can get caught up in a lot of negative things if you're not careful."

Banks recorded most of the album in Miami, Florida, with producers such as Havoc, Sha Money XL, Ron Browz, Needlz, and Eminem. He also collaborated with some of his musical influences, such as Rakim and Scarface. He said: "I wanted to work with people who I respect and who respect me. I grew up listening to Rakim and Scarface. They're legends in the game. They gave me a lot of advice and guidance."

Release and promotion

Rotten Apple was originally scheduled to be released in July 2006, but it was pushed back several times due to label issues and leaks. The first single from the album was "Hands Up", featuring 50 Cent, which was released on July 25, 2006. The song peaked at number 84 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 37 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The second single was "Help", featuring Keri Hilson, which was released on September 19, 2006. The song peaked at number 77 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and number 37 on the US Hot Rap Songs chart.

The album was finally released on October 10, 2006, through G-Unit Records and Interscope Records. It sold 143,000 copies in its first week of release, debuting at number three on the US Billboard 200 chart. It also reached number one on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and number two on the US Top Rap Albums chart. As of December 2006, the album had sold over 370,000 copies in the United States.

Critical reception

Rotten Apple received mixed reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 55 based on 12 reviews.

Some critics praised Banks' lyrical skills and delivery, but criticized the production and lack of originality. AllMusic's David Jeffries wrote: "Banks is still a great rapper with a sharp tongue and plenty of charisma [...] but he's not breaking any new ground here [...] The production is mostly bland G-Unit material that sounds like leftovers from their previous releases." Entertainment Weekly's Margeaux Watson gave the album a C+ rating and said: "Banks spits venomous verses with skillful precision [...] But his monotonous flow grows tiresome over stale beats that fail to distinguish him from his G-Unit cohorts."

Other critics were more positive and appreciated Banks' growth as an artist and a person. XXL gave the album an XL rating and said: "Banks has matured as a lyricist [...] He paints vivid pictures of his life experiences with clever wordplay and witty metaphors [...] Rotten Apple is a solid sophomore effort that proves Banks is more than just another G-Unit soldier." HipHopDX gave the album a 3.5 out of 5 rating and said: "Banks has definitely stepped his game up [...] He shows more emotion and personality on this album [...] Rotten Apple is a good album that showcases Banks' potential as a solo artist."

Track listing






"Rotten Apple" (featuring 50 Cent and Prodigy)





Sha Money XL



"Playboy 2"

Ron Browz



"The Cake" (featuring 50 Cent)




"Make a Move"




"Hands Up" (featuring 50 Cent)




"Life" (bonus track)

Nick Speed


: [Metacritic - Rotten Apple] : [AllMusic - Rotten Apple] : [Entertainment Weekly - Rotten Apple] : [XXL - Rotten Apple] : [HipHopDX - Rotten Apple]

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