Lloyd Banks Rotten Apple

[Interscope; 2006]

Styles: gangsta pap, hip-pop
Others: Destiny’s Child, Nelly, 50 Cent, Nickelback

It’s a real testament to the sheer stupidity of the human race that these records are not only still being made, but still selling well enough to give the unknowing public the illusion that this isn’t some of the most brainless and pathetic music ever to waste round plastic. Make no mistake, it is just that. Anyone who has any idea of where music came from can see that these beats — all of which consist of the same drum patterns so basic a cow could’ve programmed them, with some point-and-click piano, string, or soul-sample loop — are less intelligent than a Raffi record (shame on you, 9th Wonder, you should know better than to waste a beat on this prick). What’s more, if you have a working grasp of English, you can see Lloyd’s childish, homophobic, and disgustingly vain lyrics carry as much poetical weight as a men’s room wall.

Calling this album and all of the music like it “image-based” is somewhat misleading, as that makes it sound like there’s something else here besides that same African-blood-diamond-encrusted image that has been killing the true soul of hip-hop since the mid-'90s. Image is all you get here. “You know the deal/ It’s all about a dollar bill.” Is it? Is it really? Gosh, I haven’t heard that one before. That is just so damn insightful. Just imagine what wisdom an actual pimp or gangster from a real hood could give us as opposed to these pampered suburbanites for whom 50 Cent keeps releasing records from his mansion at intervals timed to maximize sales. You really have to wonder how long Craig David-looking hacks like Banks can keep recycling these same yuppie wet dreams and have them continue to be profitable, but I guess we all know the deal. This is music made by rich people for the confused teenage kids of other rich people.

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