Real Name: Christopher Charles Lloyd
D.O.B.: April 30th, 1982 Baltimore, Maryland
The Before Years
Born in Baltimore, Lloyd Banks was raised in South Jamaica, Queens with his Puerto Rican mother and his African-American father. 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 neighbourhood to further increase his buzz on the streets. He then hooked up with neighbourhood 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 neighbourhood. During August of 2005, Lloyd Banks, Young Buck, and their entourage were travelling 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 of 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 singles from this album include "On Fire", "I'm So Fly", and "Karma". Features on this album include 50 Cent, Young Buck, Tony Yayo, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, Avant, and former G-Unit member The Game.
During the first week of The Hunger For More's release, a distribution house in was robbed approximately eight boxes of the CDs (200 copies). A New York record store had nearly 100 copies of the CD stolen from its racks by a single perpetrator on the album's first day in stores, though they were later recovered. During an interview Lloyd Banks explained the reason behind naming the album. He said:
"When I say The Hunger for More, it could be referring to more success. It could be more money. Or Respect. More power. More understanding. All those things lead up to that hunger for more, because my more isn't everybody else's more. I feel like I made it already, because I got already what everybody on the corners of the neighborhood I grew up in is striving to get."
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