Where has Lloyd Banks been? When G-Unit was on top, Banks was everywhere. The Southside sharpshooter has been a ghost since 2006, appearing a few tracks at a time around G-unit releases.
Each of those verses showed glimpses of Banks in prime form. Thus, his first official mixtape release in two years could answer the big question of any solo rust when the light is on him, and only him. Return of The PLK not only answers the question, but could signify the rebirth of his career.
On Hunger For More Lloyd was a punchline machine, dropping clever wordplay behind interesting beats. Return Of The PLK signifies a return towards that old style. Banks goes off a myriad of beats, from his usual street grit on “S.O.D”; where he smacks lines around a bass heavy track. “Without You” is classic Banks as he goes in over sample heavy production with fully loaded quips.
On the other end of the spectrum you have “Hard Days / RIP”. Over the solemn cloudy beat behind Tre William's syrupy crooning you hear lines like “You wonder why my days hard / I spent the morning at the graveyard / They say you crawl in this world you walk away scarred”. It is rare, but Banks tactfully shows range that isn't forced.
Every once in a while, a track or two will appear where Banks just has no pop. Ironically this is most prevalent in the song “I Am Legend”, where he flows quite nonchalantly over a dull beat. Furthermore “Fast Lane” falls in the same territory as the repetitive guitar riffs do nothing for his less than quotable two minute verse.
On “Another 50“, Lloyd Banks says “Anything's possible, I'm back, anything else really don't matter from here on out”. Return Of The PLK displays just how that statement can have some teeth, as its punchlines, and range gives supporters a reason to believe in Southside once again.