At 24 and already mutli-millionaire, Lloyd Banks has it made.
Filming music videos and celebrating his birthday at the Playboy Mansion isn't what could be referred to as typical, and being the #2 in the current highest selling clique in Hip Hop affords Lloyd Banks an audience which few can reach.
After a very profitable and successful 2003, Banks aims to mirror what he achieved back then with his sophomore album, "The Rotten Apple" featuring guest appearances from Rakim, 50 Cent, Scarface, Mobb Deep and more.
MVRemix: How do you view yourself?
Lloyd Banks: I consider myself growing into somethin' real good. I feel like I got up to a good start off with the first album, but at the end of the day I'm growin'. I'm entering new markets everyday; I'm breakin' new ground, so... I'm movin' onto somethin' else.
MVRemix: What do you feel is the biggest misconception people have of you?
Lloyd Banks: [pauses] I don't know. Maybe that I'm not where I'm supposed to be. A lot of people agree to disagree with me, they want... Since back in the days, since the beginning of time they wanted for me to not get where I am 'cause of where I grew up. Foolish shit you know.
MVRemix: There were some rumours floating around that G-Unit was trying to sign Mos Def, was there any truth to that?
Lloyd Banks: Um... [pauses] I don't know. I don't know, I'm not really tuned in... I don't know about all the rumours - that's definitely the first time I heard that rumour. But I'm definitely a fan of his music and 50 [cent] is as well, so it wouldn't be out of the question.
MVRemix: Do you listen to a lot of "conscious" artists? And how do you feel about their rapping as opposed to your own?
Lloyd Banks: Well not a lot. I don't really buy their albums or nothin' like that, but I can appreciate the music. I acknowledge what Mos Def brings to the table and Talib Kweli, even The Roots, they're just another branch of Hip Hop. There's so many different styles that make up the Hip Hop culture. I can't even really... The difference with mine is, my music is "conscious" also, I guess the difference is just the two labels. Maybe it's just more "in your face" with me. I mean I'm totally and completely conscious with what I'm saying, when I'm saying it so I don't even know why people acknowledge that as different.
MVRemix: How did you connect with Rakim and Scarface?
Lloyd Banks: Through management - nothin' but a phone call... I had a lot of time to work on this project, so none of the features were forced. It was just like I listened to the record so many times that I'd hear the perfect features, and the Rakim record - I've been wanting to do that record since [I was] about 11 years old so it was big for me. And just to have artists of that caliber - living legends on your record - is a good feeling.
MVRemix: Were there any issues with working with Rakim due to the fact that he once was on Aftermath?
Lloyd Banks: Oh nah, nah, that will never be an issue. That's their business. At the end of the day it's all business, but this is a personal situation. This is a record man, regardless of what the label says. It is what it is. Rakim is gonna be Rakim forever, you know that.
MVRemix: Recently Freddie Foxxx called out Rakim, do you have any thoughts on what's going on there?
Lloyd Banks: Nah, I can't even speak on it. I don't even know what the dispute is over, I don't know what the additional issues is... I really don't know. At the end of the day I respect both them dudes, but it's really not from my era, so I don't really know what happened or what they're fallin' out over. It's tough man.
MVRemix: How do you feel about getting an "L" in XXL for your album?
Lloyd Banks: At the end of the day, it's just one person. How can one person split your whole album... It's up to the fans. I never left that to a critic, they don't make records.
MVRemix: What are your thoughts on the album and how it compares to "The Hunger For More"?
Lloyd Banks: The biggest difference is the growth between the two albums and the fact that the first album I wrote on the road, going through different situations, constantly touring. 50 was out there, Snoop was out there, Busta [Rhymes], Jay-Z, a lot of people... And I'm tryin' to find my lane at the same time as goin' through all the ins and outs. You know, knowin' when and when not to go in the club and situations like that. The "Rotten Apple" album was recorded in my house. I built the studio over the summer, so it was a more comfortable situation and I didn't have to record records over to hear a sound or to hear a voice, little things like that. But the biggest difference is the growth between the two albums, I'm tryin' to make it better every time I make a record.
MVRemix: Are there any plans for the content of the "Help" video?
Lloyd Banks: Every time I write my music I think of things in visuals, if you listen to the record you can already get a vision of how it should go.
MVRemix: Are there any plans readied for a follow up or is that too far in the distance?
Lloyd Banks: I mean I'm always writin', and truth be I'm plannin' on comin' out again. I'm definitely plannin' on after the release of the album, goin' back to the studio and doin' what I do - bein' in the zone for the third album.
MVRemix: When is "Mo' Money In The Bank" part 5 dropping?
Lloyd Banks: "Mo' Money In The Bank" - that'll be out immediately following the album.
MVRemix: How did the moniker Blue Hefner arise?
Lloyd Banks: That really came from records to be honest with you, over time I developed a large female fan base - it's just the lifestyle. I'm not married or nothin' like that, no kids so that just went with the lifestyle. Every man wants to be like Hugh Hefner, so that's really where the name came from. Blue was just one of my personas, same with Gang Green, mixtape references.