Given how Alchemist has been killing the game of late, lacing hard-hitting projects for Conway The Machine and Freddie Gibbs, it’s easy to forget that he’s been putting in work for decades. Despite having produced no shortage of drops prior, on this day in 2004 Alc came through with his debut solo album 1st Infantry, a project that featured appearances from Prodigy, Havoc, The Lox, Devin The Dude, Nas, and Lloyd Banks at the height of the G-Unit movement.
And while there are plenty of high points found throughout, “Bangers” stands out as one of the album’s best selections — not to mention one of Lloyd Banks’ most slept-on tracks of his career. Over an instantly hard-hitting instrumental, fueled by synth stabs and an ascending bassline, Banks flexes some premium punchlines befitting of his reputation. “And your n****s on your CD’s garbage,” he spits, over Alc’s moody production. “Yeah they shooting but they missing, spraying up the wall like graffiti artist / Some n***s by the bootleg but go and cop the real shit, cause the fans love us I’m nicer than grandmothers.”
Happy anniversary to Alchemist, who remains a force to be reckoned within the rap game. Do you still have 1st Infantry in rotation?
You now looking at the hood meal ticket seven thou on my wrist
It’s kinda hard to keep the balance with this, it keeps the challengers pissed
I vacate to different islands and twist
And back home where the violence exist, nines, silencers, fifths
We buy mileage as gifts as well as man’s best friend
And I don’t own no rottweillers and pits