5. Banks’ “Victory” Freestyle
Let’s face it: freestyling over a Notorious B.I.G. beat is quasi-sacrilegious. Freestyling over Biggie’s “Victory” beat is career suicide (just ask Papoose, whose “Victory” freestyle was and remains universally excoriated). Lloyd Banks — barely into his 20’s at the time — was taking a huge gamble by dropping this freestyle…but he not only pulled it off with remarkable aplomb, he established himself once and for all as “The Punchline King.” To this day, this freestyle is cited as not only one of the best Lloyd Banks freestyles of all time, it’s cited as one of the best freestyles of all time period.