"I can admit there are some problems in hip hop but it is only a reflection of what's taking place in our society."
David Banner - Rapper and Producer
A man of action David Banner has launched six albums since his first album hit the streets in 1999 and he continues to rap them out with a seventh projected to be released in 2010. Being college educated as well as articulate Banner was an excellent spokesman for the hip-hop artists before Congress during a hearing concerning African-American stereotyping in media.
Carolyn and Zeno Crump named the baby boy born on April 11, 1973 Lavell Crump and raised him in the Queens area of Jackson, Mississippi. Unlike the vast majority of rappers Lavell graduated from Provine High School and went on to get his bachelor's degree in business from Southern University in the Louisiana city of Baton Rouge. Lavell was active in student government through his education and was the president of his college Student Government Association. With a plan to get a master's degree in education Lavell enrolled in the University of Maryland but music became the driving focal point of his life and he left college to pursue a career in music.
David Banner - Growing Up, Mississippi Style
Lavell took on the stage name of David Banner when he began rapping. Originally rapper Kamikaze and Banner teamed up and made the Grey Skies as Crooked Lettaz in 1999 and the album is given credit for putting Mississippi on the southern rap map.
Banner came out solo with Them Firewater Boyz, Vol 1 under the NY based Big Face Entertainment/Penalty Records label in 2000 but was disappointed with how the company handled marketing. Banner put his business degree to work and marketed this album himself and, with a little help from his friends, sold more than 10,000 units in his old stomping grounds. He promptly left that label and signed with Universal Records in 2003 to release his next four studio albums.
His music has been classified as Dirty South, Gangsta, Southern and Hardcore Rap. He delivers a little bit of that and some very provocative tracks as well. Breaking into the national scene in 2003 with his second album, Mississippi: The Album in 2003 Banner displayed his ability to go from harsh rants to smooth rapid-fire raps without any reduction is quality. Two singles in particular, Mississippi and Cadillac on 22's, carry the message of what down South living is in good ol' Miss. The charting hit single from this album was Like a Pimp which reached #10 on the Hot Rap Tracks and #48 on the Billboard Top 100 chart.
The following year MTA2: Baptized in Dirty Water was released with singles, Talk to Me, Mama's House and Crank It Up being the most notable. Critic's praised Banner as the finest rapper in the South after its release. Also in 2004 Banner handled the production of rapper T.I.'s high charting single Rubberband Man and established his ability in that area of the music world too.
Album number three came out in 2005. From the Certified album the single Play placed the highest of Banner's work to date by peaking at third on the Rap, fifth in R&B and seventh in Hot 100 charts.
Several years passed before Banner's sixth studio album was released. The Greatest Story Ever Told was released on July 15, 2008. Featuring artists included Akon, Snoop Dogg, Yung Joc, Lil Wayne and Chris Brown. Get Like Me proved to be the most successful single form the album peaking in the low numbers in rap and R&B charts.
Also in 2008 Banner was nominated for three BET Hip Hop Awards and an Ozone Award for Best Producer, Callabo and Video associated with the single Get Like Me which featured Chris Brown and Yung Joc.
Did you know that...
- ...the National Black Caucus of the State Legislature awarded David Banner a Visionary Award in recognition of his work after Hurricane Katrina in November 2006.
- ...he created the theme music to the THQ Xbox 360 action adventure game Saints Row.
- ...Tehronne in the movie Black Snake Moan was David Banner's first acting role.