Uniting with the Audience
David Banner is one of the most underappreciated rappers to emerge from below the Mason-Dixon Line. Since his SRC/Universal debut Mississippi: The Album in 2003, many have been enthralled by Banner's obvious dedication to lyrical craft, roaring tracks, and b-boy stance. Still, while past tracks—from the cranked "Like a Pimp" to the electro-bounce of "Play"—have helped build a loyal fan base, the release of The Greatest Story Ever Told finally launched this country boy to national fame.
Exposed to all kinds of music while growing up, Banner's musical palette is never lacking. From the funky head nod of the Akon-produced first single "Speaker" to the dark path of "Suicide Doors" featuring UGK, to the textured grooves of "Cadillac on 22's Part II," Banner proves he can do it all.
In 1999, as a member of the Mississippi rhyme duo Crooked Lettaz, Banner became part of the dirty south revolution, releasing the critically lauded and criminally slept-on Tommy Boy Records debut Grey Skies. A year later, Them Firewater Boys Vol. 1, his introduction as a soloist, saw Banner blazing through the underground; both XXL and Murder Dog named it one of the best albums of the year. Soon the major labels were knocking on Banner's door, sparking off a bidding war. When legendary music executive Steve Rifkind (Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, Big Pun) signed the self-contained Banner and his b.i.G.f.a.c.e. Entertainment imprint to Rifkind's SRC label, the music industry took notice.
His first single, "Speaker," which features Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, and producer Akon, proved that Banner had concocted the perfect hip-hop banger. David Banner also made the transition from the studio to the screen, appearing in Black Snake Moan, This Christmas, and Days of Wrath.
A complex man who is both streetwise and book smart, Banner has carried many burdens over the last few years. From providing aid to Katrina victims (his foundation and concert Heal the Hood raised $500,000) to coping with the death of his father, his heart has been heavy. However, the brightness of Banner's optimism blares brilliantly in the hypnotic "Get Like Me," a track that features collaborations with Young Joc, Jim Jones, and Chris Brown.
Produced by the man himself, who has stirred massive pots of musical gumbo for T.I. ("Rubberband Man") and Trick Daddy ("Thug Holiday"), Banner has constructed his most mackadelic track to date with "Get Like Me."
Banner has also been busy perfecting his skills: "For me music is about honesty, pain and a willingness to cry as well as fight. As a rapper and producer, my goal is to unite with the audience, not trying to rein over them." Coming straight out of Jackson, Mississippi, with a license to thrill, The Greatest Story Ever Told is a crowning achievement for a rapper whose moment of recognition has come.
Most recently, Banner has created the 2M1 Movement, a grassroots attempt to assert consumers’ control over the music, film, and media industry. By donating a minimum of $1 to the movement, fans receive his upcoming album, Sex, Drug & Video Games, as a free download and are entitled to download the official videos for each of the songs on the album. Additionally, $1 million of the donations will be used to finance the shooting of a movie he is writing, directing, and producing, which is due for release in 2013.
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