His rise to stardom was immediate, assertive and momentous, much like that of his namesake's. David Banner broke through the music industry's concrete boundaries with the force of a super hero, single handedly putting Mississippi on the map as a force to be reckoned with.
In the spring of 2003, Banner released his major label debut Mississippi: The Album delivering such aurally entertaining gems as the hard hitting party anthem 'Like A Pimp' and the conscious, thoughtful 'Cadillac on 22's.' On the heels of Mississippi: The Album came Banner's Mississippi: The Chopped & Screwed Album. He was the first Southern artist to release a 'chopped and screwed' CD nationally. Banner explains, 'Chopped and screwed is when a song is taken and the tempo is slowed down--that's called screwed--and at the same time the lyrics and the beats are chopped up. I decided to do the chopped and screwed version of Mississippi: The Album to bring light to that art form; it's another part of Southern culture, like crunk.' All the while, Banner was polishing his talents as a producer, creating instrumentals not only for himself, but also for multi-platinum established artists like Nelly, Trick Daddy and Busta Rhymes.
Setting the stage in '03 was just the beginning of Banner's plans. He showed the world his versatility and commitment as an artist, now it's time to prove his undeniable longevity. With that mantra, the music maestro from Mississippi is on the brink of releasing his sophomore project MTA2: Baptized In Dirty Water. 'When you get baptized, it's to get better,' Banner explains of the title, 'but imagine being baptized in dirty water, i.e. negativity' With great knowledge of current events in the hood as well as on a global level, Banner addresses pertinent political and social issues throughout this album with the premise of baptism in mind. 'Baptized In Dirty Water is a theme record and I'm just trying to tell stories about people's lives in the ghetto,' Banner proclaims. 'If you are being baptized in 'dirty water,' it doesn't matter what you're intent is, if everything around you is negative you are gonna become a product of that. This album represents that.'
The underlying theme of the title is apparent throughout the album especially on songs like 'Eternal' where Banner speaks candidly about his life and the hardships he has experienced and his will to overcome them, all over a bass heavy, rhythmic instrumental. 'People are not giving solutions, that's why I'm trying to show different options,' he offers.
Being a man of word, Banner's commitment extends beyond the CD. With the release of MTA2: Baptized In Dirty Water, Banner, a college graduate who is deeply committed to giving back to the community, has set up a 'Crank It Up' contest which will give five lucky fans the opportunity to win a $10,000 scholarship. Five tokens will randomly be places in the first 300,000 copies of the CD and the recipients will each win a $10,000 scholarship that can be used toward any post-high school education including college, graduate school, community college, trade or vocational school.
Similarly, Lil' Flip re-teams with Banner on the military feeling anthem 'Talk To Me' that, while explicit in its language, speaks to the ills of society and impresses upon the listener an undying effort to reclaim a sense of self and persevere through all that often confines people of color. 'A lot of people may think this album is harsh or negative, but before you judge people, you have to understand what they go through.'
On the other hand, Banner includes strip club anthems like 'Pretty Pink,' with it's funky, soulful instrumental, the remix to the smash hit 'Like A Pimp' featuring Lil' Flip and Busta Rhymes, and 'Pop That,' a melodic track with a distinctive guitar riff and pounding vocals promoting carefree dancing and revelry. 'My goal was to make every song jamming,' professes Banner.
Banner certainly accomplishes the aforementioned deed. Writing, producing and completing two albums in one year has been no small feat for a man of his caliber, but it does not stop there. Banner has also been at work on a clothing line called MP Wear. 'I never really wanted a clothing line, but I was so pissed off that I was in Mississippi and I see every other state on front of shirts but I couldn't find Mississippi,' Banner says. 'So I was fussin' in the store and the clerk said, 'why don't you make one?' So I did and they were in the 'Like A Pimp' video.'
Innovation, hustle and passion have fueled Banner in his ability to bust through this rap game. With Baptized in Dirty Water on its way to store shelves, Banner will once again show that his imprint is infinite.