David Banner

David Banner
David Banner

Banner performing at FOB Brassfield-Mora in January 26, 2009
Background information
Birth name Lavell William Crump
Born April 11, 1973 (1973-04-11) (age 38)
Jackson, Mississippi, United States
Genres Hip hop
Occupations Rapper, record producer
Instruments Sampler, Keyboards
Years active 1999–present
Labels Big Face, SRC, Universal Records
Associated acts Crooked Lettaz, Lil Flip, Chris Brown, Yung Wun, 9th Wonder
Website david-banner.com

Lavell Crump (born April 11, 1973), better known by his stage name David Banner, is an American rapper, record producer and occasional actor.[1] Banner was born in Jackson, Mississippi and graduated from Southern University. He started his music career as a member of the rap duo, Crooked Lettaz before going solo in 2000 with Them Firewater Boyz, Vol. 1 and signed to Universal Records in 2003. With Universal, Banner released four albums: Mississippi: The Album (2003), MTA2: Baptized in Dirty Water (2004), Certified (2005), and The Greatest Story Ever Told (2008).


Early life

Lavell Crump grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, the son of Zeno and Carolyn Crump. He attended Northwest Jackson Middle School and Provine High School.[1] After graduating from high school, he attended Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, his mother Carolyn's alma mater. At Southern, Crump served as president of the Student Government Association and received a bachelor's degree in business.[1][2] He attended the University of Maryland to pursue a master's degree in education[3][4][5] but dropped out to pursue his music career.[1] His father Zeno died on June 17, 2007.[6]

Music career

Crump's stage name David Banner is taken from the lead character of the television series The Incredible Hulk.[7] With several of his friends, Banner sent some demo tapes to Jackson radio station WJMI, whose operations manager praised them.[1] In 1999, as the duo Crooked Lettaz, with rapper Kamikaze, Banner released Grey Skies (Penalty Recordings).[8]

Banner released his solo debut album Them Firewater Boyz, Vol. 1 in 2000. Released under the independent label Big Face Records, the album sold about 7,000 copies.[6]

When the single "Like a Pimp" became a radio hit it attracted significant label interest towards the artist.[9] After assessing the offers, Banner and manager Scott Johnson decided to sign with Universal Records subsidiary SRC Records because the pair were aware of CEO Steve Rifkind's successful history with Loud Records.[9]

Banner released his first major label album Mississippi: The Album in 2003 with SRC and Universal. Mississippi included the hit single, "Like a Pimp", featuring Lil Flip. "Like a Pimp" peaked at #48 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, #15 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and #10 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart.[10] He released the follow-up album the same year called MTA2: Baptized in Dirty Water, yielding "Crank It Up", featuring Static Major. Banner produced T.I.'s 2004 single "Rubberband Man", which reached #30 on the Hot 100, #15 on the R&B chart, and #11 on the rap chart.

In 2005, he released another album, Certified. Its first single was "Ain't Got Nothing", featuring Magic & Lil Boosie, followed by his second single, "Play", which reached #7 on the Hot 100 chart, #5 on the R&B chart, and #3 on the rap chart.[10] The third single was "Touching", featuring Jazze Pha; "Touching" reached #54 on the R&B chart.

On July 15, 2008, Banner released his fifth studio album, The Greatest Story Ever Told.[11] His first single is "9mm", featuring Akon, Lil Wayne, & Snoop Dogg. Banner produced his next two singles: "Get Like Me", featuring Chris Brown and Yung Joc, and "Shawty Say", featuring Lil Wayne. "Get Like Me" reached #16 on the Hot 100, #7 on the R&B chart, and #2 on the rap chart.[10]

He is the creator of the theme song to the game Saints Row.[12] He worked with gospel duo Mary Mary in Superfriend.[clarification needed]

He is credited with writing, producing and arranging an original song (with vocals by Blackstreet's Kermit Quinn) for Gatorade's 2010 "Gatorade Has Evolved" TV commercial.[13]

2010 will see the release of the first fruits of a much anticipated collaboration between Banner and hip-hop producer 9th Wonder.[14] The duo paired up to create an album entitled "Death of a Pop Star", which was released on December 21, 2010. In an interview with HitQuarters, 9th Wonder talked about the inspiration behind the album saying, "We thought that in many ways the death of Michael Jackson meant the death of black music ... Not to say black music is dead all the way, but on the mainstream side there’s not really much of a focus on soul. There’s not a lot of people trying to redefine soul music."[9]

Major national advertisement for Gatorade running still in July 2010 featuring Evolve, Written, produced and arranged by David Banner.Revolvution Ad's Full Song on YOUTUBE.

Recently, he contributed an original music for a commercial for the video game Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds. He also collaborated with the gospel duo, Mary Mary, on their album The Sound with the song Superfriend.

Film career

Banner played the part of Tehronne in Black Snake Moan. He has worked on the Adult Swim cartoon show That Crook'd 'Sipp, which premiered Sunday, May 13, 2007. His single "Play" was used as the background music in the pilot's first television promo. In 2007, he played the character of Mo, in the film This Christmas. Banner also starred as Jay, a gang leader from the hood in Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming. In 2010 he played Bosch in the film The Experiment.


In November 2006, Banner was awarded a Visionary Award by the National Black Caucus of the State Legislature in recognition of his work after Hurricane Katrina.[15]

On September 25, 2007, Banner testified before Congress at a hearing about racism and misogyny in hip hop music entitled From Imus to Industry: The Business of Stereotypes and Degrading Images.[16] He defended his use of offensive language and argued: "Change the situation in my neighborhood and maybe I'll get better."[16] In his opening statement, Banner stated: "I can admit there are some problems in hip hop but it is only a reflection of what's taking place in our society. Hip hop is sick because America is sick."[17]


Solo albums

Collaboration albums


Year Title Role Notes
2007 Black Snake Moan Tehronne
This Christmas Mo
Monk Snake the Assassin (TV) Episode: "Mr. Monk and the Rapper"
2008 Days of Wrath Kryme
Vapors Biz Markie
2010 The Experiment Bosch
The Confidant Daniel Jackson
2010 Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming Jay


  • BET Hip Hop Awards
    • 2008, Best Hip-Hop Video ("Get Like Me") with Chris Brown & Yung Joc [Nominated]
    • 2008, Best Hip-Hop Collabo ("Get Like Me") with Chris Brown & Yung Joc [Nominated]
    • 2008, Best Producer [Nominated]
  • Ozone Awards
    • 2008, Best Rap/R&B Collaboration ("Get Like Me"), featuring Chris Brown & Yung Joc [Nominated]


  1. ^ a b c d e Watkins, Billy (2003-06-16). "Provine grad scores big!". The Clarion-Ledger. http://orig.clarionledger.com/news/0306/16/o01.html. Retrieved 2009-08-17. 
  2. ^ Houston, Danielle (August 10, 2006). "David Banner: He's a Business...Man!". Vibe. Archived from the original on April 22, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080422225426/http://www.vibe.com/news/online_exclusives/2006/08/david_banner_hes_a_business_man/. 
  3. ^ Sanneh, Kelefa (2003-07-15). "Banner Brings It". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/davidbanner/articles/story/5935328/banner_brings_it. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  4. ^ Patel, Joseph (2003-12-04). "David Banner To Send Five Lucky Fans To College". MTV News. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1480936/20031204/banner_david.jhtml. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  5. ^ Davis, Dione (2008-09-23). "David Banner: Man On Fire". HHNLive.com. http://hhnlive.com/features/more/486. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  6. ^ a b "David Banner: Can't Tell Me Nothin'". XXL. July 30, 2007. http://www.xxlmag.com/online/?p=12526. Retrieved December 28, 2009. 
  7. ^ Bottomley, C (July 24, 2003). "David Banner: Mississippi Burning". VH1. http://www.vh1.com/artists/interview/1474718/20030724/banner_david.jhtml. Retrieved December 28, 2009. 
  8. ^ DaRonco, Mike. "Crooked Lettaz: Biography". allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/p366511/biography. Retrieved December 28, 2009. 
  9. ^ a b c "Interview with Scott Johnson". HitQuarters. 10 Mar 2004. http://www.hitquarters.com/index.php3?page=intrview/opar/intrview_ScottJohnson_int.html. Retrieved 21 Dec 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c "David Banner: Charts & Awards: Billboard Singles". allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/p441465/charts-awards/billboard-singles. Retrieved December 28, 2009. 
  11. ^ David Banner Releases the Greatest Story Ever Told
  12. ^ He also is a character nn the game NBA 2k10.IGN: David Banner Invades Saints Row, August 22, 2006
  13. ^ Introducing G Series - Gatorade Has Evolved | Gatorade.com
  14. ^ "David Banner and 9th Wonder Present Death of a Pop Star". antimusic.com. http://www.antimusic.com/news/10/may/07David_Banner_and_9th_Wonder_Present_Death_of_a_Pop_Star.shtml. Retrieved June 15, 2010. 
  15. ^ WAPT: David Banner Speech (Video)
  16. ^ a b Abrams, Jim. "House Panel Debates Hip-Hop Lyrics". The Washington Post, September 25, 2011.
  17. ^ Leeds, Jeff (2007-09-26). "Hearing Focuses on Language and Violence in Rap Music". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/26/washington/26rap.html. 

External links

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