Banner in January 2009
|Birth name||Lavell William Crump|
|Born||April 11, 1973
Jackson, Mississippi, United States
|Occupations||Rapper, record producer|
|Years active||1999 - present|
|Labels||Big Face, SRC, Universal Records|
|Associated acts||Crooked Lettaz, Lil Flip, Lil Wayne, Yung Wun|
Lavell Crump, (Born April 11, 1973) better known by the stage name David Banner, is an American rapper and record producer who was half of the rap duo Crooked Lettaz. Banner was born in Jackson, Mississippi and graduated from Southern University. He debuted 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 Every Told (2008).
Crump grew up in the Queens neighborhood of Jackson, Mississippi, the son of Zeno and Carolyn Crump. He attended Northwest Jackson Middle School and Provine High School. 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. He attended the University of Maryland to pursue a master's degree in education but dropped out to pursue his music career. His father Zeno died on June 17, 2007.
Crump's stage name David Banner is taken from the lead character of the television series The Incredible Hulk. With several of his friends, Banner sent some demo tapes to Jackson radio station WJMI, whose operations manager praised them. After forming the duo Crooked Lettaz in 1999 with rapper Kamikaze, 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. Banner released his first major label album Mississippi: The Album in 2003 with Universal Records. 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. 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. 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. 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.
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, which featured Chris Brown.
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.
On September 25, 2007, Banner testified in front of Congress at a hearing about African-American media stereotypes, which was aired nationally on C-SPAN2. He spoke about his lyrics and whether or not they were appropriate or stereotypical. Banner argued that his lyrics explain the pain blacks go through. In his opening statement, Banner was applauded by several in attendance for saying, "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."
|2007||Black Snake Moan||Tehronne|
|Monk||Snake the Assassin|
|2008||Days of Wrath||Kryme|
|The Confidant||Daniel Jackson|