Jump to content

David Banner

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

David Banner
David Banner in 2023
David Banner in 2023
Background information
Birth nameLavell William Crump
Born (1974-04-11) April 11, 1974 (age 50)
Brookhaven, Mississippi, U.S.
OriginJackson, Mississippi, U.S.
Alma materSouthern University (BS)
GenresHip hop
  • Rapper
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • actor
Years active1995–present
Member of

Lavell William Crump (born April 11, 1974), better known by his stage name David Banner, is an American rapper, record producer, and actor.[1]

Born in Brookhaven, Mississippi, Banner's family moved to Jackson, Mississippi, where he was raised. Banner graduated from Southern University with a bachelor's degree, then attended University of Maryland Eastern Shore to pursue a master's. He started his music career as a member of the rap duo, Crooked Lettaz, before going solo in 2000 with the release titled Them Firewater Boyz, Vol. 1. In 2003, Banner signed to Universal Records, where he released four albums: Mississippi: The Album (2003), MTA2: Baptized in Dirty Water (2003), Certified (2005), and The Greatest Story Ever Told (2008).

Banner is also a noted producer, having produced music for himself, Trick Daddy, T.I., Lil Boosie and Lil Wayne among others.

Early life[edit]

Lavell William Crump was born in Brookhaven and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, the elder son of Zeno Crump Jr., Jackson district fire chief,[2][3] and Carolyn Crump. He graduated from Provine High School in Jackson in 1992 and then attended Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, his mother's alma mater.[4][5] At Southern University, Crump served as president of the Student Government Association and received a bachelor's degree in business.[6] He later attended the University of Maryland Eastern Shore to pursue a master's degree in education but later left the program to pursue his music career full-time.[7][8][9]

Music career[edit]

1995–2000: Beginnings and Them Firewater Boyz, Vol. 1[edit]

Crump's stage name "David Banner" is taken from the lead character of the television series, The Incredible Hulk.[10] With several of his friends, Banner sent some demo tapes to Jackson, Mississippi radio station, WJMI. Record executive Glenn Toby discovered the group and signed them to Neil Levine at Penalty Records. In 1999, Banner and rapper Kamikaze as the duo, Crooked Lettaz, released Grey Skies (Penalty Recordings).[11] In 2000, Banner released his solo debut album, Them Firewater Boyz, Vol. 1. Released on the independent label, Big Face Records, the album sold around 7,000 copies.[3]

2003–2006: Mississippi: The Album, MTA2: Baptized in Dirty Water and Certified[edit]

After assessing various offers, Banner and manager, Scott Johnson, decided to sign with Universal Records subsidiary, SRC Records, which was founded by Steve Rifkind who had previous success as CEO of the heavyweight hip-hop label, Loud Records.[12] In 2003, Banner produced T.I.'s single, "Rubber Band Man", which reached No. 30 on the Hot 100, No. 15 on the R&B chart, and No. 11 on the Rap chart. In 2003, Banner released his first major label album, Mississippi: The Album. Mississippi included the hit single, "Like a Pimp", featuring Lil Flip. "Like a Pimp" peaked at No. 48 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, No. 15 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and No. 10 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart.[13] He released the follow-up album the same year titled MTA2: Baptized in Dirty Water which yielded the hit, "Crank It Up", featuring Static Major.

In 2005, Banner released his third major label album, Certified. The album's first single was "Ain't Got Nothing" which featured Magic & Lil Boosie, followed by the second single, "Play", which reached No. 7 on the Hot 100 chart, No. 5 on the R&B chart, and No. 3 on the Rap chart.[13] The third single, "Touching", featured Jazze Pha and reached No. 54 on the R&B chart. In 2006, Banner appeared on "Seein' Thangs", a song about Hurricane Katrina featured on DJ Shadow's album "The Outsider". A remix featuring Bay Area hyphy rappers Nump and Gold also was made. Outside projects for Banner have included writing the theme song to the video game, Saints Row, as well as contributing to the music for a commercial promoting the video game, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds.[14] Banner played the part of Tehronne in Black Snake Moan (2006).

2007–present: The Greatest Story Ever Told and The God Box[edit]

Banner appeared on the Adult Swim pilot That Crook'd 'Sipp, which premiered on May 13, 2007. His single "Play" was used as the background music in the pilot's first television promo. That same year, he played the character of Mo, in the film This Christmas. On July 15, 2008, Banner released his fourth major label album, The Greatest Story Ever Told.[15] The album's first single titled "9mm" featured Akon, Lil Wayne, and Snoop Dogg. Banner then produced his next two singles: "Get Like Me" featuring Chris Brown and Yung Joc,[13] and "Shawty Say", featuring Lil Wayne. "Get Like Me" reached No. 16 on the Hot 100, No. 7 on the R&B chart, and No. 2 on the Rap chart. In 2008, Banner was featured on the track Superfriend, from the 2008 album, The Sound, by gospel R&B duo Mary Mary.

Banner in 2009

In 2010, he played Bosch in the film The Experiment and as Jay, a gang leader from the hood in Stomp the Yard: Homecoming. He has also worked with international artists such as Seeda, a Japanese Rap Artist where he was featured in the song, Life Song in 2010 on Seeda's Breathe Album. Banner released his debut mixtape titled Sex, Drugs and Video Games on May 22, 2012, as a free download.[16] It is also available on his website, davidbanner.com, where fans are encouraged to make a donation of at least $1 for the sixteen song mixtape.[17] The first single off the mixtape is titled "Amazing" featuring Chris Brown. It was announced that Universal Republic Records was going defunct, all of the artists on the roster moved from the label including (David Banner) was being moved to Republic Records making the label itself revived.

In 2013, Banner appeared in the music video for the song Confessions by Lecrae. Banner played Earl Gaines, Cecil Gaines' father, in the 2013 film The Butler. Banner plays Jay, a criminal who is interrogated, in the 2014 film Ride Along. David Banner was featured on a remix of Mexican American rapper Kap G's single "La Policia", which stirred hype throughout the media and the internet.[18]

Humanitarian and political work[edit]

In November 2006, Banner was awarded a Visionary Award by the National Black Caucus of State Legislators in Jackson, Mississippi in recognition of his humanitarian work in response to Hurricane Katrina.[19][20] On September 25, 2007, Banner testified before Congress at a hearing about racism and misogyny in hip hop music titled From Imus to Industry: The Business of Stereotypes and Degrading Images.[21] He defended his use of offensive language and argued: "Change the situation in my neighborhood and maybe I'll get better."[21] 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."[22]


Studio albums
Collaborative albums


Year Title Role Notes
2004 Def Jam: Fight for NY Himself Video game
2005 Twisted Transistor by Korn David Silveria Music Video
2006 Def Jam: Fight for NY – The Takeover Himself Video game
Black Snake Moan Tehronne
2007 This Christmas Mo
Monk Snake the Assassin (TV) Episode: "Mr. Monk and the Rapper"
2008 Days of Wrath Kryme
Vapors Biz Markie Direct-to-DVD
2010 The Experiment Bosch Direct-to-DVD
The Confidant Daniel Jackson Direct-to-DVD
Stomp the Yard: Homecoming Jay Direct to video
2013 The Butler Earl Gaines
2014 Ride Along Pawnshop Jay
Flight 7500 Tom Anders
2015 Carter High School Royce West
2017–2022 Saints & Sinners Darryl Greene
2018 Never Heard Aaron Davis Netflix film
2019 Empire Philly Street
2024 The Family Business: New Orleans Jean LeBlanc Series regular


  • 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. ^ "Biography". davidbanner.com. Archived from the original on September 19, 2018. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  2. ^ "Zeno Crump Jr". June 21, 2007.
  3. ^ a b "David Banner: Can't Tell Me Nothin'". XXL. July 30, 2007. Archived from the original on April 10, 2009. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
  4. ^ Watkins, Billy (June 16, 2003). "Provine grad scores big!". The Clarion-Ledger. Archived from the original on July 15, 2012.
  5. ^ "Tough Questions for David Banner". Jackson Free Press. May 19, 2003. Archived from the original on October 1, 2003. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  6. ^ Houston, Danielle (August 10, 2006). "David Banner: He's a Business...Man!". Vibe. Archived from the original on April 22, 2008.
  7. ^ Sanneh, Kelefa (July 15, 2003). "Banner Brings It". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007.
  8. ^ Patel, Joseph (December 4, 2003). "David Banner To Send Five Lucky Fans To College". MTV News. Retrieved July 25, 2009.
  9. ^ Davis, Dione (September 23, 2008). "David Banner: Man On Fire". HHNLive.com. Archived from the original on June 28, 2009. Retrieved July 25, 2009.
  10. ^ Bottomley, C (July 24, 2003). "David Banner: Mississippi Burning". VH1. Archived from the original on October 1, 2007. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
  11. ^ DaRonco, Mike. "Crooked Lettaz: Biography". allmusic. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
  12. ^ "Interview with Scott Johnson". HitQuarters. March 10, 2004. Retrieved December 21, 2010.
  13. ^ a b c "David Banner: Charts & Awards: Billboard Singles". allmusic. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
  14. ^ "Saints Row Snags David Banner". IGN. Archived from the original on January 26, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  15. ^ "The Black Spotlight". Archived from the original on October 4, 2011. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  16. ^ "David Banner – Sex, Drugs & Video Games". DatPiff. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  17. ^ "David Banner's Epic Interview". YouTube. April 9, 2012. Archived from the original on December 13, 2021. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  18. ^ "T.I. and David Banner Join Kap G For Powerful "La Policia" Remix". The FADER.
  19. ^ "David Banner Speech". WAPT. March 29, 2012. Archived from the original on September 26, 2007. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  20. ^ National Black Caucus Honors David Banner For His Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts With Humanitarian Award November 2006
  21. ^ a b Abrams, Jim. "House Panel Debates Hip-Hop Lyrics". The Washington Post, September 25, 2011.
  22. ^ Leeds, Jeff (September 26, 2007). "Hearing Focuses on Language and Violence in Rap Music". The New York Times.

External links[edit]