Real Name: Levell Crump
D.O.B.: 1973 Jackson, Mississippi, U.S.
Label: SRC/Def Jam South/Universal Records
Banner was born in Jackson, Mississippi. He graduated from John W. Provine High School in Jackson, MS and is a graduate of Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. While there, he served as president of the Student Government Association.
Banner's Father, Zeno Crump Jr. died June 17, 2007. Well known in Jackson, MS as a former District Fire Chief for 25 years, service attendants included Banner himself, and an extended list of friends and family. Several months later, on October 25, 2007, Banner's grandmother Thelma Dixon also died in Brookhaven, MS. She was 83 years old.
His first major-label album, Mississippi: The Album, went gold and was a critical and commercial success, largely due to the success of lead single, "Like a Pimp" (featuring Lil' Flip), as well as more introspective album tracks such as "Cadillacs On 22's" and "Mississippi." It features Lil Flip and Lil Jon in the album. The following album, MTA2: Baptized in Dirty Water, was completed in two weeks at the behest of SRC executive Steve Rifkind. His fourth album, Certified was released on September 20, 2005, after repeated delays. Album appearances include Twista, Jadakiss, Jagged Edge, BG, Jazze Pha, Too Short, Bun B, and others. Most of the production was done by Banner himself.
The first single was "Ain't Got Nothing" which was produced by Banner himself. It was not a success among the mainstream. The second single was the very dirty and highly popular "Play" which reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was produced by Mr. Collipark. In the video David Banner talks to different women who are in the gym and sweating. The third single was the clean version of "Fucking" called "Touching". On this track David and Jazze Pha rap about how they want to satisfy women.
In 2006 Banner appeared on DJ Shadow's The Outsider entitled "Seein' Thangs". The track features comments on the tragedies of Hurricane Katrina. He is also the creator of the main theme to the game Saints Row. He currently remains signed to SRC.
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. This move was criticized by conservatives within the state, as well as some civil rights leaders, who Banner has accused of failing to adequately aid Mississippi.
Banner played the part of Tehronne in Black Snake Moan. He has also worked on the new Adult Swim cartoon show That Crook'd 'Sipp, which premièred Sunday, May 13, 2007. His single "Play" was used as the background music in the pilot's first television promo. It has been announced that Banner has auditioned for a role in the upcoming Batman Begins sequel, The Dark Knight but lost the role to Michael Jai White.
On September 25, 2007, David Banner testified in congress in a hearing about African American Media Stereotypes, which was aired nationally on C-Span 2. He spoke about his lyrics and whether or not they are appropriate or stereotypical. He 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."
Banner was recently featured on the cover of the November issue of Ozone magazine and the Winter 2008 issue of Producer's Edge Magazine. Banner recently released a song named 'B.A.N' which appears to be in response to rapper T.I's recent arrest over gun possession charges and Michael Vick's charges. The song appears to be directed towards T.I's former bodyguard who was a police informant, and subsequently aided in T.I's arrest. Also Vick's cousin who had a hand in Vick's arrest and subsequent suspension from the Falcons.
The Greatest Story Ever Told is set to be released on June 3rd. The first single from the album is called "Speaker", better known by its explicit name "9mm". It features Snoop Dogg, Lil' Wayne and Akon. The track was produced by David Banner. The second single has been confirmed by Banner himself to be "Get Like Me" which features Chris Brown, Yung Joc and Jim Jones.
Banner has guest appearances lined up from Chris Brown, Jim Jones, UGK, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Chamillionaire, Sean Paul, Yung Joc, Akon, and others. In addition to rapping, Banner will also be among his own list of producers, joining Nitti, Akon, Get Cool 3000, Bow, Warren Campbell and Cool and Dre, who also produced two tracks for the album, entitled "A Girl" and "Fuck them Hoes.