David Banner
Birth Date:
Birth Place:
Jackson, Mississippi
6' 2" (1.88 m)
Famous for:
His role in “Black Snake Moan” (2006)
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Get Like Me


“When people listen to my songs, I want them to consider them the soundtrack to their lives. I’m not just making songs for the moment; I’m creating material that I hope lasts in their minds forever.” David Banner

Breaking into the music industry as half of the Mississippi duo Crooked Lettaz in the late 1990s, multi-faceted hip-hop artist Banner has since built a loyal fan base as a soloist thanks to the underground hit “Them Firewater Boyz, Vol. 1” (2000) and the major studio albums “Mississippi: The Album” (2003), “MTA2: Baptized in Dirty Water” (2003), “Certified” (2005) and “The Greatest Story Ever Told” (2008). He has released several popular singles like “Like A Pimp,” “Cadillac On 22s,” “Crank It Up,” “Play” and “Get Like Me.” The Mr. Collipark-produced “Play” (from “Certified”) remains Banner's most successful single on the Billboard Hot 100 to date (#7), while “Get Like Me” (from “The Greatest Story Ever Told”) brought the rapper/producer nominations at the BET Hip Hop Awards and the Ozone Awards. Banner has also collaborated with many top musicians like Akon, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Chris Brown, Yung Joc, and Twista, and produced hit singles for T.I and Nelly.

As an actor, Banner has acted in such movies as “Black Snake Moan” (2006), “This Christmas” (2007), “Days of Wrath” (2008) and the TV series “Monk” (2007). He will play Biz Markie in the upcoming drama “Vapors” (2009).

An avid philanthropist, Banner created a college scholarship program that he personally finances. In 2004, he presented five fans with $10,000 each. Other charitable endeavors include providing aid for Hurricane Katrina victims, from which he was awarded a Visionary Award by the National Black Caucus of the State Legislature.

Mr. Mississippi

Childhood and Family:

Lavelle Crump was born on April 11, 1973, in Jackson, Mississippi. He was educated at Northwest Jackson Middle School and Provine High School in Jackson. He graduated from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he served as the president of the Student Government Association (SGA).

Nicknamed Mr. Mississippi, Lavelle Crump is professionally known as David Banner, a moniker he derived from the main character of the 1970s and 1980s CBS television series “The Incredible Hulk.”



David Banner made a promising debut in the music industry as part of the Mississippi rhyme duo Crooked Lettaz, along with partner Kamikaze. In 1999, the group released the critically praised “Grey Skies” under Tommy Boy Records. Banner soon went solo and released “Them Firewater Boyz, Vol. 1” on his independent label Bigface Entertainment in 2000. The album, for which he collaborated with a number of artists like Devin the Dude, Young Bleed, Pimp C, Fiend, Jazze Pha, and Bone Crusher, in addition to Kamikaze, made him a star in the underground scene. Both XXL and Murder Dog Magazine named him one of the hottest underground artists in the U.S. and the album as one of the best albums of the year. Subsequently, Banner became the subject of a bidding war among the major labels. He and his Bigface Entertainment imprint eventually were signed to renowned music business executive Steve Rifkind of the SRC label.

Banner's major label debut, “Mississippi: The Album,” was launched on May 20, 2003. Co-produced by Banner and Bread & Water, KLC, Lil Jon and Mixzo, the album only received gold certification, but produced the club hit “Like A Pimp,” featuring Lil Flip, and the well-liked “Cadillac On 22s.” He also performed the song “Like A Pimp” on the John Singleton-directed motion picture “2 Fast 2 Furious” (2003). Later that same year, on December 23, Banner released the follow-up “MTA2: Baptized in Dirty Water.” It spawned the hit single “Crank It Up,” featuring Static Major.

On September 20, 2005, Banner resurfaced with “Certified,” his third release on SRC/Universal Records. A blend of street hymns and politically provocative southern music, the album featured guest performances from top rappers such as Jadakiss (“Treat Me Like A”), Twista (“On Everything”), B.G. (“Bloody War”), Talib Kweli and Dead Prez (“Ridin'”). The first single, “Ain't Got Nothing,” produced by Banner and featuring Magic & Lil Boosie, failed to hit the mainstream. Banner scored success with his second single “Play,” released in November 2005. Produced by Mr. Collipark, the song rose to No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 5 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and No. 3 on the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks. “Play” marked his first and only single, so far, to hit the top 10. The third single, “Touching,” was produced by and featured Jazze Pha.

2006 saw Banner score the song “X'ed” for the Gregory Dark action film “See No Evil,” which starred Glen Jacobs, Christina Vidal, Michael J. Pagan and Samantha Noble. He also made his big screen acting debut in the important role of Tehronne in “Black Snake Moan,” opposite Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Ricci and Justin Timberlake. The movie, directed and written by Craig Brewer, was shown at the Sundance Film Festival on January 24, 2007. He next voiced Virgil Gibson in the animated TV film “That Crook'd 'Sipp” (2007), which he also composed the music and executive produced, and made a guest appearance in an episode of “Monk” called “Mr. Monk and the Rapper” (2007) before returning to films with “This Christmas” (2007), for director/writer Preston A. Whitmore II. Among his costars in the comedy were Delroy Lindo, Loretta Devine, Chris Brown, Sharon Leal and Regina King. Commenting about his transition from music to acting, he said, “I started taking acting classes soon after ‘Like A Pimp’ came out. Now making movies is like my new love. It’s hot to be able to go from one art form to the next.”

After a three-year hiatus, Banner released his fifth studio album, “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” on July 15, 2008. The album debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 200 and has sold over 170,000 pieces. Co-produced by Banner, Darius “Deezle” Harrison, and Akon, and featuring Snoop Dogg, Lil' Wayne and Akon, the lead single, “Speaker” (released on July 10, 2007), peaked at No. 66 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. It was followed by “Get Like Me” on March 25, 2008. Featuring Chris Brown & Yung Joc, the second single rose to No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming his next most successful single after “Play,” and hit the top 10 on both the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks (#2) and Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (#7). It also brought Banner three nominations at the BET Hip Hop Awards in the categories of Best Producer and Best Hip-Hop Video, and an Ozone nomination for Best Rap/R&B Collaboration. The third single, “Shawty Say,” was released on August 1, 2008, and featured Lil Wayne. It peaked at No. 25 and No. 53 on the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks and the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, respectively.

Also in 2008, Banner acted in the drama film “Days of Wrath,” helmed by Celia Fox. Premiering at the Los Angeles Latino Film Festival on September 18, 2008, the movie is planned to be released theatrically in 2010.

Banner is scheduled to appear with Keke Palmer, Evan Ross, Nas and Julito McCullum in the upcoming biopic “Vapors” (2009), which was directed by Furqaan Clover and co-written by Clover and Jim Yoakum. On the music front, Banner will release a new album titled “13” in 2009.

Apart from producing several of his own singles, Banner also produced T.I's smash hit “Rubberband Man” and Nelly's “E.I.-The Tipdrill Remix.” He has also produced tracks for other artists like Lil' Flip, Busta Rhymes, Ludacris and Juelz Santana.

“For me, music is about honesty, pain and a willingness to cry as well as fight. As a rapper and producer, my goal is to unite with the audience, not trying to rein over them.” David Banner


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