Happy Birthday, David Banner!
There are many solid rhymers who have the distinction of being an Aries. David Banner is one of them. The Mississippi representative turns 41 today (April 11).
Many easily associate Banner with his biggest hit "Play." The single hinges on sexual rawness and a whispering flow that's not unlike The Ying Yang Twins's 2005 hit single, "Wait (The Whisper Song)." Banner's raunchiness didn't deter the success of "Play." The single peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Banner, whose real name is Lavell William Crump, has released five solo albums and is one half of the '90s southern hip-hop duo Crooked Lettaz. The "Cadillac on 22s" rapper did take his foot off the gas slightly in recent days. In 2012, he dropped his last project, the Sex, Drugs & Video Games mixtape.
However, Banner has more than made up for the decreased output by becoming an activist. He's recognized for his work in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and his outspokenness against racism and social injustice. In 2007, Banner testified in front of Congress at a hearing titled From Imus to Industry: The Business of Stereotypes and Degrading Images, where he defended explicit lyrics (misogyny, violence, etc.) in rap music.
Banner's activism has also spilled into his music. He was responsible for one of last year's BET Hip-Hop Music Awards highlights with his cypher verse.
"Hertz Rentals, when I was broke / How you proud to sell dope to your own folks house / N----- I meant it how it sounds," he rapped. "Where were the white rappers when they mowed Mike Brown down? / Nowhere to be found."