18 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

David Banner’s Certified became a smash thanks to the hit single “Play,” a song that would feel lascivious even without the nasty lyrics. Prior to Certified, the Mississippi-reared Banner spent several albums (first with his group Crooked Lettaz, then as a solo artist) addressing issues that other rappers wouldn’t touch, including the legacy of slavery in the South and the destruction of the modern black family. Despite an underground reputation as one of the South’s sharpest minds — not to mention one of its hottest producers — Banner languished in obscurity while clients like T.I. shot to the top with tales of drug slinging. If Certified has a theme, it is impenitence; Banner is hellbent on being able to say and be whatever he wants. As he rails in the opener “Lost Souls:” “They done raped grandmama, they done took our land / Now they wonder why a nigga don't give a hot damn.” “Treat Me Like,” “Ain’t Got Nothing,” and “Bloody War” may seem like mindless crunk songs, but they are driven by a far deeper frustration. When Dead Prez are given front and center for “Ridin’” you can feel Banner’s presence: “Niggas sing the blues / That's reminicin' the spiritual / But when you say “God is YOU” / Niggas ain't really hearing you.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

David Banner’s Certified became a smash thanks to the hit single “Play,” a song that would feel lascivious even without the nasty lyrics. Prior to Certified, the Mississippi-reared Banner spent several albums (first with his group Crooked Lettaz, then as a solo artist) addressing issues that other rappers wouldn’t touch, including the legacy of slavery in the South and the destruction of the modern black family. Despite an underground reputation as one of the South’s sharpest minds — not to mention one of its hottest producers — Banner languished in obscurity while clients like T.I. shot to the top with tales of drug slinging. If Certified has a theme, it is impenitence; Banner is hellbent on being able to say and be whatever he wants. As he rails in the opener “Lost Souls:” “They done raped grandmama, they done took our land / Now they wonder why a nigga don't give a hot damn.” “Treat Me Like,” “Ain’t Got Nothing,” and “Bloody War” may seem like mindless crunk songs, but they are driven by a far deeper frustration. When Dead Prez are given front and center for “Ridin’” you can feel Banner’s presence: “Niggas sing the blues / That's reminicin' the spiritual / But when you say “God is YOU” / Niggas ain't really hearing you.”

TITLE TIME
3:13
3:53
4:28
3:29
3:50
3:51
5:03
8 4:09
4:11
3:52
4:30
3:32
4:42
3:54
4:33
3:41
3:45
3:06

About David Banner

One half of the rap duo Crooked Lettaz, David Banner helped put Mississippi on the map in 1999. In 2000, he released his first solo album in Them Firewater Boyz, Vol. 1. Originally on Penalty Records, he realized quickly that a New York-based record label just didn't know how to handle the south. With the help of his crew, he managed to sell over 10,000 copies of his first album in his hometown alone. He broke out nationally in 2003 with a pair of albums, Mississippi: The Album and MTA2: Baptized in Dirty Water. These releases spawned a varied clutch of hits -- "Like a Pimp," "Cadillac on 22's" and "Crank It Up." Two years later, he released Certified. ~ Brad Mills

  • ORIGIN
    Jackson, MS
  • BORN
    Apr 11, 1973

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