Review: David Banner Certified
Review by Guest Writer Rahiem Shabazz
Mississippi's own David Banner (Lavell Crump) is back again with his 3rd major release, rightfully titled "Certified". The lead single Play
carries an infectious tune, with a funky-weird type of piano riff layered over a head-nodding induced beat. Dubbed the 'work out' song, Mr. Mississippi is found spewing lyrics to the ladies in a whispering tone ("work them hips make 'em run girl/ don't play with me"). Quite an unusual move for the man who in 2003 had club going fans feeling Like A Pimp
. However, Mr. Banner does not veer too far from the soulful crunk sound that fans and critics alike honor him for on Lost Soul
he reunites with hometown word slinger and ex-partner Kamikaze. On Everything
showing versatility and uniqueness, die-hard Banner fans gets treated to a back and forth verbal exchange between the Mississippi statesman and Twista that is reminiscing of the King of Rock (Run DMC). Gangster Walk
, featuring Three 6 Mafia and 8Ball and MJG, is an ode to the once banned dance craze made popular in Memphis. New York's patriarch Jada Kiss and King of Crunk Lil Jon appears on the stand out cut Treat Me Like
, where the raspy-voice lyricist teams up with the King of Crunk warning their adversaries that ponder disrespectful thoughts. "The new Nat Turner given it to the youth like Sojourner"
, rides out on Ridin'
with revolutionary comrades Talib Kweli & Dead Prez.
David Banner, holds it down for the state of Mississippi, without releasing another cameo-crowded album (where the guest outshines the main attraction) as witness in today's rap album releases. If nothing else this album certifies that David Banner will continue on his platinum trail to success whether executing production or spitting gritty sixteens.Pre-order from Amazon:
Dropping Sept. 20: David Banner - Certified
Hip Hop Congress Report
No, I didn't go to the most recent gathering of the Hip Hop Congress
, but I got a report from Aaron Berkowitz and I'm reprinting the full text below:
100 members representing 27 chapters from all over the country congregated in Chicago for the 4th Annual Hip Hop Congress National Conference on June 23-26th. Hip Hop Congress is an International Grassroots Network that educates, empowers, and unites individuals. We preserve and evolve Hip Hop by inspiring social action and cultural creativity within the community. The conference provided members an opportunity to layout a dynamic vision for the future of the Hip Hop Congress.
During the weekend the Hip Hop Congress elected Shamako Noble as the second President in the organization's history. Noble, an emcee out of the bay Area, also works at the Riekes Center for Human Enhancement in Menlo, California. The Riekes Center is a nonprofit mentoring organization that utilizes a multidisciplinary approach toward education. Given his background in Hip Hop and education, Noble's launched the national initiative to develop a Hip Hop and education program. The conference drew educators from all over the country, as well as representatives from the Hip Hop Association, Teach For America, University of Hip Hop in Chicago and the Universal Zulu Nation.
In a joint effort with other groups such as IMAN (Inner-city Muslim Action Network), Southwest Youth Collaborators, Temple of Hip Hop, Fly Paper and others, Hip Hop Congress took part in a full day of free festivities. The event, titled, "Takin' It To The Streets" included free performances by Jurassic 5, Brother Ali, Chicago's own Capital D, and the legendary b-boy squad, the Rock Steady Crew. The event also showcased local emcees, deejays, breakers, and beat-boxers. Indianapolis deejay da Metrognome held it down with local deejays Roosevelt Treasurechest, Jaidot, E Dubble, deejay Xander and Chicago breaking crew Chi-rock was also on hand. Along with the music, the event featured guest speakers and comedians demonstrating that large scale Hip Hop events can be a very peaceful thing.
The 29 chapters of the Hip Hop Congress now go back to their respective communities energized, organized, and revolutionized until they reconvene in Boulder, CO for next year's conference.
For more information on Hip Hop Congress check www.hiphopcongress.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org (314)809.2502
The Revival of Ill Crew Universal
Ill Crew Universal
has reappeared. Their press release
"ICU is determined to restore balance to Hip Hop culture and secure an accurate documentation of Hip Hop culture's progression."
They aim to meet these lofty goals with the following projects:
"1. Summer 2005 release of a new ICU compilation album featuring HipHop artists from around the world.
2. HipHop Artist education and resource programs intended to aid independent artists in the creation, distribution, exposure and promotion of their work.
3. The official Hip Hop Encyclopedia presented by Ill Crew University. This project is our effort to properly document Hip Hop history as told by the HipHop community. Please visit
http://www.hiphopculture.com for more information.
4. Ill Crew Universal membership program which offers services, information and resources to people who wish to ACTIVELY participate in the empowerment of authentic HipHop culture."
Although I have serious questions regarding the concept of "authentic" hip hop culture, since I gave up such modernist notions as authenticity long ago, nevertheless these guys mean well and are worth checking out. Whether they can return to the status they claim to have held in the late 90s remains to be seen, but I look forward to seeing what they accomplish.