- 11:05 AM, Sep 20
Banner wasn't always the David Banner. He was a regular boy from Jackson, a non-economically thriving area of Mississippi who was dreaming of making it big as a rap superstar. He was born Levell Crump on April 11, 1973. His father Zeno Crump, Jr., a respectable District Fire Chief and his mother Carolyn Crump were two people who raised Banner in a simple way, sticking their values to religious beliefs. Little Banner learned music from instruments like keyboards and second hand drum set but his power laid on his ability to eject words rapidly through his lips. Stepping up to the game to debut his rapping skill, he showcased the talent when he attended Northwest Jackson Middle School. Going to high school he took a part time job as grocery bagger in a local Kroger store and used the salary to aid his music career. He would create his own music, put it on a CD and sell it to the Jackson natives. The career did not take off immediately but it was his meeting with rapper Kamikaze that really put a base on his career today.
While enrolling at his mother's alma mater Southern University in Baton Rogue, Louisiana, he formed a rap duo with Kamikaze named Crooked Lettaz and released "Grey Skies" in 1999 as their debut album. The CD received high praises, considerably well enough to make sure that they were on the right lane. It even got an outstanding review from one of the columnists of All Music Guide but due to the poor promotion of the album, "Grey Skies" failed to lift up their fame. Banner consequently pursued further education in business by admitting himself to University of Maryland. But before he completed his master degree, the music career took off and forced Banner to drop his academic journey. Banner later found himself responsible for the hits made popular by rappers Trick Daddy and Lil' Flip. His solo career also later on stood up with the release of "Them Firewater Boyz, Vol. 1" in 2000. He was at that time signed to Penalty Records but the album's sale was not excessively supporting his career. Only after Universal roped him in did he receive the success he deserved.
In the middle of desperation to enhance his music fate, an executive from Universal noticed his talent while he was performing at several clubs. He immediately nodded for