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David Banner - Certified

David Banner, Certified

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 1 out of 5

DAVID Banner is at the forefront of the new hip-hop sound emerging from America’s Deep South.

A troubled and energetic kid from Mississippi, Banner delivers hard-hitting hip-hop in a crunk style that is designed to be controversial – whether talking about sex or taking aim at US politics.

Anyone who has seen the film Hustle & Flow (starring Oscar-nominee Terrence Howard) will know exactly what to expect.

The style of tracks like It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp and Whoop That Trick, from that film, is echoed throughout Certified, Banner’s album.

Needless to say, Banner has collaborated with everyone from Twista, Talib Kweli and Three 6 Mafia to ensure that the long-player gets the widest possible airing.

But aside from the odd moment, the album gets lost amid its pumped-up ethos of hard, hard beats, raw language and stereotypical outlook.

It’s over-burdened with references to pimps, crack, whores, guns and anything bad taste and illegal.

Tracks like Play, the recent single, are loaded with lyrics such as ‘come girl, I’m trying to get your pussy wet’ and orgasmic female purring, yet only succeed in emerging as a pre-pubescent teenager’s wet dream.

Likewise, the derisory Fucking, a supposedly sassy ode to sex that is filled with carnal references such as ‘let me fuck you from the back’.

And that’s the romantic side of things! Elsewhere, Banner lets loose on the social scene in tracks like Treat Me Like, an unapologetically aggressive anthem that recalls the pumped-up vibe of Whoop That Trick.

While Bloody War and Westside profess to reflect the harshness of life on the street, with the laws that govern who lives and who dies.

Occasionally, the album delivers some good beats and rhythms to offset some of the heavier moments, such as the smooth Take Your and 2 Fingers, featuring some good support vocals from Jagged Edge.

But on the whole, this is a depressingly sleazy affair that’s unrelenting in its ability to offend without really saying anything that countless other hip-hop artists haven’t preached before.

Banner may share his name with The Incredible Hulk but I predict he’ll make plenty of people angry, rather than green with envy.

Track listing:

  1. Lost Souls
  2. Treat Me Like
  3. Gangster Walk
  4. 2 Fingers
  5. Play
  6. Fucking
  7. Thinking Of You
  8. On Everything
  9. Certified
  10. Ain’t Got Nothing
  11. Bloody War
  12. Westside
  13. Take Your
  14. My Life
  15. Ridin’
  16. X-ed
  17. Crossroads
  18. Shake That Booty
  19. Ain’t Got Nothing – David Banner & Rodney P/Durrty Goodz