David Banner Launches 2M1 Movement
Banner sees his 2M1 project as the beginning of a movement designed not only to benefit artists, but to give consumers power. Rather than promoting an album in the conventional fashion, Banner is promising to release his latest album, Sex, Lies, and Videogames, for free on May 22nd, 2012, and requesting that those who wish to support his project donate one dollar in response. He hopes to reach two million people this way, and permanently alter the relationship between the artist and the consumer. This isn't the first time Banner has accepted donations in lieu of charging for an album. His Death of a Pop Star (2010), produced by 9th Wonder, explored the concept of music as art rather than simply a money-making venture, and was offered online for free.
Banner has written several articles for Black Enterprise. One such article detailed Banner's theories on why the black community has struggled financially, and how that can be altered. Read more here.
In 2004, Banner gave away five $10,000 scholarships to lucky fans to promote higher education.
Following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Banner mobilized fellow celebrities to provide relief. He established the Heal The Hood Foundation to ensure that aid would get to the people who needed it most. In 2005, Heal the Hood put on a relief concert in Atlanta, Georgia, the proceeds of which went towards providing crucial supplies to the poorest communities affected by the hurricane. In the years following the disaster, Banner has continued to raise awareness about the persisting problems caused by Katrina.
Banner visited Occupy Wall Street in Zuccotti Park, as well as the Occupy LA site, and wrote about his observations for Black Enterprise. He noted that "there were as many issues being protested as there were protesters," and that "all of the issues voiced were relevant and NEEDED to be heard."
Born Levell Crump, in Jackson, Mississippi, David Banner always dreamt of becoming a rap superstar. His parents, Zeno and Carolyn Crump, emphasized the importance of values and religious beliefs. Banner experimented with music throughout his childhood by playing the keyboards and hand drum and eventually developed a talent in rapping. He first put his talent to test at Northwest Jackson Middle School. In high school, David Banner worked at a local grocery store to make money to aid his music career. Before pursuing his music career full time, Banner received his bachelor's degree in business from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and began a master's degree program in education, a pursuit he left to begin his professional rapping career. Banner's career began as part of the rap duo, Crooked Lettaz, with rapper Kamikaze. Banner's first hit, "Like a Pimp" brought his work to the attention of major record labels, and he ended up leaving his independent label to sign with Universal Records subsidiary, SRC Records in the early 2000s. Since then, Banner has released hit including "Ain't Got Nothing", "Play", "Touching", and "Get Like Me" featuring Chris Brown and Yung Joc across four major albums. Outside of his music career, Banner has maintained attention in the public through his political activism. In 2006, he was awarded a Visionary Award by the National Black Caucus of the State Legislature in recognition of his work following Hurricane Katrina. The following year, Banner testified before Congress in a hearing regarding racism and misogyny in rap music. In his testimony, Banner defended the controversial content of hip hop music stating "I can admit there are some problems in hip hop but it is only a reflection of what's taking place in our society. Hip hop is sick because America is sick."
1974 - Born Levell Crump, in Jackson, Mississippi to Zeno and Carolyn Crump
1999- David Banner and rapper Kamikaze as the duo, Crooked Lettaz, releases Grey Skies
2000- Banner independently releases his solo debut album Them Firewater Boyz
2003- Banner signs to Universal Records releasing four albums: Mississippi: The Album (2003), MTA2: Baptized in Dirty Water (2004), Certified (2005), and The Greatest Story Ever Told (2008)
2004-Banner held his first scholarship contest, "Crank It Up" by placing game pieces in his album MTA2. Five people who found the tickets had $10,000 donated towards their secondary education or the secondary education the contest winner's family member.
2004- He produces T.I.'s single, "Rubberband Man", which reached #30 on the Hot 100, #15 on the R&B chart, and #11 on the Rap chart
2005- After Katrina, Banner organized a relief concert to benefit the victims of the hurricane through the Heal the Hood Foundation.
2006- The National Black Caucus of the State Legislature recognizing the work he did after Hurricane Katrina of honored him with the Visionary Award
2006- Banner released the song theme song for XBOX game Saints Row
2007- He testifies before Congress at a hearing about racism and misogyny in hip hop music entitled From Imus to Industry: The Business of Stereotypes and Degrading Images. He also appeared in the film Black Snake Moan and This Christmas and in an epside of USA Network's Monk.
2008- Banner releases his fourth major label album, The Greatest Story Ever Told. Banner produces the single "Get Like Me" reached #16 on the Hot 100, #7 on the R&B chart, and #2 on the Rap chart.
2010- A collaborative album with 9th Wonder entitled, Death of a Pop Star is released. The two, recognizing their similar stance on black male identity and the present development of black music industry in particular, used this album to communicate shared values. David Banner also returned to the silver screen in Stom The Yard 2.
2012- Banner's release of "Swag" in September 2011, chastising the new generation of rappers, offended Lil B. In his retort, Lil B released "I Own Swag" over the beats of Banner's original song in February 2012. A few days later, after a phone conversation, the dispute was resolved. Banner did not publically
2012- The album Sex, Drugs and Video Games is slated for release in collaboration with his project, 2M1 Movement. Acknowledging a mitigated recognition of hip hop music's value to a new generation, Banner released the album for free on his website while asking instead that 2 million people donate $1 for the music.
David Banner - "Cadillac on 22"