Mississippi hip hop icon David Banner
is putting the finishing touches on his much anticipated new SRC/Universal Motown album, Greatest Story Ever Told
, preparing it for a fall release. The first single from the charismatic star's fifth studio album, "Speaker," features a select trinity of superstar talent – Akon
, Lil Wayne
and Snoop Dogg
. Other stars joining the compelling producer/artist Banner on this album (either as guest artists or behind the boards) include Chris Brown
, Jim Jones
, Cool & Dre
, to name a few.
The prolific rap star is also slated to join hip-hop's elite on what is fast becoming the hottest live show of the summer, the 2007 Rock The Bells North American Festival Series. Featuring a revolving pantheon of legendary street-edged/rap stars, including Wu-Tang Clan
, Rage Against The Machine
, Pharoahe Monch
, Slum Village
, Jedi Mind Tricks
and others, Banner will kick off the celebrated journey, which will perform for nearly a quarter of a million people during its five week run in Mansfield, MA on July 26.
Emerging from more than a year of in-depth humanitarian and philanthropic efforts to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina, the Jackson, Mississippi native was eager to get back into the studio and practice his craft. "Everybody wants to hear the hits and I got 'em," says Banner. "But I wouldn't be calling it 'The Greatest Story' if it also wasn't truthful. My fans know I'm going to be telling it straight-up however I'm coming."
It was Banner's 2005 release Certified that set a new standard for hip-hop scorchers, with his smash single "Play" garnered more then 50 million in radio audience and climbed into the Top 5 on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Chart, causing more than one esteemed urban publication to peg the star as hip-hop's 'thinking man.' The outspoken Banner has been perfecting his signature brand of rap rock and street tinged anthems ever since his stunning 2003 Gold-plus debut, Mississippi – The Album. The album's genre-altering single "Like A Pimp," featuring Lil' Flip, was hailed as Banner's breakthrough song. Banner has also gone on to become one of hip-hop's most sought after producers as well, igniting groundbreaking collaborations with revered artists such as T.I.
, Young Buck
, Shop Boyz
, Chris Brown
, and others.
Banner and his home-grown charitable organization, 'Heal The Hood,' have been honored by the Black Caucus of Mississippi's state legislature for their Herculean efforts on behalf of the victims displaced by the terrible devastation from Hurricane Katrina. Banner's 'hands-on' philosophy about 'affecting' positive change was in full effect during the crisis and its aftermath, with the socially conscious star personally dedicating a year out of his schedule to aid and support those in need, raising more than $500,000, and distributing the funds to dozens of southern communities and organizations in ravaged southern Mississippi, Alabama and New Orleans. The driven activist was also awarded the Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes
Humanitarian Award in 2006 by Atlanta radio station Hot 107 in recognition of his selfless humanitarian endeavors.
The multi-talented Banner also made his acting debut in last year's acclaimed Craig Brewer directed (Hustle & Flow
) movie, Black Snake Moan
, starring Samuel L. Jackson
and Christina Ricci
2007 Rock The Bells North American Festival Dates:
July 26th Mansfield, MA Tweeter Center
July 28th New York, NY Randall's Island
July 29th New York, NY Randall's Island
August 7th Dallas, TX Smirnoff Music Center
August 8th Houston, TX Reliant Park
August 11th San Bernardino, CA Hyundai Pavilion at Glen Helen
August 12th San Diego, CA Coors Amphitheater (parking lot)
August 18th San Francisco, CA McCovey Cove (parking lot)
August 19th Sacramento, CA TBD
August 21st Salt Lake City, UT TBD
August 22nd Denver, CO Red Rocks Amphitheater
August 25th Minneapolis, MN TBD
August 26th Chicago, IL Charter One Pavilion
August 29th Detroit, MI DTE Energy Music theater
September 1st Honolulu, Hawaii TBD