David Banner

The Greatest Story Ever Told | Motown
By ANDREW GRAHAM  |  July 22, 2008
2.5 2.5 Stars
The thinking rapper’s Southern rapper has carved out a niche for himself as a straight-talking, truth-telling MC, unafraid to name names or to shine a spotlight on the failings of politicians and ’hood denizens alike. Outside the studio, Banner is fighting the good fight — in interviews, on Capitol Hill (where he testified last year, defending rap lyrics), and as a standout fundraising campaigner for post-Katrina recovery efforts. The Greatest Story reflects some of this awareness-raising positivity, but many of his points fall by the wayside over the course of its 22 tracks. Frontloaded with the bangers “Suicide Doors,” “9MM,” “Get like Me,” and “Shawty Say,” the album is very good; even the distracting “interludes” don’t undercut its momentum. Banner handles the majority of the production, saving his budget for the all-star guest list, which includes Snoop Dogg, Jim Jones, Chamillionaire, Akon, Chris Brown, and Lil’ Wayne (twice!). And his well-crafted beats are rooted — but not buried — in the Dirty South sound. But his producer chops and his articulate “off the record” treatises only underline the paradox of his lyrics — The Greatest Story would be a stronger statement if it weren’t for the conflicting cornerstones of conscientious-rapper soapboxing and standard-issue gangsta themes he’s laid at its foundation.
Related: From ’Ye to mixtapes, Review: Akon | Freedom, Mirror ball, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Celebrity News, Entertainment, Music Stars,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   NEIL YOUNG INSPIRES A CHILL NEW WAVE  |  November 08, 2012
    Over six decades, Neil Young's musical expression has expanded beyond the rock and roll of his nascent years and the folk-rock that brought him his initial burst of renown.
  •   HOW TO DRESS WELL | TOTAL LOSS  |  September 12, 2012
    To the casual ear, there might not be a dramatic difference between Tom Krell's debut album (2010's Love Remains) and Total Loss, his potent new collection of ethereal hymns.
  •   FRANK OCEAN | CHANNEL ORANGE  |  July 24, 2012
    Since the ’80s, when R&B began to lean more heavily on the candid bling-and-booty-centric tropes championed by its plain-speaking hip-hop cousins, the music’s subtlety, nuance, and imagination have faded.
  •   CHROMATICS | KILL FOR LOVE  |  April 24, 2012
    Chromatics fans have become very familiar with the sensation of anticipation, almost to the point of numbness.
  •   CUBIC ZIRCONIA | FOLLOW YOUR HEART  |  October 25, 2011
    Tiombe Lockhart has been hustling her hot vocal talents for an indie-neo-soul minute now, dropping arresting guest spots with PPP, Waajeed, and Kingdom.

 See all articles by: ANDREW GRAHAM