Certified

Artist: David BannerTitle: CertifiedRating: 4 StarsReviewed by: Danielle Cabell

If David Banner ain’t got nothing, President Bush really does care about black people–we co-sign these truths to be self-evident, that, in a time when truth needs to be rescued (not recovered), David Banner self-signs and delivers it, Certified (Universal/SRC), in 17 honest tracks from what, to date, is arguably this year’s most powerful studio rap album.

Banner b*tch, Banner b*tch y’all know me… Ok, there’s no law abating that an album’s title track should be the hottest, but the acoustic-riffing “Certified” is a large douse of Louisiana Hot sauce atop a fork-full of steaming greens that ain’t been blown on. “…ducking bullets in these bitches like a young Shawn Kemp/walking over hoes with a certified limp/Banner,b*tch, Banner, b*tch y’all know me…I ain’t savin these hoes leave the preaching to Mase.

The man of “Like a Pimp” fame definitely isn’t saving hoes ( though he is doing some heroic rescues) and there’s no contradictory tracks that would lead one to believe otherwise. Banner’s letting ‘em know, it’s all about “F******.” Producer Jazzy Pha lends his pimptastically smooth vocals as well as programming talents to “F*******,” a more than blatant decree of what (ideally) and where (ideally) the intercourse should convene, on the bed on the couch f*******,f********, f*********, from the front to the living room. Ladies beware, Banner’s slick delivery and Jazze Pha’s flute’tacious beat could result in the resurgence of that annoying ‘ass-smacking-gesture-dance’ made popular by brothas and corny by others. But it’s the uncensored seX-rated Mr. ColliPark (DJ Smurf) produced “Play” that will have women eargasming upon first listen. Little wonder why “Play” proceeds “F******.”

But enough “F******” already.

How often do we hear a rapper say they ‘got something for everyone’ on their record, only to find out they copied the popular so-in-so’s flow or got the popular so-n-so featured? On Certified, imitation is traded for homage on “Westside,” a tribute record to the Cali–coast rappers of past and present. Bravado is traded for truth via “Lost Souls,” a song that has the college drop-in unapologetically declaring, “They done raped grandmama, they done took our land, Now they wonder why a nigga don’t give a hot damn.” Recess is in when Banner and Twista combine on “On Everything,” a marching band bonanza track that doesn’t raise its hand but shouts “M to the I double the S…y’all know the rest!!!!

Please believe we’re all waiting to see Jackson State University’s “Sonic Boom of the South” marching band set it off with this one. Ahh, when this review is posted and done I’ll undoubtedly regret not mentioning Lil Jon’s production, Jadakiss’ feature, the first single “Ain’t Got Nothing,” and the bucking Delta-crunk “Gangster Walk,” but reviews can only be so long even when reviewing the modern backbone of Black Mississippi, who if doesn’t heal the hood will definitely score it beyond compare. Put that on everything.

Related Stories