David Banner: The Greatest Story Ever Told

It’s refreshing to hear when a rapper has more substantial lyrics in a rhyme than the typical subject matter. The man responsible for helping put Mississippi on the map has gotten really deep on us as of late.

David Banner’s fourth album, The Greatest Story Ever Told (SRC), attempts to reroute your attention to what’s going on in current events and the Hip-Hop's involvement. He doesn’t abandon the persona that his fans have grown used to; however this album doesn’t prove to be very consistent.

“So Long” opens with Banner testifying about why our generation is filled with cowards and touches on topics from Bush to Sean Bell. He then transitions to “Suicide Doors” featuring UGK and Kandi Girl formerly of Xscape. Young Dro is sampled on the chopped up hook while Pimp C and Bun B brands the track with their distinctive verses. “9mm/Speaker,” which contradicts the opener , follows with backing by Akon; Lil Wayne stands out most on the pulsating bass driven track and amongst Snoop Dogg.

Club ready tracks like “Get Like Me” featuring Chris Brown with Yung Joc and “Shawty Say” featuring Lil Wayne, which samples a line from “Lollipop,” prove to be the highlighted radio friendly tracks. However the buck stops with “A Girl” which is all too reminiscent of the extremely played out whisper-on-the-track scheme from a few years past.

Things then slow down to a more inspirational tip with “Hold On” featuring Marcus and “Cadillac on 22’s (Part 2)” which is the follow-up to the original. While the latter sends a good message, Banner could have benefited more by keeping the singing to the pros like on “I Get By” featuring Carl Thomas. One thing noticeable on this album is that it has several guest appearances throughout which can be very distracting and takes away from an already established artist.

More stand out listings on the album include “Freedom”, an interlude where Banner speaks on how others view his people and tells them some of the things that could be done so it wouldn’t continue to be encouraged. Message inconsistency comes into play once again with “K.O.”. The bass and drum transmitting beat with the occasional synthesizers will nonetheless be a favorite to many.

All in all Banner makes an attempt to put things on a more positive inspiring note, but couldn’t seem to resist keeping some of the subject matter consistent with previous albums like his best to date, Mississippi: The Album. Its good to see that he’s been speaking up for what he believes to be the rights and wrongs in today’s culture, however he should’ve focused a little more on translating that into a more consistant offering.