David Banner is a multi-award winning producer and artist. Most notably known for his work with various hip hop artists including Ludacris, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne and many more. “The God Box” is a true reflection of Banner’s artistry.
Upon the first listen, the versatility of Banner’s production is undeniable. The album uses 808 production, hints of funk, rock and of course hip hop influences. As well as star studded features, from the likes of Black Thought and Cee Lo Green; seen on the first track: “Magnolia”. The opening track gives us an insight into the critical topics covered across the album. Banner’s verse is written from the perspective of a Magnolia tree; In an interview with ‘Hot New Hip Hop’ he explained “my verse is about the relationship of the magnolia tree and Africans during slavery”. Accompanied by an eclectic range of instruments, the album opener is a strong statement.
David Banner takes us through his thoughts regarding the state of his country. On ‘My Uzi’ featuring Big K.R.I.T, the pair use their lyrics to express their frustration regarding police brutality and the relationship between African Americans and Police officers. In the second verse of the track Big K.R.I.T. raps: “Police out here acting crazy”. Also featuring samples from UGK, the signature David Banner sound is dominant here. In terms of production, studio instruments are traded for a live orchestra towards the ending of the track. This truly gives the track a classical tone while creating an effective juxtaposition between the strong tone of the UGK sample and the live orchestra.
On tracks like “Elvis”, Banner criticises and shares his opinion on the whiteness of the music industry and how the exploitation of black music has profited others. He states: Justin Timberlake is what Usher’s supposed to do”. Here we can see how Banner uses his lyrics to spark conversations and controversy. Banner’s boldness is uncommon and refreshing to see.
Even though ‘The God Box’ is deemed a socially conscious album with heavy messages, Banner shows his versatility throughout. With smooth ballads like “ Marry Me” featuring Rudy Currence, which focuses on the sanctity of marriage and love within the black community. Banner address the cliche that black men don’t believe in marriage; Rudy Currence stating that they are not an“Urban Myth”. During an interview on 'Sway in the Morning', Banner dedicated Marry Me to black women, in support of unity and empowerment. These themes are seen frequently throughout tracks like “Black Fist”.
David Banner has a range of styles with the album with features like Kap G and Devon Lewow; rock-heavy tracks like “Judy Blare” and “Traffic On Mars” infuses trap drums and electric guitars. It was great to hear Kap G contribute his clever lyrics accompanied by Banner’s production and Kenya Jori’s vocals. David Banner often comments on his love for rock music which is perfectly used as an influence in terms of his work. Having Devon Lewow on “Judy Blare” created a contrast in sound which was great for the album.
Each component on The God Box feels like its own unique sound. On this album, Banner is everything but traditional in terms of what his most loyal fans are familiar with. This is a polished production that feels like it took Banner years to put together and it was well worth the wait.
Elevate with David Banner on 'The God Box' below:
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