Lavell William Crump (born April 11, 1974), better known by his stage name David Banner, is an American rapper, record producer, poet, occasional actor and public speaker. Born in Jackson, Mississippi, Banner graduated from Southern University and pursued a masters of education at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. He started his music career as a member of the rap duo, Crooked Lettaz, before going solo in 2000 with the release titled Them Firewater Boyz, Vol. 1. In 2003, Banner signed to Universal Records releasing four albums: Mississippi: The Album (2003), MTA2: Baptized in Dirty Water (2003), Certified (2005), and The Greatest Story Ever Told (2008).