Review Summary: David Banner tries to give us his political message, but ultimately just gives us the fun-oriented hip hop he has always made.
David Banner's last album, Certified
, was a critical and commercial success, being praised both for lyrics and production, and managed to go Gold fairly quickly. Because of that, David Banner felt the need to hype his new album, and thus he did. He told fans that it would be his best, and one of the best hip hop albums ever released, the album would have a political message, and would be a lyrical work-out. The fact of the matter is, this is Banner's worst album, and the poltical posturing is laughable, but that doesn't stop The Greatest Story Ever Told
from being a bundle of well-produced hip hop fun, with some decent lyrics to match.
David Banner’s lyrical assault is fairly decent for a producer-rapper, but it’s definitely no Kanye West. The album starts with a bang with So Long, which starts with a small rant from Mr. Banner, and then the rapping and the beat pound away. Throughout the song, Banner criticizes Iraq, violence, modern rappers, and many other things quite spastically. Despite that, however, there are some good lines, such as “This is Bush-economics/ George is the modern day Ronald Reagon/Afraid of god in the midst of pagans/ niggas I am just saying”. Despite heavy political messages and criticism of young rappers in “So Long”, he pretty much spends the rest of the album defying his own message. Banner states his dislike for poser rappers who talk about their pistols all the time on So Long, yet the enjoyable 9mm is filled with all sorts of gun talk, and alone cancels out any message he was pretty much trying to make.
But the inconsistent political opinions doesn’t stop the album from being enjoyable one bit, just makes it a little less believable. “9mm” is a fairly nice group effort by Akon, Lil Wayne and Snoop Dogg, and reveal some more reasons why Lil Wayne is a damn good MC, especially with this nice little one liner: “nigga you a pussy, hope you got 9 lives”. Another song that stands out on the album is the big hit single Get Like Me in all of its spastic, mainstream goodness (except Chris Brown‘s verse). Unfortunately for Mr. Banner, some songs aren’t enjoyable at all, such as “Shawty Say”, which samples from Lil Wayne’s god awful hit single “Lollipop”, and manages to sound. “Cadillacs On 22’s Part 2” attempts at some gospel influence, but bores all the way. The tone that David Banner raps in an annoying low tone completely ruins “Suicide Doors” from any enjoy ability whatsoever.
The production is what saves this album from being utterly average, and it’s excellent for what it’s worth; making the beats sound good. David Banner’s production gives a few songs a sort of epic feel (“Suicide Doors”), and some other songs the “Ballin!“ feel to them (“Get Like Me”). Banner also tries to experiment on some of the tracks, giving “Shawty Say” the same outer space feel that he experimented with on Lil Wayne’s “Phone Home”, while he also experiments on a more on a softer, more uplifting vibe as well (“Cadillacs On 22’s Part 2”). The diversity of the production make this album a far more interesting listen, and give back-up when songs lag behind lyrically or vocally.
With his new album, The Greatest Story Ever Told
, David Banner seems to attempt at some political jargon, but fails to stand by his opinions consistently throughout the record. Despite that, Banner makes a fun and enjoyable record to listen, full of excellent production and some decent lyrics.