October 6, 2005
Itís hard not to like
David Bannerís public persona as an activist. He has been known to bus
people from communities across Mississippi to ensure they vote. He was
also one of the first to fill up his tour bus and deliver aid to Katrina
victims. That said, HOLY CRUNK!
Certified is the type of record that will have soccer moms sneering as
they pop another Vicodin and set back the NAACPís work by 10 years. You
canít tell if heís trying to make some sort of ironic cultural statement
or if he believes this is the way rap music should sound.
Bannerís rhymes tend to
be brutally flagrant and lewd. The song ďF******Ē is literally a slap in
the face to listeners, woman-kind and the $15 you spent on this album.
Not that rap albums havenít been known for derogatory subject matter,
but at least many of Bannerís influences (Snoop, Dr. Dre, Easy E) did it
with a certain finesse that Banner has yet to grasp.
If Banner scores points
anywhere on Certified, it would be for his clean crisp production and
master beat-making skills. Such skills show through the murkiness on
many of the tracks, including the decent ďLost SoulsĒ and ďWestside.Ē
Itís just a shame that the lyrical properties of Certified hold the
album back and encourage the negative aspects of a stereotype that many
MCs have tried so hard to erase from our cultural consciousness. Like
Chris Rock once said, ďItís getting harder and harder to defend rap