Support Local Journalism. Donate to Cleveland Scene.

David Banner 

Baptized in Dirty Water (Universal)

If you were going to carve a Mount Rushmore featuring hip-hop producers, you could pick your four faces without breaking a sweat. After you chiseled in the profiles of both Neptunes, Timbaland, and either Kayne West or Just Blaze, serious arguments would be minimal. If David Banner registered a protest, however, you'd have to listen -- and not just because the rap renaissance man from Mississippi growls like a starving grizzly on the mic. Banner's second album (three if you count a remix set) in six months continues his transformation of hip-hop's most frequently maligned region, proving crunk isn't just one long shout-out. Filled with organic bits of blues, soul, and even back-porch acoustic strumming, his urgent bounce beats not only get the clubs up, they help the South rise again.

And the conflicts here are all too real. Not since the psychotic Geto Boys crawled north from Screwston has the violence on a major-label album seemed as disturbing. Banner's near-nihilistic (and all too common) worldview -- ghetto folks can't help themselves, because they were born baptized in the "Dirty Water" of their environment -- is expressed as nightmarish realism. "Mamma's House," which threatens in the most graphic terms to make a beef a family affair, boils over with a rage that's worlds apart from faceless, big-city killings; this is small-town passion, personal and painful. You have to hear it, but you won't necessarily be glad you did.

We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, Scene Magazine has been keeping Cleveland informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources, especially as we all deal with the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic. Almost everything Scene is about -- our stories, our events, our advertisers -- comes down to getting together. With events on hold, and no print distribution for the foreseeable future, every little bit helps.

A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to Scene. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation