I’ve finally listened to David Banner’s “The God Box.” One reviewer called it “The best album of his career.” I couldn’t agree more. I almost bumped “Mississippi: The Album” to death. I recall feeling the same awe then, that I felt today. He was right on time in 2003 and he’s right on time in 2017. This album showcases and proves his growth, not only as a man, but as a human being. If you were an early fan, you’ll listen to “The God Box” and hear the evolution of David Banner. When one of your favorite rappers literally transcends their headspace … bruh … that’s good music.
And I’m not just talking about the message either. His lyrics have gotten more reflective, the instrumentation is more daring and experimental, and his mindset has expanded outside his bubble to include the entire black community. All of which is especially exciting to behold when you’ve experienced the same transformation in your own life.
When Mississippi dropped in 2003, I was in college and living in Atlanta with my birth mom and her boyfriend. I was trying to reconnect with my mother and hopefully find a path to forgiveness. I’d also recently come out as a lesbian and was still trying to figure out what that looked like. I had a curl kit in my hair and all I wore were Air Force Ones, sweat pants and t-shirts with matching bandanas. Overall, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was about. I had yet to experience a great love and the path to forgiveness was as buried as the path to success I hoped to attain one day. I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. I was just hoping I’d figure it out, maybe even while bumping his c.d. out of my bright green Mercury Tracer whenever I had the chance.
My favorite song on the album was “Mississippi.” It touched me.
Today, I listened to The God Box after I returned home from having a lunch meeting with my supervisor. I did so while in the safety of the home I own, comfortably seated in my favorite chair in my home office. Each song that came on was just a little bit more of his growth, and as I stared around my office, I touched upon my own growth. My eyes landed on the keepsakes I’d collected over the years, my college degree, my work portfolio, physical samples of old and new artwork … each song, every lyric became another milestone as we both grew up … TOGETHER.
My head hasn’t seen a curl kit in years. I know exactly who I am and I’m making plans for what I can do next. I experience my own transformation every time I write. I’m attempting to make all of my life decisions holistically. So far, my favorite song on this album is “Elvis.” Like David Banner, I’ve come to see that the world isn’t just about me, it’s about all of us. We have to be the change we seek. The future of our people and the protection of our assets is everything.
I love this album yall. And I’m even more in love with experiencing one of my favorite rappers grow up and remain doubly relevant, while sharing some of the best, most nuanced writing of his career. Ever heard someone say, “you can’t have a rap career in your 40s?” Well, they must not be a David Banner fan.