David Banner’s New Album Features Black Thought & K.R.I.T. (Full Audio Stream)

It has been six and a half years since David Banner released an album. In some circles, that Death Of A Pop Star collaboration with 9th Wonder was considered some of D.B.’s finest songwriting. The Mississippi MC/producer with three Top 10 LP releases has thrived without the album format. Now a speaker, author, and an ongoing social and racial activist, Banner released fiery, conversation piece singles such as “Swag,” during the hiatus.

Some of those records, including the Big K.R.I.T.-assisted “My Uzi” and “Marry Me” were early previews of The God Box. This album, released today (May 19) has been years in the making for the Crooked Lettaz co-founder. Backed by his own Banner Vision imprint, this LP builds upon the messages David’s been throwing as of late.

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For lovers of “Swag,” “Elvis” discusses how Black music appears to be getting white-washed. This MC names names of artists profiting on Hip-Hop ahead of Black entertainers, and conveys his frustration that record labels seemingly employ a lack of people of color. The title holds up 1950s Rock & Roll, and says that history is repeating itself. Bonus track “Evil Knievil,” is another jolting listen. Examining modern history, the onetime SRC Records star spits, “Barack pushed hope / Reagan pushed dope / Clinton pushed something down a young gal’s throat / And since we talkin’ ’bout throats / White folks / What you know about ropes? / What you know about trees? / And men swingin’ from ’em that look like me! / How you see that don’t affect us? / Tuskegee, how you let them infect us? / It’s fear of the Black semen / Puttin’ sage on this page, to eradicate these demons.” This track builds on some of the imagery and narrative in “Magnolia,” which released ahead, earlier this week.

“Who Want It” is pure Hip-Hop. Teaming Banner and Black Thought, Tariq punctuates the track from the top: “I got the wordplay of Wallace, the work ethic of Shakur / I was sent into the future with a message from the Moors / I went to war / My weapon, just a blessin’ from the Lord / Rest assured / That my pen is more mighty than the sword / I got plans / To take up my revenge like Roxanne / My man swam here from Mississippi, God damn.” From there, the foundation is set for more power-packed bars from both MCs, along with WatchTheDuck.

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In a press statement, Banner has encouraged listeners to discover a deeper concept at play. “[The God Box is] more than an album, it’s an art exhibit. It’s sort of like a secret. It’s something that people are going to have to come to their own conclusions on. Everyone will get something different out of the album; and I’ll let the listener decide what that is.”

In addition to the aforementioned tracks, guests include Raheem DeVaughn, Dungeon Family’s Big Rube, Tito Lo (fka Tito Lopez), and Kap G.