Highly acclaimed Mississippi hip-hop artist David Banner has officially announced the five recipients of his “Crank It Up”
Scholarship Award worth a total of $50,000 in educational funding. Ryan Larkum of West Hartford, Connecticut; Matthew Foote
of Ashburn, Virginia; Eric Harris of Branchville, South Carolina; Karen Dunlap of Oviedo, Florida; and Patrick Godfrey of
Hendersonville, North Carolina, a US soldier stationed in Iraq, are each recipients of $10,000 in scholarship monies.
In December of 2003, Banner revealed that with the release of his widely revered MTA2: Baptized in Dirty Water album, he
would be randomly placing five game pieces within the first 300,000 copies to be sold. Each of those game pieces are worth
$10,000 in scholarship capital to be used toward any post-high school education including undergraduate college, graduate
school, community college, and trade or vocational schools. In the event that any of the winners are unable or choose not
to indulge in furthering his or her education for whatever reasons, Banner has stipulated that the monies be transferred to
someone of the winner’s choosing who will.
As a college- educated artist who attended Southern University in Louisiana, New Orleans, Banner has always had a passion
for mixing the arts and education. Banner explains why he chose to launch such a commendable contest, “I struggled to get
my undergrad and then my Masters Degree and now that I’ve made it I am blessed with the ability to give back,” Throughout
the rise of his music career which officially took off in the spring of 2003 with the release of his major label debut
Mississippi: The Album, Banner has consistently promoted the importance of education while providing ear pleasing gifts to
popular culture. The gold-selling CD spawned the hits “Like A Pimp,” featuring fellow southern MC Lil’ Flip, and the
socially conscious “Cadillac on 22’s.” That album was soon followed by Mississippi: The Chopped & Screwed Album and
subsequently MTA2: Baptized in Dirty Water.
MTA2 featured the undeniably upbeat crunk anthem “Crank It Up” which is just one of the many gems amongst a bevy of
bass-heavy hits with pertinent lyrical insight. In fact, the Washington Post newspaper quoted Banner as “delivering social
commentary with distinctly Southern rhymes.” At the same time, the album has also been noted as a “whopping 18-song
collection” by the Los Angeles Daily News and “spooky and jeep ready” by Entertainment Weekly. Banner is currently set to
release the second single titled “Pop That” from the already successful MTA2 album. MTA2: Baptized in Dirty Water Screwed
& Chopped is in stores now.