Banner Rebounds From 'Worst Year' With New Album

Although rapper David Banner has been quiet for a while, it's not because he hasn't been busy. Rather, he's been doing some soul searching. "2006 was the worst year of my life," Banner tells Billboard

Although rapper David Banner has been quiet for a while, it's not because he hasn't been busy. Rather, he's been doing some soul searching.

"2006 was the worst year of my life," Banner tells Billboard. "2007 has been the best year of my life. I've learned to say no and not take on everyone's problems. My father had brain and lung cancer, and I had high blood pressure because I was working 18-hour days. You have to value the person you are."

Banner was one of the first rappers to respond to Hurricane Katrina by giving out his own clothing to victims. But now, he'd like to help those less fortunate by helping himself onto a bigger platform to give back.

"I took on too much responsibility," Banner says. "I did volunteer work for six months for Hurricane Katrina but my own business wasn't right."

Now, Banner is focusing on his new album, "The Greatest Story Ever Told," slated for release by summer's end. With production from himself along with Nitti, Cool & Dre, Akon and Get Cool 3000, he's also wrangled features from Chris Brown, Jim Jones, UGK, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Carl Thomas and Xscape's Kandy.

"I have a tendency to want to change music," Banner says. "But I realized that people just want hits. The ladies want a 'Play,' I made a 'Cadillac on 22's,' and I made a few 'Like a Pimp' records. I did a rock song that's probably going to get me hung. Let's just say the record was written three years ago-it's just truthful."

Banner has also logged time behind the boards of late with Famlay, Lil Wayne, Snoop, Brown and the Shop Boyz. And, as previously reported, "That Crook'd Sipp," a cartoon loosely based on the rapper's life, debuted earlier this month on the Cartoon Network.

The Mississippi native plays the main character, a young progressive black man named Virgil who tells the story of the Beauregards, a white family trapped in the 1800's in Mississippi but living in 2007.