It’s a foregone conclusion that the platinum-selling producer was gonna blow. Following the release of his debut album Them Firewater Boyz at the turn of the century, Trick Daddy, Lil’ Flip, Devin the Dude, and Bone Crusher came calling and recruited him for his finesse behind the boards. Steve Rifkind the founder of Loud Records, often credited with breaking some of the more important artists of the nineties in Tha Liks, Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, Big Pun and Three 6 Mafia, signed Banner to a $10 million deal for five albums under Universal.

The first single, “Like A Pimp,” featuring Flip, has been blowing up the southern airwaves and getting big spins on BET, MTV and MTV2 while being added to radio play lists cross country. And that ain’t even the tightest track on the album. Banner packs a wallop in the first five tracks where Lil’ Jon, Lil’ Flip and Pastor Troy are featured. “Might Getcha” and “Fuck ‘Em” featuring Jon and Troy, respectively, are but two examples of the earsplitting, sonic riot showcasing Banner’s aggressive and manic, tongue twisting, raspy flow. “Fuck ‘Em” also contains additional vocals from Bone Crusher and a relentless, high-stepping tempo that Jackson State’s marching band would be hard pressed to keep step with during half time.

The song “Mississippi,” serves as a demarcation point, the start of the second half, because the album takes a noticeable dip in depth with the title track. The evocative blues feelings attained on nearly every track there after is largely accomplished through an instinctive combination of soulful vocals, live instrumentation–something virtually unheard of in southern rap–and mid- to up-tempo beats. Mississippi is a reflection of the maturity of a constantly growing, vis-à-vis, his strength is shown through a developed lyrical delivery accompanied by some of the most superb beats from down below. Cop it while it’s hot; Mississippi is expected to move over seventy thousand units the first week out the gate.