Gangsta Walking with DAVID BANNER
In an ode to that legendary display of communal aggression, multiplatinum super producer David Banner has teamed up with Memphis, Tennessee rap pioneers 8-Ball&MJG and Three 6 Mafia for the hot new track Gangsta Walk.
The song is one of three new cuts available online from Banners third solo release, Certified, which is scheduled to hit stores this summer.
One of my goals in music is to expose southern culture, Banner told me in a conversation last week. Where Im from, the gangsta walk is a [very big] part of that culture. Especially in northern Mississippi, the gangsta walk and Memphis were a major influence. I try to give homage and exposure to that.
Many can remember MC Hammer showing everyone the new dance he picked up in Tennessee on the home video to 1990s ten-times platinum Please Hammer, Dont Hurt 'em. Louisiana native, DJ Jimi went on to popularize the gangsta walk throughout the South with the smash club hit Where They At? from his 1992 release Its Jimi, which included the debut of Juvenile on the track Bounce.
Louisville, KY rap group Underground Mafia also scored a regional hit with Gangsta Walk, from their 1994 debut, Ghetto Thang. However, its Memphis emcees like Gangsta Pat, Pretty Tony and Radical T who are credited with starting the high-energy "get buck" (which later evolved into crunk) style during the late 80s and early 90s in local clubs like Mirage, Expo, Club No Name, 21st Century and 380 Beale.
Some people say New Orleans started it with the little thing DJ Jimi had goin on. Its not true, said Three 6 Mafias Juicy J in one a previous interview. If it wasnt for Memphis, those guys records wouldnt have did nothin. DJs would take [Where They At?] and mix it with our style of beats. Everybody started talking about the song because Memphis was vibin with it. Thats what it takes to make a song pick up down here. We was already doin that type of music here. The song, "Trigga Man" started in 1985, a DJ in Memphis named Spanish Fly brung it back. He used to play "Trigga Man" in the clubs in87.
While buck music took root in hole-in-the-wall Hip-Hop clubs throughout the South, the dance that mimicked the exaggerated stroll of dope boys and gangstas on the rise started poppin up everywhere. While imitation may be the highest form of flattery, originators of the style dont take kindly to the publics perception that their g-walk was created by a brother sportin finger waves and balloon pants from Oakland, California.
Just ask fellow Memphis rap legends Skinny Pimp and Al Kapone. "Nope, MC Hammer didn't start the gangsta walk. It was being done in Memphis before he even started doing it," says Kapone.
A lot of us Memphis rappers used to have a dance we called the gangsta walk, Skinny Pimp further elaborates. We would do that dance off of Scarfaces music. M.C. Hammer tried to steal our little gangsta walk dance. Some people didnt like it, but then you had some who were just glad that somebody put Memphis on the national Hip-Hop map back then.
To be fair, the gangsta walk is not a dance in the traditional sense because real gangsters dont dance. They do, however, boogie or Crip walk on the Westside and roc-away in the tri-sate. Gangsta walking is best described as what rambunctious roughnecks in the Dirty do when their song comes on in the club.
They dont dance no more. All they do is this.
With the release of Gangsta Walk, David Banner is trying to get partygoers to do it like they did it back in the day and give M-town its proper respect in the South.
While his assembly of 8-Ball&MJG and Three 6 Mafia may not raise an eyebrow with rap fans on the East and West coasts, Midwesterners and folks below the Mason Dixon recognize its monumental implications. Considering the less-than-cozy
relationship that has existed between the citys most successful rap camps, Gangsta Walk has left many wondering how the track came about.
Reminiscent of an Ole Miss running back whos just scored a touchdown, David Banner points to the heavens when it comes to orchestrating the collaboration.
Thats been the question people have asked me the most, says an obviously proud Banner. How did I get 8-Ball&MJG and Three 6 Mafia to do a track together? Let me tell you something man. My whole life is God. David Banner aint supposed to be [in this position]. I aint supposed to be here with no hook ups or without somebody putting money behind me. Everything I do is by the grace of God. Both groups was happy to do it. People was trying to say that I tricked them [into recording together], but I dont play them games. Im thirty years old. I dont talk or do things behind peoples back. I was straight up. Matter fact, Paul told me before it came out, if you can pull this off its history.
According to Banner, fans can expect more of the same when Certified is released this July.
I really been working on my lyrics and thinking about concepts, says the producer. The concept of 8-Ball&MJG and Three 6 Mafia [together] is big before you even hear the track. What about a track with David Banner rapping fast with Twista? Thats the type of [material] Im working on now big concepts. I realized that God has blessed me to know so many people. In the past, Ive only used that to the advantage of others. Now Im taking my time and putting that to work for me.