Noting the significance of being heralded by his native state, Banner said: “For so long we travel around the world as artists trying to find our place in the scheme of things. There is nothing like being recognized at home. Tonight I am honored and humbled to be in great musical company.”
Indeed, the Big Face Entertainment honcho is in elite company. Past inductees of MMHF include some iconic figures as B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Jimmy Buffett, and Elvis Presley.
Banner first made his mark in 1999 as one half of the duo Crooked Lettaz. His 2000 album, Them Firewater Boyz, Vol. 1, was dubbed one of the best rap discs of that year by XXL magazine. Along with releasing four more solo LPs, Banner has also delved into everything from acting (Black Snake Moan), to writing and producing a cartoon series (2007’s That Crook’d ‘Sipp), to providing the backdrop for Gatorade’s “Evolve” ad campaign. He also recently scored music for the animated Brad Pitt movie MegaMind and just last December, put out a collaborative album, Death of A Pop Star, with 9th Wonder. —Henry Adaso