• Captain Cunningham

Your Life is NOT My Priority

How David Banner showed me about making your life your priority.

I will never forget the feeling I had on a conference call one day in 2000 when I worked for Tommy Boy Records and my boss the Sr. Vice President of Promotions said that we were changing our focus. He said that the group known as the Crooked Lettaz were no longer a PRIORITY for us. I was in shock! Never being afraid to rock the boat, I did the unthinkable and objected to my bosses new order. I told him we should give the group more time…I told him how amazing the lead guy was. His name was David Banner. This guy would get on stage and during the course of one of their songs called Firewater, he would actually blow real FIRE as if he was performing in a circus! It was a sight to see! My boss silenced me almost as soon as I had begun and ended the phone call with an even more heated tone! THE CROOKED LETTAZ…ARE NO LONGER A PRIORITY FOR US!

I’m not sure how David Banner got the news delivered to him or maybe he just simply saw the signs. He called me repeatedly on my cell; I would not answer. He caught me one day on my home office line and addressed me sounding as desperate as John Q, saying “You are taking food away from my families mouths!” I was silent, I could say nothing and he hung up that day not knowing that I was not the reason.

The label and it’s hope for the future left with acts like David. Adding insult to injury for me I had heard that David was spending alot of time in Atlanta. We would loose touch and I would hear of him sleeping on peoples couches recording anywhere and everywhere like a rapping Gypsy. Years would pass and something special would happen. You see…DAVID BANNER KNEW THE SECRET ALL ALONG; IN LIFE, YOU MUST ALWAYS MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE YOUR OWN PRIORITY. When we all forgot about him, when I felt pity and shame, David Banner was somewhere FEELING HIS OWN STRENGTH, STAYING FOCUSED ON HIS OWN PRIORITY, WHICH WAS TO KEEP HIS FAMILY FED.

(The picture taken above was on a video set many years ago for the Shop Boyz featuring David Banner)

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© 2019 by Atlanta Film Partners