Graduate student turned record producer/rapper Lavell Crump named himself David Banner after the alias of Marvel Comics hero the Incredible Hulk. Banner started his career in the rap duo Crooked Lettaz before going solo in 2000 with the release of Them Firewater Boyz, Vol. 1 mixtape, which included the hit single “Like a Pimp.” The success of the track led to a deal with Universal Records in 2003. In 2004, Banner produced T.I.’s hit single, "Rubberband Man" and the track "Get Like Me," featuring Chris Brown, reached No. 16 on the Hot 100, No. 7 on the R&B chart, and No. 2 on the rap chart. In November 2006, Banner was awarded a Visionary Award by the National Black Caucus of the State Legislature in recognition for his work during and after Hurricane Katrina.