David Banner Says He Has No Choice But To Heal The Hood

'[If] I don't get out there and be vocal, I'm really a detriment,' rapper says.

As a native of Mississippi, David Banner has not only been vocal in supporting the victims of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath — he’s been taking action.

The rapper performed on Saturday’s “ReAct Now: Music & Relief” special (see “Reznor, Kanye, Green Day Reflect On Disaster, Inspire Relief For MTV Special” ) and now he’s organizing his own benefit, the Heal the Hood Hurricane Relief Concert (see “T.I., David Banner Get Behind Kanye’s Bush Comments” ).

Scheduled for Saturday at Philips Arena in Atlanta, the concert will be hosted by Lil Jon and feature performances by Banner, Nelly, T.I., 8Ball and MJG, Kinfolk (Ali from the St. Lunatics and Big Gipp from Goodie Mobb), Boyz N Da Hood, Chopper from “Making the Band,” 112, Lyfe, D4L and more.

“I’m from Mississippi … people in Atlanta, in Houston, Lafayette Louisiana, we have no choice, we live in these places, we couldn’t walk away from it if we wanted to,” Banner said backstage at “ReAct Now.” “We can’t turn off the TV and it goes away. It’s our responsibility.”

Banner’s concert will benefit his Heal the Hood Foundation, which provides aid to the nation’s poorest neighborhoods. In this case, money from ticket sales and donations (food and clothing will be collected) will go to New Orleans, southern Alabama and Mississippi, as well as those who have evacuated to Atlanta, St. Louis, Arkansas and Texas. One thousand seats will also be reserved for victims of Katrina.

After watching all of the aftermath unfold, Banner said it was hard to perform at “ReAct Now” (he did “Cadillac on 22s” with an acoustic band), but he felt he had to.

“It’s a blessing for me to do what I do, and I think God was telling me the more famous I am, the more I can do for the cause.” Banner said. “If I lie there and mope and I don’t get out there and be vocal, I’m really a detriment. My people need to see me, and in a lot of ways, I’m their motivation.”