David Banner Q&A (Pg 2)

It goes beyond the artist. Anybody behind a desk can find somebody to rap and throw Autotune on their voice and say the hottest shit that people are saying in the club. People talk about record sales being down. But why should they spend $12 on your album when you are doing bullshit? I’ve never said this before, but I think it’s time for me to say it. And some people will get mad at this. But we have to admit in America that there’s not many legal ways for a young black man to become powerful before the age of 25 besides selling drugs, basketball, football, and rap. In the sports arena what did they do to all the sports that were populated by black people? They required us to go to college while white kids who play tennis, baseball, hockey and golf can go straight to the pro game.

Those are strong words…

Well, am I wrong? Think about it. There is no more money in rap because we allowed it to be downgraded to a download. So it’s virtually impossible to be successful as a young black man except for sports and slanging crack. This is our fault. We have the power to make our music important again. But because we want to be cool and famous and not smart and rich this is going to be the result of it if we don’t change it. It’s not dead yet…But this will be the death of a pop star if we allow it to be that way.

You've always run the show when it came to producing and coming up with the concepts for your albums. How hard was it giving up some of the control to 9th Wonder during the making of Death Of A Pop Star?

It was hard initially, but what I realized is in order to be a great leader you have to be a great follower. A lot of people are saying David Banner is better lyricist on this album because of 9th’s beats. But it’s not really that. The thing is 9th takes away the pressure of me having to do everything. I don’t have to produce, be the bodyguard and carry all the guns [laughs]. I can totally concentrate on my rhymes. I never had that freedom before. I was doing all the beats back when I with Crooked Lettaz. It’s great to have somebody who has a Grammy award and somebody else who has gone through the pressures I go through, comes from a smaller market and knows the pressures of being from a southern place like Mississippi. And more importantly, somebody that believes in power for young black people in general. I actually trust dude.

It seems like 9th Wonder has mellowed you out, huh?

[Laughs] I don’t want people to think that I’m switching up and I’m going to do just this type of music for the rest of my career. This is just an album. I hate the way people try to put artists in boxes. I’m not just a conscious rapper or a gangsta rapper or a southern rapper or a philanthropist or a revolutionary…I am everything. And I can still do “Like A Pimp.” If we are truly supposed to be artists, the art is supposed to be seven days of your life. You aren’t killing niggas seven days of your life; you aren’t trapping in the ‘hood seven days of your life. You go to church on Sunday, right?  So you should have one song about God. The old David Banner is not gone. But we have to show different sides in our art. Remember back in the days when everybody had African-American medallions on? That wasn’t a total representation of what was going on in the ‘hood. So we needed an NWA. But the difference between back then is you had NWA and A Tribe Called Quest.

So what does it say if an album like Death Of A Pop Star does not perform commercially?

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Dr. Dre Released From Hospital, Will Receive 24-Hour Home Care

Dr. Dre was released from L.A. Cedars Sinai Medical Center on Friday (Jan. 15), nearly two weeks after he suffered a reported brain aneurysm. Ice T confirmed the news tweeting, “Just FaceTimed with @drdre. He just made it home. Safe and looking good.”

The 55-year-old music mogul will remain under 24-hour care for the next few weeks as medical professionals continue to monitor his progress. Doctors are still unclear on what caused the aneurysm.

Dre’s hospital release comes days after new details were revealed in his divorce from estranged wife, Nicole Young. According to court documents publicized this week, Nicole accuses Dre, birth name Andre Young, of putting a gun to her head in 2000 and 2001. She also details other alleged abuse incidents in 1995 (before they were married) and in 2016, when he allegedly punched her in the face and kicked down her door.

The Grammy winner has denied Nicole’s abuse claims.

Nicole and Dre tied the knot in 1996. The pair share two adult children, Truice and Truly. Nicole filed for divorce last summer.

In addition to demanding that Dre cover her legal fees, Nicole wants the court to take the abuse allegations into account when “awarding support and fees.” Dre has already agreed to pay $500,000 of Nicole’s legal bills and $2 million in temporary spousal support.

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Cardi B Lands Leading Role In Comedy ‘Assisted Living’

Cardi B is making her way back to the big screen. The Bronx native officially landed her first leading role in the upcoming Paramount comedy, Assisted Living.

According to Variety, Cardi will play a small time crook struggling to find a hiding place after her latest heist fails. Her character, “Amber,” disguises herself as an elderly woman and hides out at her grandmother's nursing home. The film is described as a “raucous comedy” similar to Mrs. Doubtfire and Sister Act.

Paramount acquired the rights to Assisted Living in 2019. The film’s script was penned by This Is Us writer, Kay Oyegun.

Cardi, 28, made her film debut in the 2019 celeb-heavy stripper flick, Hustlers. The “WAP” rapper appears to have hinted at her Assisted Living role in a recent interview with Billboard where she dished on filming scenes for Fast & Furious 9.

“After ‘Hustlers’ I filmed a little bit for 'Fast & Furious' so I felt like ‘I’m ready for this,’ I knew what to expect,” she explained. “But the characters were a little different so I was like ‘Oh wow, I’m going to need more acting classes.’ I’m planning on doing a movie this year and I’m going to be the lead role so I’m like ‘I need to execute this flawlessly.’”

Besides film, Cardi was a judge on the Netflix completion show, Rhythm & Flow, and landed her own Facebook Watch series, Cardi Tries.

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Wendy Williams Reveals She Was Date Raped By ‘80s R&B Singer

Wendy Williams revealed that she was date raped by  ‘80s R&B singer, Sherrick, early in her radio career. The talk show host shared the story with reporters while promoting her Lifetime biopic Wendy Williams: The Movie on Tuesday (Jan. 12).

“He mesmerized me with his twinkling eyes,” she recalled. “He flipped the interview around to where he was interviewing me — I was just gaga over this man and he asked me to go to an album release party with him that night.

“Before the party, I was date raped by him,” said Williams.

Sherrick, born Lamotte Smith, was a member of the group Kagny, whose song is featured on The Last Dragon soundtrack. He signed to Warner Bros. Records in 1987 and scored a marginal hit with the single “Just Call” off his debut self-titled album. Sherrick struggled with sobriety but declared himself “drug-free” before dying of unknown causes in 1999.

Williams says that she was raped in Sherrick’s Washington D.C. hotel room and it, unfortunately, wasn’t her first time being sexually assaulted. The New Jersey native had been date raped in college. “Those types of things happen to girls all the time and they’ve been happening a lot, to a lot of our mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and their great-great-grandmothers too.”

From the sounds of it, Sherrick's widow doesn't exactly believe Williams' story. She not only questioned Williams' account but wondered why she waited so long to go public, and why she didn't call police at the time of the incident.

“As I will never minimize or dismiss the horrid actions of sexual assault, I am saddened that Ms. Williams feels the need to publicly make these allegations when the man she is accusing is no longer on this earth to defend himself,” Lynne Conner Smith said in a statement to Page Six.  “Our family does not know Ms. Williams and are not aware of any relationship or encounter they may have had.”

The sexual assault will be chronicled in the film, as well as other details from Williams' life -- like her rise to talk show fame, her battle with drug addiction, and marriage to ex-husband Kevin Hunter.

Wendy Williams: The Movie premieres on Lifetime on Jan. 30.

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