DavidBannerSuit20100510300x300 DavidBannerSuit20100510300x300

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?

From the Web

More on Vibe

Matt Winkelmeyer

Tone Loc Detained After Confronting Family Over Confederate Flag Hat

West Coast rapper Tone Loc was reportedly detained at the Midland International Air & Space Port in Texas on Sunday (Mar. 24). He was reportedly handcuffed by airport security after aggressively confronting the parents of a teenage boy who was wearing a Confederate flag hat, CBS7 reports.

The incident reportedly started when the 53-year-old– born Anthony Terrell Smith– confronted a teenager who was wearing the controversial hat at baggage claim.

"How are you going to wear that in front of a black man?" Loc asked the boy, according to witnesses.

The teenage boy's parents reportedly stepped in and reprimanded the rapper for talking to their son in such an aggressive tone. The rapper apologized but continued to state that the boy should not be wearing the hat.

The argument didn't stop there though. The family and Loc continued the heated altercation outside. In a video obtained by an NBC affiliate, the "Wild Thing" artist could be heard shouting: "F**k all that Confederate sh*t."

Authorities were later called to the scene where they separated both parties and detained Loc. Once the situation de-escalated, the handcuffs were removed, and Loc was permitted to leave. No criminal charges were filed.

Watch a clip of the incident below.


Continue Reading
Nuccio DiNuzzo

Chicago Mayor Calls Jussie Smollett Charges Drop "A Whitewash of Justice"

If you've been keeping up with the twists and turns in the Jussie Smollett case, then you may have thrown your hands in the air Tuesday morning (March 26) when prosecutors announced all charges against the 36-year-old actor were dropped.

The shock reverberated online and through the Chicago Police Department who accused the former Empire actor of staging the crime. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson were prompted to offer their reaction to the outcome.

"This is without a doubt a whitewash of justice," Emanuel said at a news conference. "There is no accountability. It is wrong, full stop."

Johnson, who was reportedly furious over the outcome, learned about the prosecution's decision while attending a police academy graduation with the mayor.

"I'm sure we all know what happened this morning," Johnson said.  "Do I think justice was served? No. What do I think justice is? I think this city is owed an apology."

Johnson stands by his belief that Smollett made up the whole thing and also suggested a deal was made to keep Smollett out of prison.

"At the end of the day, it's Mr. Smollett who committed this hoax, period," Johnson said. "I heard that they wanted their day in court ... so America could know the truth, and they chose to hide behind a secrecy of a brokered deal to circumvent the judicial system."

The mayor was beside himself after the news, insisting he learned about Smollett's outcome when everyone else did and questioned where are the actor's morals.

“A person using hate crime laws that are on the books to protect people who are minorities, and you turn around and use them to advance your career?" Emmanuel said. "Is there no decency in this man?"

Continue Reading
Getty Images/Brad Barket

T.I. Honored By Georgia State Senate For Philanthropic Work

T.I. was recognized by the Georgia Senate for the good deeds the Atlanta-based rapper has done throughout the years, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports.

The “Mediocre” artist was honored at the Georgia State Capitol on Friday (March 22) for the positive influence he’s had on the community. The ceremony was led by State Sen. Donzella James (D-Georgia), who praised Tip for his stellar non-profit, Harris Community Works, which offers help to the disadvantaged and marginalized, and For The Love Of Our Fathers, which caters to those living with Alzheimer's and Dementia.

Previously, the 38-year-old has been involved in various initiatives that empowered the greater ATL area, like collaborating with Walmart to give away 300 tickets so that people could see Black Panther on its premiere date last year.

He’s also establishing a project designed to help create affordable housing for those being affected by the city’s rapid gentrification. In partnership with Dynasty Real Estate Development and APD-Urban Planning and management, the company flips buildings to create cheaper housing in areas where rent has significantly increased.

Additionally, he’s contributed to the arts in curating a trap museum in Atlanta in commemoration to the now ubiquitous hip hop sub-genre.

Continue Reading

Top Stories