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David Banner Q&A (Pg 3)

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

Here’s the thing. I don’t want to hear no bullshit about how there’s not any good music out. That’s not the problem. The problem is people just talk about good music and buy bullshit. I’m going to put this Death Of A Pop Star album out with my money. This is not a huge label funding this…every single video you see I paid for it. When you download without paying for my music, you ain’t stealing from Universal or any other label. You are stealing from me. So I don’t want to hear all these bloggers saying southern rappers are bullshit or that the big artists are not putting out music for the community. I don’t won’t to hear that shit. If you are not going to buy this, I’m back to doing what I do.

But you have been able to enjoy commercial success on your own terms both as an artist and a producer. What was the career impact of producing T.I.’s “Rubber Band Man,” which was your first across-the-board national hit? 

When T.I. allowed me to tag my name on the “Rubber Man Band” that allowed me to brand myself. It allowed other producers to brand their music the same way. It was a huge look.

What are your thoughts on T.I.’s impending incarceration?

My biggest concern is not really so much about Tip. It’s about what his kids are going through. The one thing I know about Tip is that he is strong. When I first met him he was the shortest dude in the room [laughs]. But he was the toughest dude. He has always been grown. I just want his kids to be alright because no one ever talks about that aspect. That’s where my heart is.

What do you make of your recent success as a television commercial composer with your omnipresent Gatorade Evolve campaign? 

A writer asked me, ‘How does it feel with all the revolutionary stuff you put out in your music that a Gatorade commercial will be the most revolutionary thing you will be remembered for?’ I just told him it doesn’t matter how God works. I am a better businessman and a better person from my career in commercials. I’m doing movie trailers; I have a production company that scores movies. I just finished doing the lead dance sequence for the upcoming Footloose remake. My partner and I are about to start a TV mini-series for black men. I have a lifestyle situation that’s designed to help black men grow. Advertisement Weekly said that David Banner is one of the new faces that’s changes the face of advertising.

Hearing that, does that make you proud?

Well, I don’t feel any way until the check is cut [laughs]. I’m not emotional, homie. All that emotional shit died with Crooked Lettaz. Until I start seeing community centers for kids going up and movies coming out that has a Banner Vision under it, I won’t be getting emotional.

You have become just as known for your political activism as you have for your music. With the national midterm elections set to kick off, what is your take on the rising influence of the controversial Tea Party?

Well, the thing that I like about America now, which has changed from when George W. Bush was President, is America now is very honest about how it feels about its people, whether it’s poor whites, blacks or Latinos. You see what Arizona is doing? You see what the Tea Party is doing? If nothing else, I would rather people be honest with me. I hate people smiling in my face and then when I’m 70-years-old my pension plan is gone.

So you are not alarmed by Sharon Angle coming out with an overtly racist commercial targeting Mexicans or Christine O’Donnell laughably assuring voters that she is not a witch?

This is all that matters: If we don’t get off our asses and vote we get what we deserve. As least we as young people know what we are dealing with. And that’s all I can ask from anybody. People can even say that some of my views can be looked at from the opposite spectrum of the Tea Party. But that’s not going to stop me from speaking. Everything that’s happening now just shows us how important it is to vote as young people.

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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Is Expected To Make $64 Million Opening Weekend

Thanks to Us, Jordan Peele has another blockbuster on his hands. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the highly-anticipated horror flick starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex, is expected to have a $64 million opening weekend at the domestic box office.

Peele’s sophomore horror film earned an impressive $7.4 million on Thursday (March 21) night previews, and is forecasted to take in about $27 million from Friday sales. The film is also on pace to knock Captain Marvel out of the No. 1 spot at the box office.

Once final numbers are tallied, Us will likely snatch the third-best opening weekend record for an R-rated horror film behind It, which brought in a whopping $123.4 million, followed by Halloween’s $76.2 million opening weekend last year.

Aside from rave reviews and a genius promo run that included simultaneous screenings in major media markets, Us earned a 95 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film, set in the mid-1980s centers around a family of four who set off on a vacation that finds them confronting some familiar faces.

Peele recently spoke to VIBE about casting Duke (our April 2019 cover star) in the role of patriarch, Gabe Wilson. “I have to have somebody voice what the audience was saying,” he said. “In the case of Get Out, it’s Rod, like, ‘How have you not left yet?’ [In Us], Winston is largely that voice. There’s one moment where Lupita [Nyong’o] takes a step into the unknown, where black people [will think], ‘I don’t know.’ But to have Winston say, ‘Aaaand she left. Your mother just walked out of the car.’ That’s all we need.”

Duke also opened up about the intricacies of his character. “His function isn’t to see through the veil. His function is to tell the absolute truth how he sees it,” explained the 32-year-old actor. “He’s sometimes there to say the things that other people don’t want to say, but he’s also there to make fun of things to keep it from not getting too heavy, even though it’s real. That was my job. [Peele] respected that. I like to lean into functions. If I’m going to be your antagonist, I’m gonna really push you. If I’m gonna be your clown, funny guy, I’m gonna do that.”

Click here to read VIBE’s April 2019 cover story.

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Cardi B Explains Why She Wants To Trademark “Okurrr”

Cardi B hopes to secure as many “bags” as possible. In response to backlash and burning questions surrounding her decision to file to trademark “okurrr,” the 26-year-old rapper took to social media Friday (March 22) to defend her latest money move.

Since people tend to ask Bardi to use what has become her signature catch phrase, she figured that it was time to cash in. “You think I ain’t gonna’ profit off this sh*t? B*tch white folks do it all the motherf**king time,” she said. “So you gon’ be mad at me ‘cuz I want to get some motherf**king money?

“While I’m still hear I’ma secure all the fucking bags,” Cardi continued before adding that there are a “lot of ways to get rich” in 2019.

The Bronx native caught heat for wanting to trademark the word because she wasn’t the first to say “okurrr.” Cardi already revealed that she started using it after she heard Khloe Kardashian saying it, but the word was originally popularized in drag culture -- most notably by Rupaul’s Drage Race contestant Laganja Estranja, in 2014.

However, Rupaul attributed the word to Broadway actress, Laura Bell Bundy, who used it in YouTube skits dating back to 2010. In the skits, Bundy pretends to be a hairdresser named “Shocantelle Brown.”

Although Bundy caught criticism for her little character, which was deemed racist, she typically gets credit for bringing “okrrr” (different spelling) to the internet a full decade before Cardi made it mainstream.

No matter the origin, it looks like Cardi will be the only one profiting off of “okurrr.”


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#CardiB on why she decided to trademark “Okurr”

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Kanye West, EMI Working Towards Private Settlement

Kanye West and EMI could be close to settling their legal drama. Each party filed documents requesting a stay of the case to “explore the potential for a resolution,” The Blast reports.

West sued EMI in an effort to “gain freedom” from his contract, and to own his publishing. In the lawsuit, ‘Ye argued that his contract ended in 2010 under California law, which bars entertainers from being tethered to an agreement for more than seven years. The multi-Grammy winner, who signed the deal back in 2003, also accused the company of slavery because the contract doesn’t allow him to retire.

“Even if the contract were not lopsided in EMI’s favor (it is), even if its terms valued Mr. West’s artistic contributions in line with the spectacular success he has achieved for EMI (they do not), and even if EMI had not underpaid Mr. West what it owes him (EMI has), he would be entitled to be set free from its bonds,” the lawsuit reads.

EMI hit back with a countersuit filed in New York, instead of California. The suit pointed out that the 41-year-old rapper signed multiple contract extensions, in addition to accepting millions in advances.

According to The Blast, West and EMI now feel that putting a hold on the legal proceedings will be beneficial to both sides “and the Court by enabling the parties to engage in meaningful discussions in an attempt to resolve this action without having to incur the burden and expense of litigation and motion practice.”

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