When it comes to musicians giving their listeners food for thought, most of the time, the task itself can be a little overwhelming.

 Especially when all the listeners want to do is wash that food down with a few champagne glasses of Ace Of Spades, Rosé, or whatever the drink of choice is for that particular month.

Some artists become civil rights leaders as a publicity stunt hoping to boost their sales, while others are just natural born leaders.

One of the individuals that has been talking it while living it way before the fame is Mississippi’s own David Banner.

Born Lavell Crump, the graduate of Southern University has laced everyone from T.I. to Chris Brown with his talents, while also using his celebrity address race issues before Congress.

Now the man who is known as a producer, actor, and activist sets  his sights firmly on a new mission: To take control away the powers that be, and place it back into the hands of the artist; where it belongs.

On May 22nd, David Banner will be releasing a free album titled, Sex, Drugs, & Videogames. Although its going to be free, the Hip-Hop veteran is encouraging people to go to www.DavidBanner.com and donate a minimum of one dollar to the 2M1 Movement; with the end goal of ultimately two million people contributing. He’s done his part, so now the ball’s in your court.

 

 

 

iHipHop.com: You have you upcoming project, Sex, Drugs, & Videogames soon to be released… With that being said, I know there’s a bigger and deeper meaning behind the title… So can you break it down for the people?

David Banner: You know me well enough to know that there is [Laughing]… It’s really just about asking a question about why do we think the way that we think…

It’s just asking about what my core audience really wants from me… With sex, drugs, and violence, why do we crave it the way that we do? Not just in music, not just on reality TV shows, but in life; period…

With all the information that we do get, we really do control our own thought process… But all we ever hear is that we’re n!ggas… So I’m throwing the question out to why is that? If life is a videogame, then who has the controller? But all our people want to do is be like, “That’s the new game, that sh!t is dope!” [Laughing]

iHipHop.com: [Laughing]… Who did you work with on the project?

David Banner: Do you have your pen ready?

iHipHop.com: [Laughing] Always… I’m all set…

David Banner: Because it’s a LONG list that I’m about to hit you with. Okay, we have A$AP Rocky, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Nipsey Hussle, 2 Chainz, Big K.R.I.T., Bun B, Don Trip, Snoop Dogg, The Game, Maino, Ras Kass, Raheem DeVaughn, Doe Hicks, Luck & Savvy, J-Doe, Tank, and Kardinal Offishall

iHipHop.com: That’s a gang of people right there… Did you have any difficulty rounding them all up?

David Banner: Not really… It’s because all of those people are people either I’ve produced for, or people that I’m close friends with…

iHipHop.com: There’s also purpose behind the project, can you break that down as well?

David Banner: The thing that I’m trying to do is to get two million people to go to www.DavidBanner.com, and at least donate one dollar.

You can donate whatever you want to, but the minimum donation is a dollar… What I’m trying to do is show people that our music is still viable… This is a free album…

It’s free in a sense that you can get it… We all know that you can go online, and download it for free… Even though you can get it for free, I’m asking if you could at least donate a dollar…

That’s because we don’t respect anything that’s free… Our culture has been reduced to a download… How can we move forward, and call this “art” if we’re not paying for it?

 iHipHop: Do you feel like a lot of artists have become content with how the music business has been running thus far?

David Banner: I don’t want to speak for other artists; I just want to speak about me… I am… So hopefully with me doing what I’m doing; I can show them another way to do it…

Maybe artists don’t know another way… We’re just so happy to be famous, and we’re just so happy to be “on,” and that’s because we came from such an impoverished backgrounds…

Then you realize; “Yeah this is dope, but how much money am I making other people?” Think about how many artists that have saved labels, or actors that have saved film studios…

They may get a nice piece of change, but it’s nothing compared to what they made for other people… I know this one artist in particular that saved his label, and he’s hurting right now…

I mean; you can’t even give him a job at the label? There is no backup plan for the artist… For me, it’s about cutting out the middleman, and it’s about us doing something respectful…

So if we can at least get two million people on board, then the whole world is going to take notice… This isn’t about the money; it’s about us regaining our power…

iHipHop.com: So I take it, you don’t care too much about ruffling the feathers of those execs sitting in their corner offices?

David Banner: No, because that’s not my goal… Any song that I make is not directed at any person, and my movement is not directed at anyone in order to do anything negative… It’s not anything negative, and it’s not to take away anything from anybody…

It’s just to give us a balance of power, and by getting that balance of power, it will make you value things more… This is for my people, and my culture…

And when I say my culture; I mean whatever color you are… You’re a part of this culture, and a part of the music that changed our lives, so it’s about all of us…

iHipHop.com: Do you feel as if urban music and the culture has been de-valued over the years?

David Banner: I don’t know if people have been really thinking about it… But hopefully they will a lot more after this project drops… Especially with it being free… Studio time ain’t free… People always ask me, “Aye Banner, how come you ain’t signed nobody?” Then I have to ask them, “Where are the record stores?” Then I ask them, “When is the last time you bought an album?”

So if I sign someone, then how am I supposed to get my money back? Then they’re like; “Damn, I never thought about that.” There are no record stores, so how is the money coming back? In order for anybody to make money, they have to become famous… And how do people in America become famous?

iHipHop: By doing stupid things…

David Banner: [Laughing]… I just don’t think as an artist, we shouldn’t give away every aspect of our lives… It’s like us baring our souls in music isn’t enough…

iHipHop.com: I just wanted to get your take on the whole Treyvon Martin situation… How Newt Gingrich said President Obama’s comment on how if he had a son, he would look like him was a disgrace… How do you feel about that?

David Banner: That goes to show you what people really think of our children, and that he felt comfortable enough to say that… That’s exactly what I mean, that people feel comfortable now… Now people think that they can say anything about our culture that they want, and that there won’t be any repercussions…

We’re giving our culture away for free, the same way we’re giving our music away for free… We don’t have to market anything towards black people, because we’re going to give our constituency away for f*cking free…

What we have to do right now is to try and figure out what do we want as a culture… Before we move any further, what do we want? When is it enough? It shouldn’t take a child’s death for us to be concerned with these questions… This is someone’s child that they’re talking about…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Groc

    I remember when ihiphop used to be dope. ass, models, funnyshit, shitting on rappers. I mean damn you get to interview david banner and these the boring questions u ask?!?!?