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David Banner: Raw, Real, Rare…but Educated

While most artists are looking to have a long and illustrious career, many today are just known as “One Hit Wonders”. This is an artist who comes out with a song that everyone loves and enjoys, but right after disappear for various reasons; one being that they just can’t give the people what they want. Most of these artists seem to BE hip-hop artists. Unlike R&B artist who could actually sale a whole album singing about nothing because of their vocal abilities, rappers cannot always do the same. Rappers have to bring a raw, real, and rare effect to each song. They have to bring it to the scene in a way that no other has done, or it is down the hill with their career.

One artist who BE Magazine must give props to would have to BE Lavell Crump, BEtter known by stage name David Banner. David is currently working on the release of his newest album, on which he teamed up with Grammy award winning producer 9th Wonder. BE Magazine had the pleasure of interviewing Banner. In the interview BElow you will learn more about the album and also see why BE Magazine gives this man his respect when it comes to what he does.

BE Mag:
How did this album come about with you and 9th wonder?

Banner:
Actually, I wanted to change it up on the new album that I wanted to do. I was looking for producers like Nas, Mad Lib, and people like that when a friend of mine from college named Bobby who runs a Dj company with 9th, told me he knew 9th.  I then spoke to 9th on the phone and he told me to come out and see him. I jumped on the airplane and we’ve been homies every since. I actually didn’t get an opportunity to see any other producers because we hit it off so tough. It was really cool to meet someone who had accomplish some things like I had accomplished from the south; that had some similar views not just about music but manhood period. It was cool to have somebody who didn’t agree with everything I had to say but at least understood where I was coming from.

BE Mag:
The title of the Album is called “Death of a Pop star” correct?

Banner:
Yes

BE Mag:
How did the title come about?

Banner:
Well 9th and I were debating about the death of contemporary music and how if we don’t change things it will be impossible for it to be another Michael Jackson, Prince, Chris brown, or Usher. Me and 9th were talking and he said man that’s what we should call the album, Death of a Pop star

BE Mag:
So when is the release date?

David Banner:
Well, we’re almost close to a release date. I’m negotiating a couple of deals with some majors right now.

BE Mag:
What about the first single? Is it slow down?

Banner:
We put out like four songs off the album we had no denying, something’s wrong, and something strange.

BE Mag:
You said “something’s wrong”. I was listening to this song the other day and as someone who doesn’t really listen to rap that much, I really enjoyed it. It was something different about the track, from the beat to the lyrics. It was the last 30 seconds that really took my attention. You began to tell a story about how women were starting act like men and how men were starting to act like women. In the beginning you started off hostile towards them, then you came back in the next line like you were trying to understand or they were making you understand why (they are the way they are).  Where does this come from? Is it personal experiences or?

Banner:
Life. I have a tendency of just letting life talk to me. God reveals stuff in a lot of ways and sometimes we have a tendency to want to get mad, judge people, and go at people. I think it’s my responsibility especially with me getting older and becoming a wiser man. I feel we have to come to a point where men can come to the table and speak about things with a level of respect, and just let people know, that we want to know. I think with songs like that, people can hear my voice and see that I’m just trying to get the understanding about things.

BE Mag:
And you are going the right way about doing so. After hearing that song, I must admit, I did a little research on you. I ended up finding and watching a video of you from the Congressional Hearing on Hip Hop. At that moment, I then became a big fan of yours. Because unlike many rap artist you were able express yourself in a coherent way.

Banner:
Let me tell you something. I thank God so much for that. That is a skill, a blessing, and also something you have to watch for.  You know a lot of times in our community (coming from the streets) the only thing we know how to do is emotionally speak our mind and after that we know how to whoop your ass. There isn’t any ability to talk and that’s what people in the media know. And I studied Obama and that’s what I like about Obama more than any thing else. I like his ability to stay calm and his ability to articulate exactly what he thinks, and that’s what I want to be for hip-hop. I want to be the person to speak how the street feels without getting emotional about it.

BE Mag:
I read in an article that you were still in school going for your masters, is that correct?

Banner:
No, when I dropped out of school I was just a semester and thesis away from my master’s degree. People thought I was still in school. When I left school I was a semester and thesis away.

BE Mag: O Ok, Just to get back to the album, you said on one of your interviews one producer, one vision, one mixer, and one photographer. What is that all about?

Banner:
I wanted Death of a Pop star to be like how it was back in the day. Like Quincy Jones produced Michael Jackson. I just wanted one man’s vision and one person who is mixing it. People can actually say they could tell that 9th and I are actually friends. This isn’t just something that the label put together you can hear on the mix and on this project that people care about this project.

BE Mag: I know many artist go into the studio and be in there for 24 hours working on a project. How long does it take you and 9th to do a track?

Banner:
I don’t know, it’s different every time and I think the reason why its different is because we are cool. We got this joke that if we didn’t get alone so well, we probably would get a lot more accomplished. There has never been a session where 9th and I went in there and were just focused on just knocking a song out. Even if you go back and look at our videos in the studio we be in there joking, laughing, tripping, and arguing about basketball. You know it’s almost like recreation and at the end of the night we will go ahead and knockout a couple of songs together. That way you all won’t say we are wasting you all time. That’s something we said we weren’t going to do. There isn’t any pressure on us. Like when we get a deal for this album it’ll already be done. So nobody can put any pressure on us; we did it the way we wanted to do it. Cant nobody tell us topics to talk about because we talked about whatever the fuck we wanted to talk about; grown man music. It wasn’t no rush and the cool thing is, let me tell you and I haven’t told anyone else this. You just made me think of this, so this is something in the interview that no one else has. This is the first time in my career where I can sit with the album as a fan. Like I’m a fan of 9th and I, outside of me being David Banner. So like I’m sitting up listening to the record for
a month and be like damn its something I could’ve done better. Most artist don’t have that opportunity to go back and change it. I’m even able to go back and change it now if I hear something, I can change it.

Check out David Banner & 9th Wonder “Slow Down” Video

BE Mag:
So other than this album what else can we be expecting from you?

Banner:
Well I just finished doing the Gatorade commercials. All the Gatorade commercials that you see during the finals, I produced the music for them. I am also working on my album that I’m producing. When I’m putting out Death of a Pop star, I am going to be able to be talking about my next album, because it’s (Death of a Pop star) almost done. You know how people usually say they have to wait a year or two, its not going to be like that this time. I’m going to be able to put out some good music and a really good time for folks and it feels good.

To hear more from David Banner check him out on his MySpace page (http://www.myspace.com/davidbanner) where you can see and hear the latest from the hip-hop Guru.

About the author

Jason Dinsmore has written 1330 articles for BE Entertained Magazine

J.Write is the Owner/Editor-In-Chief of BE Entertained Magazine. He's previously written for The Source, Dapper, DOWN, Break, & Full Blast Magazines. He's also contributed to a numBEr of blogs across the U.S.

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