David Banners album covers have always showed the pained disposition of a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders. AllHipHop.com wanted to see why exactly that is.
Theres a history of blood in Mississippis soil, its not surprising that its brightest star wouldnt settle for speaking without thinking. The inquisition and introspection of man who looks back at his non-conformist youth, still stands in his platinum Rap career. David Banner takes nothing lightly.
AllHipHop.com and the self-proclaimed Darth Vader discuss everything from race, to Live8, to Davids outlook on the world. Those who call David Banners attitude grim, just may have it twisted see for yourself.
AllHipHop.com: In every interview that Ive read with you, you come off so
serious, almost like a tortured soul. Is that a fair representation of
David Banner: I dont know, you tell me. I just answer the questions.
AllHipHop.com: Why do you think it comes off that way?
David Banner: Maybe because I am, I guess. Im a real morbid kind of person. It doesnt come off maybe it does. I see the world for what it really is, and I think I may dwell on it a little bit more than the average person does. And it was so heartbreaking to see that all the stuff that our parents taught us was really a misinterpretation of the world, or false interpretation, I should say, of the world. Its really a evil place. As much as we would like to play like it isnt, for the most part its succeed or die. Eat or get ate. And I wanna give the world whats really going on; not the matrix view, you know what Im saying? Not the view that this world has built for us to play
AllHipHop.com: A lot of people could say that its all in the eye of the beholder. Do you think that?
David Banner: Aww, thats bulls**t!
AllHipHop.com: Im saying, yeah, its a screwed up world, but
David Banner: As much as we play like You know most of the United States, and the people thats living in it, especially people of culture, people of color: they f**ked up! Those who are saying Look in the eyes of the beholder, are those who dont have to see it through our eyes. Its so funny: the first person to say, Aww, it aint that bad being Black, is people who aint Black. Slavery wasnt that
bad. What? How you know, were your parents slaves? No. Okay, shut up!
AllHipHop.com: The same way that the media screws up how Americans see the outside world, to a lot of Black people that dont grow up here, they really look at African-Americans like, Why are yall complaining? Yall have it better than all the rest of us.
David Banner: But at the same token, there was a price that was paid. And
regardless of what people think about it, a large part of America was built off the back of free labor. So if you look at this world as a
whole: they owe us something! Or we deserve to take something, or we deserve to be pissed off, or we deserve something! Nobody works for free! Everybody deserves to get paid.
AllHipHop.com: Thats a really heavy burden for you to be carrying on your back by yourself. I guess thats the impression that comes off through all of these interviews, like youre carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders
David Banner: Nah, I mean, but you gotta understand: God doesnt give these
thoughts to people who cant handle em. Why do I think this way? I
aint ask for this. It aint like I wanna be upset. It would be cool
to be oblivious like some other people are. But Im not. And Im
thankful for the blessing. And Imma take on the task, whatever task God give me, Imma take it.
AllHipHop.com: It almost feels like that oblivion is bolstered by the media. Not
just the condition of Black people here in America, but Black people
everywhere. Its almost like it gets treated like a dirty secret, like
everyone knows its going on, but no ones talking about it.
David Banner: And the reason why its not is because people make money off us being dumb and ignorant and not knowing. As long as we continue to stay high, continue buying Americas products and supporting their jail cells, where we can work for $0.20 an hour, you know what Im saying? Its always gonna be cool.
AllHipHop.com: Did you always have this mind set, or is it a result of things that you became aware of through growing up, and through education and all that?
David Banner: I always been on something different. I was a strange child, my
mother always said that. I always thought of stuff different than other kids, I always asked other questions. Ive always been an inquisitive type of person.
AllHipHop.com: Did you get in trouble for that when you were a kid?
David Banner: Nah, I was in trouble anyway. I was in trouble, for one, to be
different. I always been different. It was crazy: I went back and looked at my fifth grade photos, like when we took our class picture. Everybody else is just regular kids and I took my picture with a cut off glove holding my hand up to show off my cut off glove. And everybody else is just regular kids and I had to do something different.
AllHipHop.com: Beyond your very obvious talent in music, do you think that your mindset is part of something bigger for you?
David Banner: I sure hope so, cause Rap dont pay enough money for me. Theres other things I wanna do thats so much bigger than this and I just aint doing it.
AllHipHop.com: So when and how are you gonna start?
David Banner: Imma start with the movies. Imma start with investing my money And I dont know, just keep living and hopefully God gonna reveal other money-making ventures to me.
AllHipHop.com: So is it about the money or is it about getting the message out there and enlightening the people?
David Banner: Aww man, its about the money. And while you have the opportunity to say positive things and do positive things, you do. But yeah, its about money. I mean, we grown! Im not a child. Im not doing this for fun. Im doing this to provide a way for me and my people to eat. And since I have peoples attention, I will do the best I can to do the best I can with it. But its a business first with me. And I wasnt successful until I realized that.
AllHipHop.com: What did you think about the Live 8 Concerts?
David Banner: Umm I dont know what you mean by that question. I dont
think about them. I mean, its something you wanna get out the
AllHipHop.com: Nah, Im just saying I could tell you what I thought,
personally and what a lot of people are saying. But when you heard about it and when it actually happened, did you have any reaction or thoughts about it?
David Banner: I mean, I didnt trip off of it. I didnt see nothing wrong with
it. Tell me what you thought about it?
AllHipHop.com: Some people felt like all that money that they took to make that happen in support of Africa, they could have sent all that money to Africa. They could have turned it into a fundraiser, the same way they did for the Tsunami victims; instead of spending all that money to raise awareness.
David Banner: My thing is Im the type of person, I dont trip off of what
people do. I think that we as grown people spend to much time
criticizing what other people do. If you feel that way, or somebody else feel that way, then you do it! I dont trip off other peoples ideas because theyre trying to do something positive. My thing is, what I do with the homeless I always notice that, we was talking about this today: how people sit back who aint never did nothing for the community and who aint gonna never do no community service and who dont never do nothing theyself or have programs themselves, sit up and criticize people who are doing. At least its something. And yeah, theres always something that people could have done, but they doing it. And most people [are] not doing s**t. And Im tired of people criticizing when they dont criticize Bush, they dont criticize things that really need to be criticized like the war and other things that need real criticism. All these laws thats being passed thats taking away our freedom as Americans; and how it takes 45 f**kin hours to get through a airport, and they going all through our s**t and taking away our right to privacy. Its other s**t we could be sitting up criticizing, talking about and worrying about. Live 8? If they wanna give four dollars from that concert, you cant criticize them because thats their prerogative, and that was the dream and the vision that was given to them. I dont care what nobody else does. God is gonna judge me
based on what I do. Its so funny seeing that in the stuff that I do,
and the community programs that I do: everybody always got something to say, but dont give it up, the fact that somebody is doing something. And we spend time criticizing them, lets talk about the people who aint doing s**t at all!
AllHipHop.com AllHipHop.com: At the same time, in some cases people get almost apathetic. I mean, we been criticizing the war, we been criticizing Bush, and he
still made it into the White House for another four years
David Banner: I dont get apathetic. The reason is because we have to look as a people. If you look at what happened to every race of people when
genocide is going on, when ghettos are being created, when gas chambers are being filled; these were planned situations. A lot of these situations had been planned for hundreds and hundreds of years. So its gonna take years for us to combat that, its not gonna be in our lifetime.
AllHipHop.com: So how do you get a fast-food generation to understand that?
David Banner: I mean, its about you doing what youre doing. We look at stuff
like the Rock the Vote campaign. Everybodys heart was broken
because what we were trying to get accomplished didnt get
accomplished. But this is the first f**kin year that young people got
off they ass and voted! You cant expect the first time you do
something to work! It takes time. Its just that we as a generation,
we dont plan.
AllHipHop.com: Considering all of the things that weve been talking about, and whats going on in the world right now
David Banner: Let me ask you a question real quick. You talk all this s**t about
me being morbid, but you asking morbid-ass questions!
AllHipHop.com: Because, after reading all of your other interviews, I cant be
the only person thats like, Im saying, are you a breast man or an ass man?
David Banner: Both.
AllHipHop.com: You really want those questions asked?
David Banner: Nah. No, Im just you asked why people always ask me these questions.
AllHipHop.com: So explain to me your Darth Vader complex?
David Banner: Because of the type industry that Im in and the way people do me a lot of time, I have a tendency to be mean and turn into something that Im not. So Im defending myself. Because as much as we like to think that this world is good, most people are out to get us. Most people dont have our best interest in mind. So Im watching Darth Vader [in Star Wars Episode III] and he really thought he was doing the right thing, initially. And everything that he did was because of something positive, whether it was for love, whether it was for loyalty. Everything that he did ended up being evil, but from something right.