Allhiphop.com recently sat down with two of the most talented producers in music, David Banner and 9th Wonder. The two are currently gearing up to release their collab album Death of A Pop Star, but still had time to give one of the best interviews of the new year. The rapper/producers discuss fakeness in the industry, young artists in the game, parental wisdom, and more. Check it out, it’s a must read.
Don’t ask David Banner or 9th Wonder how they got together. Also, don’t comment about how unlikely their union Death of a Pop Star is. That’s basic. They know the notion appears odd, but its not so far from the reality with most successful and acclaimed groups. “What group isn’t like that?” Banner asks inquisitively, yet aggressively. “You tell me what perfect match isn’t like that? You look at Guru and Primo (DJ Premier), look at Andre and Big Boi.” Like other greats in Hip-Hop, Banner and 9th are about change through art and commitment as men of conviction. AllHipHop.com discoursed with the duo about every thing from their new album to teaching the kids and the evils of the business of music.
AllHipHop.com: Definitely, definitely… Ok alright man so lets skip all the ice-breaker questions then and lets go all into it. So ok you just said, “Most of the people in the industry are fake”. Lets take it from there. Both of you guys have had kind of a roller coaster in this industry as far as your careers. How do you guys deal with the aspect of the industry that’s been rapped about, from day one really… “Fake people”, “the industry is shady”. How do you guys deal with that? Because as far as I know you guys are good dudes and straight up dudes. But obviously the industry isn’t set up in that manner.
David Banner: Let me be clear on something, and then I will let 9th Wonder answer this question. When I say the industry, I mean the business aspect of it, period. It’s not just the music. That’s the business aspect of it, period. That’s American policy in general. See they try to pick out something to separate again, Black people. It don’t have nothing to do with Black people it has to do with American business and everyone is cutthroat. Not just the music industry, where its oil and guns, whether its toys, its American business because they have focused on greed so much, its just shady. Ok go ahead 9th. 9th Wonder: You know what’s crazy man? Just last night I was doing a UStream and I was on there working on beats and some of the kids that were on there were like, “Why you work with Banner? Why you rock with Banner? Like this that and third. Why you ain’t’ rock with this or that dude.” I said man, A lot of people, a lot of rappers, that because of the sounds I got, would pair me with this dude or that dude, the majority from up top, like New York or whatever, the conscious rappers. But, I’m like that’s funny, because most of them dudes wont mess with me. They wont give the time of day, as opposed to a Buckshot, that’s my man.
9th Wonder: But I do a record with Banner, its an album across the country, we on BET, 106 & Park, doing what we do best, that’s making soul music, he’s the only dude that will mess with me on a major label tip, that will do an album with me on that shit. Your favorite rapper won’t, so shut the f**k up with that shit. It got me mad! I’m like look man, like leave this dude alone! He ain’t gonna talk about it like that, and he got me in places that your favorite rapper don’t.
“My daddy told me before he died. ‘He said Billy, I would rather you be a hundred dollar man, than a billion dollar b***h with an invisible skirt on.’”
David Banner: Yeah, on something that 9th said. I know that there are people that are scared to admit that this is one of the best albums in rap, period. Not just this year. And just to show you how phony the industry is….. You can’t find a weak verse or weak beat on this album nowhere, period. So if we talk about substance in music period, why in the hell are people scared to give us what we deserve? There is no music, there is no album that’s like me and 9th Wonder, period. So I can’t even understand why people want us to do better music, when why don’t we reward it?
It’s not ever going to come in the shell that you want it to come in. And the truth is, at the end of the day, I get money! So why in the f**k at the end of the day wouldn’t someone want 9th Wonder to get money? At the end of the day, I want to see 9th Wonder get money! I want to see him feed his family. Underground is cool with me, but at the end of the day, we grown ass men! I wanna see my homie eat. Dude I get paper. I did “Get like me”, I produced for the Carter 3. I just did Gatorade. We did this as men, because this is something we thought our kids needed. All we can hear is, why you mess with 9th Wonder? Why you mess with David Banner? But people wont deny that it’s one of the most jamming albums, period. Lets talk about that, why we got to find little intricate reasons. I read a review, and the only thing people can say is, “I wish David Banner didn’t say, ‘Yeah!’ at the beginning of ‘Stutter’.” (laughs)
AllHipHop.com: You’re right about that.
David Banner: One thing that a girl said about Death of a Pop Star, that I liked. We had a mission statement about what Death of a Pop Star was going to be about. We didn’t stray away from that.
AllHipHop.com: What was the mission statement?
David Banner: It was soul. It was just making music from the soul. People really thought Death of a Pop Star was going to be all about knowledge rap and “Fight the Power”, but it wasn’t that. It was just grown men being grown men. We had songs for the radio, songs for the club, songs for the revolution. Songs for everyday. It was everyday. It was just the truth dog. Because if you have 7 days of the week, you ain’t pimpin’ every day of the week. You going to church on Sunday, at least I hope you are. But where’s that one song about church? You ain’t partying 24 hours/7days a week. That’s a mutha f**kin’ lie. You ain’t killing 7 days a week, you ain’t selling dope 7 days a week. You ain’t a preacher 7 days a week. You know what I’m saying? Where is the balance? That’s what Death of a Pop Star was about. Its about soul music, and balance, and spittin’ on these mutha f**ka’s.
“All you think about is getting together to make this project. We just went into it making dope music. So that’s why at first we were like lets give it away free.”
– 9th Wonder
AllHipHop.com: Yeah, for sure, David you eluded to it, but who killed, “The Pop Star”?
David Banner: “The Pop Star” isn’t dead yet, like that’s what the misinterpretation about it [the project] is. “The Pop Star” isn’t dead, but it definitely got a foot in the f*****g grave. I think the corporate structure showed the knife, and then we killed it our self. They showed us the money and then Black folks started doing whatever to get the money. Really to a certain degree you can’t blame them, but you have to be a man that tells them to stop. My daddy told me before he died. “He said Billy, I would rather you be a hundred dollar man, than a billion dollar b***h with an invisible skirt on.”
AllHipHop.com: Wow, wow….
David Banner: We have to tell our kids, and half of it has to do with it, because there being no men in the homes. The things I respect the most about 9th Wonder, ten times more than I respect his beats is that, if 9th Wonder gotta pick between doing a show and picking up his daughters for school, guess what he gonna pick?
AllHipHop.com: His daughters.
David Banner: 9th Wonder said “ I have never missed church on New Years Eve.” I said, “well you wont miss it on account of Death of a Pop Star” either. That’s a man dude, and at the end of the day we have to show these kids how to be men. I don’t think its anything wrong with the kids’ music, because they are f**king’ children. Its our fault who are 25 and above. It’s our fault. It is the men who are 25 and above, its our fault. We can’t expect some 18-year-old boy to tell men what to do. Hes still a f**king boy!