David Banner: Nothing Will Change Until We Have the ‘Fortitude to Love Ourselves’



In a new interview, politically and socially outspoken rapper David Banner continued to say exactly what’s on his mind by challenging hip-hop culture. When it comes to politics, the MC believes many media outlets and rappers themselves are not doing enough to cover how the Black community has been affected by police brutality. He also gave his input on the Irving Plaza shooting at T.I.‘s free concert two weeks ago and the gatekeepers of the industry.

Speaking to The Boombox ahead of the summer release of his new album The God Box, 42-year-old Banner discussed the way hip-hop websites cover Black news.

“I’m so sick of hip-hop blog sites that don’t report on the man that just got hung in Ohio,” Banner told the website. “They don’t report on the cop being released in the Freddie Gray case. It’s like hip-hop blog sites and things that are supposed to be hip-hop — they’re getting worse than Fox News.”

He also challenged the way the media covered the New York City concert shooting involving rapper Troy Ave May 25.

“A lot of these times at these rap concerts — they aren’t violent like that anymore,” Banner says. “You get one incident out of 20 concerts and you want to make it the poster child for what happens at rap concerts. [T.I.] tours all over the fucking world and one thing happened — so what?”

He added that the way Black situations are handled differ from how white ones are dealt with.

“These white kids be shooting and fighting and at Ole Miss they burned down half the town! After a football game,” he said. “These white folks go crazy and we say nothing — Black folks don’t even criticize them. I know white media isn’t going to do it because they respect their culture and their kids and they’re going to protect them. That’s why white people don’t put white kids in the news — because they’re protecting their children.”

Because of this, the Chicago-born producer believes true hip-hop artists should take a stand for the Black community.

“We have bought into commercialism and we sell our kids because we sold our soul. What won’t you report? And most of these blog sites are owned by white people anyway. With Black f—— faces [out front.] How dare you say you’re hip-hop but add nothing to the f—— culture.”

Banner finished his commentary on media and African-Americans by discussing the white media making Black misfortune their entertainment.

“When our stars do something, for four or five days, [you see] it on TV,” the actor and activist says. “The descendants of Africans or Africans, in general — our pain is the world’s entertainment.”

The stereotypes spread by news organizations has led the star to lose a gig in Florida. Entertainment promoter Live Nation dropped several rap shows in New York, too.

“We almost have to have a million dollar insurance policy just to throw a rap concert in the first place,” Banner says. “They don’t want Black folks to do nothing but go to jail and work for them.”

He wants other hip-hop artists to be aware of white leaders who have power in the industry.

“Think about our people as a whole and what quantifies being a star in their eyes,” Banner says. “We have to usually get a record deal. We usually have to be in their movies. So in order for us to lead our people, we almost have to sell out. Because we don’t see any value in ourselves.”

Referring to his first album, he mentioned that he would have released the same collection of music “on the streets” if he did not get a record deal with Universal Music Group.

“What made that album dope in the eyes of my people was when New York put that stamp on it and sent it back to my people,” he said. “So that means white folks have to tell our people who their leaders are, and they’re not going to elect somebody that’s really gonna change s—. So it’s a conundrum. Until we have the internal fortitude to love and do for ourselves, s— ain’t gonna change.”

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