Sept 27th 2017, Jackson Mississippi rapper David Banner calls up 106.7fm The Beat in Columbus Ohio and receives some disturbing news. He was told that a rumor circulating the city was that he would more than likely not show up to the lecture event Speak Your Truth Summit. Shortly after the interview Mr. Banner went right to Instagram to confirm that he indeed was coming to our city and that he was proud to come to our town. Within that one minute video, you saw integrity, compassion and a deep rooted southern pride to always keep your word no matter what it costs. All qualities of being a real man.
If you have grown with David Banner like I have since the hit song Like A Pimp ft Lil Flip or major production credit on T.I.’s monumental album Trap Muzik (2003), then you know that the 2017 David Banner is not the same one we know from 2003. Of course David Banner always told well rounded stories, such as Cadillacs on 22’s referencing the death of Emmett Till and other misfortunes in his home state, but after 2006, we started to see a change and conviction in his approach to music. Maybe it was those Katrina waters of 2005 that destroyed his beloved state that brought about the enlightenment. Go back in time and remember how pissed he was when the world witnessed with it’s own eyes that the President of the United States George W. Bush didn’t give a damn about the poor and disfranchised in Florida, Mississippi, Texas and of course the city hit the worst New Orleans. This was his family that was suffering and he was the only voice fit to sound the alarm in the time period to speak about his state of emergency. (pun intended)
The Great Malcolm X said in his autobiography…once the light is turned on inside you cannot turn it off. Well Mr. Banner’s light continues to shine brighter and brighter as he brings awareness to the plight of being Black In America especially in the southern states. When Straight Official caught up with Banner…I had a lot on my mind. I was extremely perplexed. I witnessed and reposted the murder of Patrick Harmon of Salt Lake City Utah on my Uptown Weekly Instagram page. Not to mention being close to the case of Timothy Davis in Columbus Ohio. In that particular situation, by all means, we are grateful that young man is still alive. However, with strain and intensity in my eyes, I told Mr. Banner…”Sir, there’s a lot of people that don’t know….but I know you know….Please shed some light on how long we have to endure these horrendous acts in front of our face as we standby appearing to be helpless.”
“Understand I come to piss people off and make them uncomfortable. Because pain brings about attention quickly. Listen, a warrant, smoking weed, running, none of that is justifiable in killing someone. I’m not just talking about black people. Whatever color they are, if they are not directly posing a threat to a police officer and they’re just running away, my friend there is no reason for anyone to get shot. See, white people have gotten black people to think like them, so when we see someone jammed up by the police, the first thing we think in the back of our mind is ..damn what that n***a do? Now unless that man (Harmon) was wanted for murder, then shooting him doesn’t make any sense. You see, we also have to stop echoing their bullshit media commentary, just like in the Kaepernick situation. They wanna say kneeling is a disrespect to our troops. Well, the last time I checked, America treats it’s troops like shit. So as I’ve said on many stages, the only way to get “the power’s” attention is either by the loss of money or the loss of life.”
I spoke with David Banner for about 15 more minutes, and then it was time for him to get whisked away to the stage for his lecture. As he stood before the crowd he commanded everyone to turn off their cell phones from going live at his show. His reasoning is that he feels African Americans already give away too much for free. “We have to start getting paid for our talents and gifts” he states. He also said in front a semi-light audience “If folks wanted the experience, they should have brought their ass to the show.”
He then passed out his CD #Godbox to the entire audience, and then had enough time to play snippets from two songs for the appreciative crowd. He proceeded to break down why conscious music may not sell the way mainstream music does. “One reason muh fuchas may not buy ya shit is cuz it ain’t jammin. Just because your music has a message in it doesn’t mean it should suck.” As he states that Godbox is one of the most important albums to hip hop in the history of it, only the keepers of this culture and art form can co-sign that prediction. And just as we saw of 4:44, #Godbox did not have the nightclubs in mind this go round, but instead another project to wake up the minds.
After the show, David Banner showed true southern hospitality and shook as many hands and took as many pictures as he could with those that had to wait patiently almost two hours for the rapper/producer to take the stage. And he also gave many kudos to the organizer of the event Ms. Tomiqua Perry for her hard work and determination.
Lastly at David Banner’s request he wanted me to quote him saying “This is the first time I’m saying this to Black America on your article brother. Don’t be afraid, they are killing us anyway so continue to stand and speak out against injustice. They’ll kill you for obeying the law, (Philando Castile) so don’t be afraid. We have been so conditioned to be afraid of white people. I’ll say this for the first time too, most black people praise white people more than they’re own religion. They’ll cheat on their wife, kill another brother, lie, steal, do everything that bible told them not to do, but will not take a stand against wrong-doing white folks. Use that, don’t take that out, quote quote mutha fucha hahahaha. Because we have to address our conditioned mentality for change to happen as well.”
Thank you Mr. Banner for coming to our city and opening up the minds to Speak Their Truth. And be sure to pick up #GodBox on all streaming outlets (iTunes Tidal, Spotify etc)