Published Jan 23, 2011You likely aren't ready for David Banner and 9th Wonder's Death of a Popstar, but listening to Banner's Mississippi-baked drawl sans his beats isn't as disorienting as you'd think. Then again, how could it be? With 9th Wonder's sure hand on production, Banner expounds upon all the socio-political issues that have been on his mind. It's easy to pigeonhole Banner based on his more illustrious offerings like "Play" and "Rubberband Man," but that would be a disservice to the multifaceted, multitalented producer/rapper. Death of a Pop Star sees Banner drop introspective lyrics over soulful 9th Wonder beats. As a treatise on the demise of modern day music, it uses its lean 30 minutes to drop ten intriguing, disparate tracks, ranging from the Southern church-inspired "The Light" to the murky "Diamonds on My Pinky." "We have to look at urban music; it's a sign of Western civilization's greed. It's about how to sell something rather than how to make art. It ain't even a vibe no more," says Banner. "What happened to just making good music?"
What was your mindset in making this album?
And the end of the day, I've been rapping. What I think happens is, if a rapper doesn't rap like he's from the East coast ― real simple, slow, sort of leaning towards making people think that they're lyrical ― then people really don't listen to them. I think if you pick up any verse that I've written and read it, people will agree that I've always been this way. But since the record is with 9th Wonder and it's soulful ― if you listen to any of my albums, I've always [mixed it up]. There are radio songs, political songs, spiritual songs, etc. If anything, Death of a Popstar was more of a thought-out process, from the whole concept and what the vibe was going to be.
What was it like working with 9th Wonder?
There aren't that many differences between 9th and me; we're both from the South. Death of a Pop Star was one of the humblest things, for me. If you notice, we didn't even put our faces on the album. We never talked about "David Banner" or "9th Wonder"; we always said it was about us and Death of a Pop Star. It was more of a movement. As far as the process, it was a blessing, a spiritual thing for us to even take our egos out of it. (eOne)