David Banner is one of the most thought-provoking hip-hop artists making music today. The Jackson, Mississippi rapper, actor and producer has pushed the discourse on the state of hip-hop (and Blacks in America) more than many of his peers. But what makes him so compelling is that he embodies the complexity of the music he defends. He embraces and acknowledges the vices while still striving to be better.

David Banner Inducted Into Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame

On May 22nd he is releasing his sixth solo album Sex, Drugs and Video Games [click here to donate], a project filled with the various moods and melodies that his fans have grown to love, but stops to ask the question of why this is what moves them.

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“People criticize our people for being the way they are but what other stimuli have you given us?”  he asks in his interview with “You have 80 channels on your TV but what do you see Black people doing? Either robbing, selling dope, shooting a basketball or preaching. They don’t have us doing nothing else for the most part. If life is a video game, who has the controller?”

Well, at one point Banner wasn’t merely the controller, he was IN the game. A rather violent one at that, Def Jam Fight For NY.  Hip-Hop’s own Incredible Hulk stomped mud holes in your favorite rappers in high definition.  But Banner doesn’t think that detracts from his mission at all.

“I’m one of the most violent rappers out…and I love titties!” he says. “I still love those things but where is the balance? That is part of our culture but that is not the total of who we are.”

Watch our clip for his full thoughts on manhood, music and managing mayhem.


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