Southern Hip-Hop Artist/Producer/Activist David Banner has come a long way from when he started his music career from famous “twerkable” hits “Like A Pimp” to the more mature and grown-man content that is conveyed in his new song, “Marry Me”. Over the past 10+ years David Banner has experience growth not only in music, but personal. He has expanded his knowledge and awareness pertaining to the economic, political and social deprivement of the black community throughout the world.
Banner conveys the concerns and issues pertaining to black love and commitment in his track, “Marry Me”.
Banner decided to take the time out of his busy schedule to talk to xoNecole, formely Necole Bitchie, about his new track and the state of black love and marriage.
Interview from xoNecole.com:
I listened to your “Marry Me” track when it first dropped and I really loved it. I was just talking to somebody about how we don’t really have that kind of music that celebrates love and relationships like back in the day when we had The Isley Brothers, and when men and women were actually celebrating love and marriage. So how did the track come about, what made you want to do a song about marriage?
There were a couple things. One of the things that happened was 9th Wonder was actually producing, and the reason why I made the song because he asked me a question. He said that most of the rappers that really pushed the culture forward–and who are making a whole lot of money–are over the age of 35. But have you ever noticed they never talk about men’s subjects?
One of the reasons why I let my beard grow out is because I wanted young men to see a successful Black man grow one. I wanted them to see the wisdom. Another thing is that this song is for Black women, but it’s especially for dark-skinned black women.
You look at most of who so-called people of success cater to—nine times out of 10 it may not be a Black woman at all. And if it is, it’s definitely not ones that look like our great grandmothers. And I said man, if nobody in the world says that they love them and that they respect them and that they want them, it’ll be me.
And lastly, and the most important thing about this song, one of my friends told me, “David Banner, I know you want to save the world, I know you want to help Black people and the revolution and all of that, but in order for you to do any of those things, you have to mend the relationships with our families—with our women.” He told me until I build the family back together, none of this will work. He said in slavery, our families were ripped apart and we never healed them. We always blame it on Black on Black, but before we were ever so-called “set free,” we never mended our relationships with our family and with our women.
That’s actually a good point. I see a lot of people who are hurt and responding from places of pain, and we’re not really getting to the root of the problem. We’re so busy pointing fingers at the opposite sex. It’s not only about healing the family, but healing ourselves personally.
There’s no way that a man can raise a female child by himself and expect for her to be mentally functional. Just because a woman can raise a man that is successful in the United States doesn’t mean that you properly raised a man. This is my personal opinion. We cannot make a proper child–a proper relationship–without a union of God, woman, and man. And what’s sad about it is, they have degraded the role of a woman so much. We need balance, and that doesn’t mean that the man is more important than woman or the woman more important than man, but we need both roles to properly raise anything.
It is very important for me to say that I’ve done enough degrading of our women myself. So, in no way is this downgrading any other rappers or saying what any other black man should do, this is for me. I have some making up to do. I have forgotten myself. With “Play,” even though I really enjoyed it and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that [song] in its proper place, there is no balance.
For “Marry Me” to even be looked at as the type of song that it is shows the problem—the fact that it’s so special. “Marry Me” shouldn’t be special. There should be a million songs like that. And the fact that it is so special and that women are crying all over the world because of this record, shows that it’s a problem, and shows that there is no balance.
And honestly love, that is the reason why I made “Marry Me.” And it’s so funny, all of these people sit back and criticize men and rap music and all of this different stuff, now you have it, now you have the “Marry Me” song, now you have the strong black man who don’t take no shit singing the type of songs that you were talking about, but let’s see if we’re going to get that story. Let’s see if you’re going talk about that as bad as you talk about black men.
Are we going to go as hard for “Marry Me” the song as we do when we criticize black men and women in general? People always talk about what black men are not doing, but when we do it, it’s just like, we even had somebody to say is it even going to even matter? These are the types of things that we’re going to have to analyze.
You’ve talked on a variety of topics in your songs over the years, including love and relationships, but everyone likes to touch back to your song “Play.” Can you speak to the process of your rebranding and what initiated that?
First of all, and people laugh when I tell them this, “Play” was actually a very powerful song, I just didn’t articulate what I meant by it well enough. If you listen to “Play” it was a song where the man was telling the woman I want you to be happy. I want you to get yours, this is about you. What do you want me to do? Do you want me to touch you? This is strictly for you.
When [Mr.] Collipark gave me the concept of it, he was like Banner don’t scream because you’re so aggressive. He told me to say the stuff that women really want to hear. I have a song on my new album that’s called “Cleopatra Jones,” and it talks about a very conscious, smart woman who still loves to get her freak on, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I had so many women that said they love “Play” but they don’t listen to it [out]loud; it’s sort of like a guilty pleasure.
I think part of it is in the Black community anything very sexual gets a lot of backlash from people.
And these are the same folks that’ll be going to the bathroom at their jobs getting it on.
Right, and I think, when I heard “Play,” I wasn’t offended. I was younger so maybe that was part of it, but I’m looking at the lyrics now and you really don’t degrade a woman in terms of calling them out their name or anything; it’s really just more of a sexual song. Maybe if it was in the context of marriage it would’ve came off different, but even then…
That’s not what I wanted to say. That’s not the reality of where we live and what we’re doing right now. We have to research. One of the other things that happened to American society in the late 1800’s, they became enthralled with romance novels and we got into romanticism, and romanticism is not real. You’re not going to meet Fabio. He’s not going to be on top of the mountain and you’re not going to be on the mountain climbing and bump into Fabio. That shit is not realistic. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the reasons why we have so many divorces and have so many problems in relationships, it’s because we’re not real. We try to be romantic, and that’s not real life.
I’m not saying that your man shouldn’t be kind to you, that’s not saying that your woman should not do things for you, but most of the stuff that we want from people, you never got that in real life anyway. And if you did get it, you got from some motherfucker who barely had money, don’t work everyday or he a gigolo or that’s what he do for a living is to run women, most men or women don’t have time for that shit. And it doesn’t exist.
One of your tweets a few months ago was that “if you want a man that respects the way you think then show more mind than ass,” and a lot of people kind of went off about that. I find that, especially in this day and age, it’s just really hard to get certain messages across. Do you think that’s part of what’s prohibiting positive and loving relationships amongst Black men and women?
You can read the rest of this interview on xoNecole.com.
You can pick up the new single, “Marry Me” on Amazon by clicking on the link below.