Rapper/producer/social activist David Banner, always the vocal one when it comes to controversy surrounding political and social headlines fluttering the TV screens and newspapers, sat down with Vibe recently, and delved into the hot topic of the moment, Florida teen Trayvon Martin, who was killed by a neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman –claiming he pulled the trigger in self defense — despite the teen only having a bag of Skittles and Iced Tea on him. Earlier this week, 911 phone calls were released as the boy can be heard screaming for help, as sounds of gunshots rang loud and clear. With a nation’s outcry on this sadden occurrence, and protests which followed, David Banner weighs in on the senseless murder of Trayvon Martin, and also speaks out on his gripe with America in general…particularly how the usage of the word “nigger” within our communities has in some ways opened the doors for these type of discriminatory acts of crime to continue from authoritative folks in charge, the lack of respect African Americans get until this day, and his anger against that “self defense” ploy Zimmerman is attempting to get by with (below.) In other news, that mustache fellow, Geraldo Rivera opened his mouth about the case also, only to do so with the dumbest comment ever, stating that young African American teens should leave the hoodies at home, as this was the reason why the slain teen was targeted and, more importantly, why young Latinos and Blacks are being targeted by cops in the first place. What about Caucasians or any other race for that matter who wear hoodies? Explain this Mr. Rivera. If it piques your interest, peep the stupidity under the hood.
Before we talk about your Sex, Drugs & Video project, let’s get into what seems to be on everyone’s mind: the unarmed murder of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. What’s your take on his tragic death and the protest surrounding his shooting? And is this par-for-the-course for people of color?
It happens to us. But I wouldn’t never take any one death and turn my head to it like I’ve gotten used to it. And that’s part of the problem in America. America has convinced us that we are not important and that our lives are not worth anything. It even starts with something as small as the word nigger.
Anytime we have a complaint about anything we have to remember that we as black people have allowed that word to be desensitized so much that anyone can say it. There’s no respect for a black life or the struggle that black folks have gone through historically. If that shooting happened to any other race the guy that shot the kid would have never walked free.
So you don’t subscribe to the whole self-defense excuse in Martin’s shooting?
No. For a person just to say, ‘Oh, it’s self defense…’ Come on dude, you are talking about a child, man. And the thing is, hip-hop is supposed to be the voice of the streets, the voice of the people. That’s why this new project I’m doing is so important. We wouldn’t have to worry about what a label thinks if we want to make a song about Trayvon. We can communicate with our fans the way that we want to without worrying about anything. If we want to make a song today about Trayvon and get it to our fans directly this is what I’m trying to do.
Read on as he touches on the concept of his free mixtape project, Sex, Drugs & Video.