Articles Tagged: B.E.T.

David Banner: Comments From B.E.T.

July 20th, 2008 | By Sonnie

If you’ve read Top 10 Hip-hop’ers with Swag, you’ll know I placed David Banner on the list because of the intelligence he displayed when speaking to Congress. He had notes and demonstrated his points articulately and I appreciated it (not that I didn’t expect it). So many probably thought they would hurt their careers by standing in a Congressional Meeting Hall.

That’s not the only reason I give David Banner props. I have a lot to say about the disaster in New Orleans, like why would the people re-elect Nagin when all the buses were just sitting there, I digress. But more importantly, when Kanye West was on T.V. making an ass out of himself, David Banner was on a boat trying to help save people. While all other black people were at home complaining, David Banner was donating more than a couple dollars, he gave his time, his words, and hope to a lot of people and for that I say thank you.

But that’s were the compliments stop.

Recently on B.E.T.’s Hip-Hop vs. America, David Banner pissed me off. Just once I would like to see a Hip-Hop brother come on with no excuses. Instead Banner had them written down and spouted ignorance at the highest levels. Let’s have some fun.

It’s not my job to raise your children

David Banner, I don’t want to raise my child. I do that. That’s my responsibility. But I want my daughter to love Hip-Hop. Can you help me with that? Can I let my daughter hear your song, cuss words and all, because it makes a point? When she understands what you’re talking about, will she grow in some way?

When I was in High School, my teacher had a sign that said, “It takes a village to raise a child.” I believe Hip-Hop is our village, yet the elders preach selling drugs, fast fleeting money, admonishment for “Squares”. What about those of us who look to Hip-hop for culture, opportunities, or just a place to forget our pain. We got money too, make us a target audience.

They are in the Streets crying for help

That was the only part of David Banners speech that I agreed with. I was excited so I sent an email out to my male friends, and they ALL wrote back “I’m still in my fuck the world stage.” This coming from 20 something year old men. They don’t want help because if they get it and educate themselves they get picked on, by us.

We don’t give them the time to struggle, make mistakes and correct them, and finally succeed. If they don’t have it right away, they get clowned. Girls say that want a man with a plan, but if he don’t have a Range Rover we don’t give them the time of day.

I believe Black Men and Women are in the streets crying. I don’t believe they know why they are crying. Life is hard. I know. My mom would’ve rather smoked crack than raise me. I lived with my dad, but I couldn’t tell you one thing he taught me. I made it important to educate myself. I wanted more.

So, maybe they are crying because they want it too. They just don’t know, we, as black people, want them to have more. All they hear is reasons they can’t make it from people who’ve made it.

What about Martin Scorsese? Nobody points to his Gansta Movies

Everybody might have watched his movies, but most black people wouldn’t know it was his movie. I don’t pay attention to things like that. Furthermore, when we’re talking about problems in the black community, what the hell does Scorsese have to do with it? Last time I checked he was white.

White people are not killing themselves at alarming rates. White people don’t have the highest death by A.I.D.S. statistics. White people have so much variety, a couple of gansta movies don’t affect public persona.

Every rap song these days talks about money and cars, most black people can’t afford. Drugs, most black people have someone addicted to drugs in their family. Fucking, some black women think they can’t make they’re own money, they go after dealers, artists, and sports stars to get ahead. It might not have originated in our culture, but we’ve grabbed on to it and embraced it, like it’s a good thing. And David Banner had more to do with writing that script than Martin Scorsese did.

I tried positive music, but it didn’t sell

Then you are a compromised artist. That was your way of telling us, you don’t believe what you rap, that makes you fake. See, I thought the thing about gangsta’s is they always tell the truth, whether someone want to hear it or not. Where’s your backbone?

Oh, I get it. It’s not about a backbone, it’s about that money. So fuck the fact that you could continue to put out positive music to help those black people you hear crying in the streets, just make sure you got money. Then you can give that money back to the streets. Don’t you realize you can’t separate the message from the money. Which leads me to my last point.

I’m not a role model

Taking into account everything I’ve already written, how can you not be a role model? David Banner undoubtedly has begun a path most artist would shy away from. That makes you a role model. Those people you helped rescue will look up to you as a role model. Women like me, who might not fully agree, look to you more than the Jesse Jackson’s and Al Sharton’s of our communities.

We love Hip-Hop. It’s not just music. It’s a billion dollar industry. It’s our melting pot for ideas, healing, and advancement in all fields. If we could get artist that think that role model is not a bad word. Live your life right and make your words match your true feelings, and it shouldn’t matter if other look to you for inspiration. Those that don’t want to be called role models, more than likely, don’t agree with music they make. I can’t imagine Mary J Blige telling black girls not to learn from her struggles and successes. Where are the Men that are willing to stand up and say “follow me little black boy, and I’ll show you how to get out the ghetto?”

For feeling this way, I’ve been called some pretty horrible names, but I don’t care. See it’s not just about making money for me. I do want money, but I have my limits. I will not whore myself, nor will I encourage other black women to whore themselves. I will not preach excuses. Yes, there are still racist people in America, but I don’t care. They can’t stop me, because I won’t let them. I will not support artist that never have a single nice thing to say about a woman, nor will I support artists that have wives at home, and sing about being a pimp. I will not be compromised. I know that makes my road harder, but I figure if I keep to my morals, some black girl or boy will see it and say that’s how I’m going to do it.

Do I want to be a role model? No. Will I take the job? Yes. With all my faults, I would still preach the same message. YOU CAN DO IT. What ever “it” is. I could tell you a million reason you won’t make it, but how is that helping? Instead I’ll say it’s not easy, I know, but damn is it worth it.


May 20th, 2008 | By Sonnie

I pumped T.I. vs T.I.P for two months straight. I admired how he showed his inner struggles throughout the CD. I thought to myself, a rapper with swag and self awareness. He had been in trouble with the law before, but we all go through shit.

Upon hearing he had been arrested before the 2007 BET AWARDS, I was disappointed. Not because another rapper was in trouble, not because T.I. happened to be one of my favorite artist, but because every radio station was talking about how “the man” was doing him wrong.

They should just let T.I. go. They always want to bring down a black man with some money. Grow up and get real. They’re not trying to catch you because you have money. They are trying to catch you because you’re buying guns. You know those things that are wiping out our younger generation.

I haven’t listened to T.I. since. I refuse, and with the lack of good artist, it isn’t easy. I was waiting for something. Something that would allow me to listen to him again with out shouting stupid at the radio.

Posted on BET.COM, an interview with T.I.

T.I. started the interview by accepting responsibility for his decisions. He didn’t rant and rave about how he is a victim, instead he was humble and blessed for making it through his troubles.

When asked why the constant run ins with the law, the Atlanta rapper was lost for words. He finally decided his inability to let go of things in his past played a major role. He had to learn to control his alter ego, T.I.P.

“You’re missing the point.”

That was his response to anyone who thought he was cool for having multiple guns in his home. T.I. wanted them to take focus on the things he lost, in all about $10 million. He lost his endorsement deal with GMC and a couple movie roles he had lined up, not to mention his reputation for the future.

“Nothing’s cool about going to jail for longer than you’ve been alive.” T.I. was reflective in this moment.

Looking forward, T.I. sees nothing but a bright future ahead. He stated his music has always been about happenings in society, and now guns and drugs won’t be as prevalent in his songs, as they are no longer prevalent in his life.

T.I. then had a sit down with some of his fans. Before accepting questions, T.I. gave the teens some advice.

First, live and learn. Nobody expects you to be perfect, but you have to learn from your mistakes.

Second, things that mean the world to you right now, won’t matter in 10 years. Don’t let the mistakes of you’re past define the person you become.

Last, don’t get in a permanant situations because of a short temper.

The last thing he said had to be the best. His biggest obstacle in his life was himself. He had a hard time reprogramming himself from street life into normal society.

T.I. is facing a year in jail, but his optimism wouldn’t show it. He was happy he would be home for the birth of his 6th child, a boy, and have time to get his affairs in order before beginning his sentence.

So today, I pull up my T.I. playlist from my IPOD, and I flow along with the KING OF THE SOUTH. I don’t shout at the radio. I smile. I’m happy I wasn’t wrong rating him a complete artist.

They pushed up the release day for the new CD. I can’t wait to see what lessons he learned and how he applies them to his music.