In an effort to get more creative control over his product and to reconnect fans and artists, David Banner is self-releasing his upcoming album, featuring Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Game, Snoop Dogg, A$AP Rocky, 2 Chainz, Big K.R.I.T., Bun B and more, on May 22 via LiveMixtapes.com.
He stopped by Fuse's studio to talk with Esteban Serrano about the story behind Sex, Drugs & Video Games, shared that comedian Louis C.K. inspired him to self-release his upcoming album and explained why free mixtapes are dangerous to urban music.
"It's a free album but I'm asking people in hip hop [to donate]," Banner explained. "Part of the problem with urban music is we've given everything away and they wonder why people don't buy albums. Why should you, you just gave me 12 free albums! Kids think urban music should be free now. You don't see country and western mixtapes [check out 1:37 for his impersonation of country twang] and you don't see pop mixtapes. We're lying to ourselves, they're free albums. So I'm asking people to go to DavidBanner.com and donate at least one dollar for 16 songs."
The MC also explained why it's important to reignite the connection between fans and artists in music. "This is major and this means a lot to me," Banner said. "This can help artists around the world to feel empowered and fans to feel they're a special par to the equation again.
"Let's be honest with each other: The big conglomerates make us feel like we don't matter anymore, [but] all of it would shut down if not for the fans and the artists. I when I say 'artists' I also mean the camera guys, the DJs, the graphic artist, without us, none of this would exist."
Banner said he'll put the money he raises toward making a new type of movie. "Once we get this two million dollars, we'll start shooting a movie immediately. I'm trying to control our image. Our generation looks up at the TV or a movie and say, 'That's corny, that's wack.' But we can't expect people to do anything for us. You come over to my house and say you need to sleep over, and you sleep where I tell you to. 'Get on the couch!' We can't go up in these big places and ask people to depict us properly, we have to do it. So I'm going directly into making a movie right after this because I am going to reach my goal."
Hell yeah! That's a very cogent, convincing and ambitious argument from David Banner. Sounds like he's on the same page as Amanda Palmer, who told us similar things about how Kickstarter is changing the way artists and musicians interact.
Watch the full interview above and tell us what you think about Banner's thoughts. And to hear David Banner talk about his collaborator, fellow Mississippi rapper and longtime friend Big K.R.I.T., check out the video below.