Looking at rapper David Banner’s career is like examining an exercise in persistence. After achieving chart-topping success in the music industry nearly a decade ago, Banner seemed to all but disappear from the music scene just a few years later. But in recent years, Banner has resurfaced as a highly sought after producer and burgeoning actor. Now he wants to be the new triple threat, conquering music, Hollywood and the business world.
In a recent interview with billboard.com’s The Juice, Banner opens up about falling from hip-hop grace while focusing on relief efforts during the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
“Nobody really gave me a hand, played my records or helped me after I had done all the stuff that I did, and it was really hard for me,” Banner says. “Katrina was my recession. At one point, I was willing to give it all up. God forced me to find other ways of being successful. I said I would never be in that situation again, where music was the only thing, [where] rapping was the only thing that I was doing.”
For Banner, finding success outside of rapping meant trying his hand at Hollywood, where the “Like A Pimp” rapper scored roles in films such as Black Snake Moan, This Christmas and Stomp The Yard 2: Homecoming.
Although Banner, who’s set to appear in the lead dance scene in the forthcoming remake of Footloose, is intent on expanding his acting resume, he’s still made time for music, albeit this time mainly from behind the scenes, working as writer and producer creating original music for projects for Gillette, Marvel Vs Capcom 3, Gatorade’s campaign “G Series: Evolve & Before/During/After,” and a Mercedes-Benz campaign that spawned the Estelle and Daley- assisted song “Benz.”
Now Banner wants to expand his production credits by partnering with Corey Smyth, of Blacksmith Management, and Samantha Selolwane to create a music house and production company called ABV, which will focus on producing music for commercials.
For those hungry to hear Banner in front of the microphone, the emcee, who last year released the politically charged collaborative album Death of Popstar with producer 9th Wonder, plans to release a new album at the beginning of 2012 and explains that album’s lead single, “Malcolm,” reflects his desire to both entertain and educate fans.
“It’s the music [like] ‘Get Like Me,’ but with the message of Death of a Popstar, Banner says. “It’s a good compromise between what people want from me and what I want to do.”
What do you think of Banner’s resilience and his new projects? –nicholas robinson