RapReviews | Review: David Banner & 9th Wonder – Death Of A Pop Star

davidbanner-popstarTwitter. Twitter. Twitter. Just about everyone seems to have an account, even RapReviews has one. Aside from talking massive amounts of shit, people also find out about the latest news stories, make new friends, stalk old friends, root for their sports teams, give commentary on whatever television show hordes of people are watching on any given night and kill off celebrities at random. A lot of artists that have a presence on Twitter usually bombard their fans about any upcoming projects they may have, building anticipation among their audience and then bounce as soon as the album drops. Other artists stick around and actually interact with their fans, collecting feedback, engaging them in discussion and all that good stuff. Twitter can be an excellent promotional tool if utilized properly. Dating back to 2009, David Banner (@THEREALBANNER) had been tweeting about a project that he was working on with 9th Wonder called “Death of a Pop Star” or #DOAPS for short. The idea was originally conceived as a mixtape, but eventually transitioned into a full scale retail release. Reportedly, the title was the product of discussions between Banner and 9th about the music industry and how it’s seemingly impossible for someone to really reach iconic heights in today’s musical climate.

DOAPS is rather brief, clocking in at slightly over half an hour and features appearances from Ludacris, Heather Victoria, Marsha Ambrosius, Big Remo, Anthony Hamilton, Lisa Ivey and Erykah Badu. 9th Wonder handles the lion’s share of the production duties with additional assistance from Banner, THX, Warryn Campbell and E. Jones on various tracks. The project opens with “Diamonds on My Pinky” and “No Denying (Channel 3).” On the latter, Banner touches on topics that range from the perception of his hit single “Play” to being accused of being too preachy in his approach to people to a rap industry that’s filled to the brim with “several pieces of feces, needin’ colonics.” E. Jones takes over the boards on the slow, drum break-heavy “The Light,” the only track without input from 9th Wonder. We find Banner pledging to lead his people to, what else, the light. Creating a parallel between himself and Jesus, he looks to walk over the beats, as opposed to walking on water. He also goes into a few wrongdoings by “Them,” including intentionally getting people hooked on drugs, creating the need for dealers who just happen to be young and Black, grouping all the poor people together, essentially starving the neighborhoods, making Satan into a Christian and satiating the people with false hope in the form of President Obama. Heavy stuff. Realizing he’s struggling with his own sins, DB cleverly asserts that he wants to do the Lord’s Will, Jada and Willow too. The first single released was “Slow Down” and due to sample issues, the original version was replaced with the album’s rendition which features Heather Victoria. A video for the song was released this past June with a theme that was loosely based on John Carpenter’s cult classic, “They Live,” which starred Roddy Piper and Keith David.

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