Many of hip-hop’s media tastemakers were invited to 92Y Tribeca in NYC for “An Evening With…” David Banner and 9th Wonder on Tuesday. The roundtable was hosted by Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg who had this dynamic duo break down the method behind the artistic madness on the Banner/9th collab, Death of a Pop Star, set to come out later this summer. The collaboration may come as a shock to many, however this effort is far from ironic. David Banner spoke often on his need to reconnect with God and to do something spiritual and even the 12 year/ four album run he endured prior to “getting on”. He exclaimed, “”Like A Pimp” saved my life!” and it also left a lasting impression on the ears and minds of many of his current fans, including myself.
9th Wonder, the more reserved of the two guests, made an extremely pivotal statement on the state of music today. “A wise man once told me, “Without music, do we know each other?”…When The Infamous (Mobb Deep’s second album) came out you knew where you were, who you were with, and what you were doing”, lamenting that digitization and the all too often no-cost accessibility to music has caused an extreme lack of community in hip-hop. I’ll be honest, album release dates were a much bigger deal to me as a kid. There were countless times my friends and I cut school to be at the local record store to cop our favorite artist’s latest creation the day it hit stores. As a music journalist, I whole-heartedly agree with 9th. David Banner followed shortly after with, “Nobody goes through that rights of passage. Artists nowadays think you owe them something.”
One of my favorite tracks previewed last night was “Slow Down”, a balancing act for Banner about his career experiences walked over a 9th Wonder track from June 2004. What did Rosenberg have to say about Death of a Pop Star? “I think it may be his most complete work,” referencing 9th Wonder’s contribution to the album. My thoughts – Agreed.