Hip hop artist, actor and activist David Banner told a crowd of 200 not to be fooled by corporate interests selling music into “chasing the light” of packaged and promoted celebrities. That’s a waste of time and energy, he told students and community members, because, “YOU are the light.”
Banner was speaking February 11, 2017, at a Germanna Community College Black History Month event.
“Hip hop has lost its soul,” he said.
Banner said that in recent years hip hop has lost touch with the community and is hurting the same people the genre once championed, all in the name of sales. Because of that, he said, he has changed the way he thinks about things, adding he is sorry that his lyrics once degraded women.
He played Forest Whitaker’s father in the film “The Butler.”
He has a new album. “The God Box,” set for release in May 2017.
Banner said he’s spending more time in speaking engagements, during which he seeks to be a positive force.
He told young people in the crowd that for too long the community has disrespected those who veer away from groupthink to do things like going to college and getting a degree. That kind of attitude needs to change, he said.