MADE Magazine Global Impact Issue - Page 10

MADEFEATURE MADEXXXX T H E E VO LU T I O N O F DAVID BANNER MADE BY JASMINE BROWLEY F rom the outside looking in, it’s easy to assume that life has always been good for David Banner. Since the early 2000s, the multitalented rapper riddled the Billboard charts with hits like “Like A Pimp” and churned out memorable albums like Certified, The Greatest Story Ever Told and Death Of A Pop Star, collaborating with the late Pimp C and 9th Wonder. In 2012, Banner dropped the well-received mixtape, Sex, Drugs and Video Games with appearances from Chris Brown, Raheem DeVaughn, A$AP Rocky, Maino, Bun B, Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz and many other notable artists on the credits. But despite the success, he was still deeply unhappy. “For a long time, I was very depressed, even when things were going extremely well professionally,” he told MADE. With the help of a licensed professional, Banner realized that he was depressed while recording the mixtape and was advised to immediately make some spiritual changes in his life. Through an intense introspective journey, Banner dis- covered meditation and strengthened his relationship with God. Shortly after, he shifted the way he rhymed, pivoting from braggadocious lyrics about the ‘hood to verses spotlighting social injustices. He then became an advocate for holistic wellness and a voice for change. What he didn’t become however, was passionate about making music again. “During that time, I wanted nothing to do with being a rapper,” he said. “It just didn’t feed me like all of the other positive things in my life were.” How His Spiritual After that realiza- tion, Banner Awakening quietly quit the rap game. So Brought Him much so, he Back After scrubbed his entire library of Quitting Music music clean. All that he had done for Five Years and musically up to that point was His New Project sent to that little trash can on his “The God Box” Macbook. Now, after five years, he’s back with a new masterful piece of work: The God Box. While ordering a turkey burger and a side of brussel sprouts from one of his favorite eateries in Atlanta, the down-to-earth star spoke with us about the self imposed musical exile, how The God Box is more than an album and how his faith pulled him from a deep depression. MADE: According to your bio, you were homeless and living in your van while pursuing a music career. Can you walk us through how that time in your life was a pivotal turning point, personally and professionally? DB: I transformed the passenger side of my van into a studio; that’s just how passionate I was about my mu- sic. But to be honest, I wasn’t homeless because I had to be...I had places to go. I was pursuing my master’s degree at the time so I could’ve stayed on campus, moved back home or stayed with the girl I was dating but I wanted to do it on my own. Being homeless was a conscious choice that I made. Either I was going | 10