David Banner and 9th Wonder, two of hip-hop’s heavyweights, are teaming up for the collaborative album Death of a Pop Star slated to be released this summer on Big Face Entertainment. Serving as the artists’ first collaborative work together, Death Of A Pop Star offers fans of both David Banner and 9th Wonder a fresh and unique perspective on the music industry.
9th Wonder has a history of teaming with legendary emcees and crafting dream projects that have resulted in both critical and commercial success. With top-selling hit maker David Banner at his side, it’s obvious that the respected producer’s winning streak isn’t slowing down. David Banner’s most recent successes include writing, producing, and arranging (with guidance from Jimmy Smith and The G Team at Chalt Day) the new non-hip hop Gatorade theme song “Evolve,” performed by Kermit Quinn. To some, pairing with Banner, who is also a celebrated producer in his own right, having produced smash hits like T.I.’s “Rubberband Man,” might seem like an odd thing for 9th Wonder to do but this project was a wholly mutual vision between both artists.
The duo’s driving creative force for the album stems from shared feelings about the state of the music industry and the de-valuing of music. Concerned that listener’s today exist in a world where style wins over substance to the detriment of both the music industry, and the arts, the pair decided to take action. “We first were going to make it a free mixtape release, but then we realized it was bigger than that,” explains Banner on their intentions. The duo set out to create a set that would help bring the focus back to music; not image.
While their project began in earnest with their eye on the state of hip-hop, a mutual respect for each other’s artistry helped drive the partnership. “9th Wonder is probably one of the most soulful cats in our generation,” says Banner, praising the North Carolina producer know for his work with Little Brother, Jay-Z, Beyonce, and more. “Death Of A Pop Star is needed for a balance in the music landscape right now, just like 2 Live Crew and A Tribe Called Quest were once needed at the same time.”
9th Wonder adds, “David Banner and I both share the same views on topics such as manhood, being black in America in present day, and the state of black music in general. David and I hash out a lot of options before we actually do a song. Once we get past all the options, the end result is always clear.” For fans looking toward the summer release, this David Banner and 9th Wonder collaboration may serve as only a beginning, rather than the pinnacle, for the Death Of A Pop Star concept. Visualized as an ongoing concept, the duo is keeping their options open. Satiating fans, Banner says, “Who knows what concept Death Of A Pop Star may be in the future, next year it might be Lil Wayne and Pete Rock. 9th Wonder and I would still oversee it, but we don’t know what it’s gonna be.” He continues, “This concept is bigger than hip-hop music. It shows us that young people do have soul.”
Check out “Evolve” HERE