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Death of a Pop Star

David Banner & 9th Wonder

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Album Review

A surprise pairing, for sure, but there’s a great chemistry between rapper David Banner and producer 9th Wonder on Death of a Pop Star. The former Little Brother member adjusts his production style a tad, but it’s Banner that totally shocks, successfully flowing in an introspective style if he needs to deliver a message and then switching into brute mode when he needs to drive words through thick skulls. He’s got plenty to say too, as the opening “Diamonds on My Pinky” ponders “Boys club closing while they building P.F. Chang's” while the slow-rolling highlight “The Light” warns of both the death of hip-hop and society itself with “Rappers is turnin’ into singers/Preachers touchin’ the kids.” Wonder’s beats are the kind of top-notch, scratchy soul he excels at, but the real attraction here is Banner’s coming off as a more layered and complicated artist than previously, with every rhyme he spits being a step in the right direction. Even when things get easy and romantic, he is the reason the Ludacris feature “Be with You” is an above-average bedroom number, and when it comes to getting soulful with Erykah Badu, “Silly” is the symbiotic proof he’s more than able. All that said, Death of a Pop Star has morphed from a mixtape, to a full album, and then into this final, rather short release, and while it’s sold as a conceptual piece inspired by the end of music industry, it does go off topic without warning. In the end, Death of a Pop Star seems like a sampler for something much bigger, but fans of innovative hip-hop will still be thrilled to hear that Banner has joined their ranks and taken a position on the front lines.

Customer Reviews

Another long wait for a big let down :(

This is nothing like the Banner I was hoping for...This is really awful (Mississippi fan though...Newer Banner fans might enjoy it)

Not Too Good

Banner has definatley sloped dow. I prefer his music in the "9MM" days...

Love it

So well rounded... not left wanting.


Born: April 11, 1973 in Jackson, MS

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

One half of the rap duo Crooked Lettaz, David Banner helped put Mississippi on the map in 1999. In 2000, he released his first solo album in Them Firewater Boyz, Vol. 1. Originally on Penalty Records, he realized quickly that a New York-based record label just didn't know how to handle the south. With the help of his crew, he managed to sell over 10,000 copies of his first album in his hometown alone. He broke out nationally in 2003 with a pair of albums, Mississippi: The Album and MTA2: Baptized...
Full bio

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