If I Were President: David Banner Speaks On His Policies & Cabinet Choices Including Sway, Bun B & Ludacris

Exclusive: One of Hip Hop's most inspiring voices, David Banner speaks on the issues that matter to him if he were in the Oval Office, and why Diddy, Tech N9ne and a few others would be getting calls.

David Banner is hard at work on the digital campaign trail. Galvanizing his fan base through his 2M1 movement, the Mississippi-emcee is dropping singles and videos like stump speeches in effort to inspire two million people to donate $1 for his next album, Sex, Drugs, And Video Games. It’s a fitting exercise, really. In this independent era, doing for self is the only way to path towards ownership - a priority for Banner. The self-described “Time Bender” has delivered a decade’s worth of integrity-laced raps and ass-shaking anthems to the culture. He’s an award winning philanthropist who’s sold millions of records while maintaining his rep as a voice for the voiceless. He’s even testified before Congress. If anyone in Hip Hop is capable of conducting a compelling interview hypothesizing on what they would do as President Of The United States, it’s David Banner. So we asked him.   

In this exclusive conversation with HipHopDX, David Banner breaks down the platform of the David Banner Administration, names Cabinet members, and explains how part of the problem with America is that our “politicians are representatives of special interest groups.”

HipHopDX: It sounds like the corporate lobbying system would be the first thing to go if David Banner were President.

David Banner: Oh yeah. I don’t want to have anything to do with “Corporate.” How can I properly police the situation and things that are going on in Corporate America if Corporate America is the reason why I’m there? The people should be the main concern. I watch all these people, especially the Republicans. The Republicans and the Democrats both do this, but the Republicans don’t care whether [President Barack] Obama is doing right or whatever the case may be. It’s just, “Down with Obama!” Not, “No matter what happened, you are our President now and we’re going to work together to do the right thing for the people.” [With the Republicans it’s], “We’re going to make you look bad and we don’t care if the American people suffer.” I don’t care nothing about no corporation. I don’t care nothing about special interest groups. I don’t care about nothing but the people as a whole. And more so, I care about poor people because people with money have an opportunity to do what they need to do to make sure they do for their families. They can only spend so much money. Even in the Rap game there are those that can’t speak for themselves. Rich people can speak for themselves. I try my hardest to speak for people who don’t have a voice and be that person that’s in the door that’s able to see both sides; be able to properly articulate both sides. Sometimes we have to explain the other side to some people. Just because a person has money doesn’t always mean they should be beat up on. Just because you have money, don’t mean that you’re evil. I have some friends who are part of that 1% that are good people; who really do good things. So we can’t be as ignorant and generalize the same way they do our people everyday.

DX: What about healthcare? How would President David Banner approach healthcare?

David Banner: This is what I’ll say about healthcare: it is amazing that country’s that don’t have nearly the power that America has have worked out a system to take care of people who don’t have access to healthcare. Why can’t you work with another country that has successfully given healthcare to the people and implement a similar plan? It’s not hard. All these special interests are making sure they get paid or [their] company gets paid. People do not care about the well being of the people because what you have to understand is that America makes money off of the problems they claim they want to solve. The healthcare industry makes money off of people getting sick; poor people having to come back. That’s the whole underground plan. That’s the elephant in the room. Why not go to any of these places and just figure out what they did to make it right? It’s not hard, if we’re really the most powerful country in the world like we say we are.

DX: There’s been a lot of rhetoric and now legislation targeting illegal immigrants. States like Alabama, South Carolina, Arizona, Georgia have passed legislation aimed at curbing undocumented immigrants. Where does the David Banner administration stand on immigration?

David Banner: That’s a really touchy topic because it’s so amazing how I see all these people jumping up and down about immigration when all of us are immigrants except Native Americans, and they get treated worse than anybody! Immigration, that would be something that me and my cabinet would have to work on and talk about. It’s really amazing to see people take stances on immigration so hard and they’re immigrants themselves.

DX: Chuck D did an interview with HipHopDX a few weeks back. One of the things he talks about in the interview is how Bill Clinton signing the 1996 Telecommunications Act was the benchmark legislation that led to today’s consolidated industry that makes it difficult for artists not on one of the three major record labels to get access to radio play and major television networks. Would you take steps to loosen the corporate strangle holds on, not only the entertainment industry and the telecommunications industry, but also the financial services industry [and others], for example?

David Banner: I would love to take the corporate stranglehold off of everything. It goes back to what I was saying about music. At the end of the day, America has convinced Americans that the general public is not important. If we stop working and we stop buying, everything would crumble. With Americans continuously being so parasitic, America wonders why it’s in the position that it’s in and it’s because we’ve been so greedy when we’ve made enough money to pass around a million times. There are only so many cars you can buy. There’s only so much land on this Earth. Why is everybody so greedy? We wonder why our industrial cities are the way that they are? Shareholders [making a profit] is never enough. They always want to find a way to make more money and more money and more money, until the cities are eaten up. We don’t stand for anything but money then wonder why our cities and towns are in the position that they are in. It’s our greed. It’s our parasitic nature.

We’ll give $3,000 to a clothing company for a pair of shoes that don’t do nothing in our hood, that never comes to see us, that never even advertises towards us. It’s the same way with Black folks in politics. We give our vote to Democrats when Democrats don’t even specifically market towards us anymore. They don’t even take care of our special interests because they know they already got our vote. We’ve got to start making people work for our money. We’ve got to start supporting the people that do for our community. It’s bigger than just music. Whether somebody likes David Banner or not - if you like what I stand for - the only way I can continue to speak is if I have the numbers behind me. It ain’t YouTube and it ain’t Twitter because you can click the button for free. We’ve got to start pulling paper out of our pocket and start doing something that means something for the people that we support and then hold them to the shit that they say. “David Banner says he’s gonna shoot a movie with this 2M1 campaign? We want to see it.” If you’re gonna say something, do it. They’re true to what they say they’re gonna do to us. They tell us they don’t care and they show us they don’t care. At least they’re consistent.

DX: One of the big issues last year was SOPA/PIPA - big legislation billed as curbing online piracy of music and movie content. Where does the Banner Administration stand on curbing the freedom of the internet?

David Banner: That is similar to the First Amendment right. There are certain things that people shouldn’t say but we shouldn’t take away from our ability to say any word. I believe people shouldn’t say the word “nigga” because they choose to not say it and it’s not for them to say. But if you take away that ability, then you take away people’s First Amendment rights. Then you’re playing with their ability to take away any word; for them to cut out anything that you say. So as much as piracy effects us as an artist, the power and the ability of what we’re able to do is just as powerful, too. As the government starts sticking their hand in that aspect they will start to take other powers and other things we’re able to do on the Internet, too - which gives corporate entities power. It’s simple. There should be repercussions on certain things that people do on the internet just like if you get caught breaking certain rules and regulations in the real world. If you get caught doing something then you have to serve when you get caught. All that policing and trying to figure this out and figure that out is crazy. It’s a bit much, but it’s a slippery slope. That’s complex.

DX: How would you regulate that? If it’s comparable to breaking the law in the real world, who would be the enforcer in the digital world?

David Banner: I would think it would have to be somebody in the middle. It’s hard for me to say if it should be federal or it if should be local government because the way the system is set up now, the police and the feds and all of them, they support corporate. As much as their slogans say “Protect And Serve,” they’re not doing nothing but serving. In my administration, I could literally say that it could be counted on a federal level because that would be a reflection of the people and not necessarily Corporate America. The way that government is set up right now, they support them. They don’t support us.

If I was President, policemen wouldn’t be able to pull people over for nothing. You wouldn’t be able to pull people over for seat belt laws or for talking on the phone - all of those excuses that they use to give them the right to police them without probable cause. I believe that the American people should be comfortable but if you do get caught doing wrong, there’s a penalty. People need to know that it’s not sweet if they do break the law. We’re not here to make the American people feel anxious and always feel like they’re under watch or that every time they go into the airport they’re getting patted down. Every time they look across they’re getting pulled over by the cops or getting a ticket. It’s always funky in America now. It ain’t free no more. None of this shit free. You can’t even park on the side of the street. Police treat you like you owe them something. At least in our community.

DX: Let’s talk about Cabinet positions. Who would be Vice President of the David Banner Administration?

David Banner: I’m trying to think of people that would really care and really do the job and not just throw out popular names. You know who would probably be my Vice President?

DX: Who’s that?

David Banner: Sway [Calloway] from MTV. I really believe that Sway really cares about people. He comes from Oakland. He comes from the struggle. Every time me and him talk, I really believe in my heart that he’s about the business at hand; that he really has a desire to really do for people. What’s the next position?

DX: Secretary of State.

David Banner: Secretary of State would be Bun B. He’s always present and he’s very articulate. He’s very, very articulate. Let’s switch, actually. Let’s put Bun B as Vice President and Sway as Secretary Of State just given Bun B’s ability to speak.

DX: How about Secretary of Defense?

David Banner: Do we have to keep it in the music industry, or just Entertainment period?

DX: Let’s say Entertainment overall.

David Banner: Samuel L. Jackson because - good or bad, wrong or right - he stands firm in what he believes. You may not agree with it. And he has a way of projecting and commanding the space around him. For a Secretary of Defense, I think that’s most important: to be able to stand firm in the shakiest times and be able to command respect and move people in those times of us being unsure. And he got eaten by a shark! [Laughs] I had the opportunity to work with [Samuel L. Jackson]. He was my acting coach for Black Snake Moan and the way he commands the space is really, really important.

DX: What about Chief of Staff?

David Banner: Who do you think has the rawest independent movement that you’ve seen?

DX: The rawest independent movement? Tech N9ne.  

David Banner: I’d probably say Tech N9ne then. His ability to put together a system and implement that system regardless of what the circumstances are. For him to be able to put together a system, hold that system together and allow it to translate and continue to run regardless of whether it’s major or independent is really important. I would probably say Tech N9ne.

DX: Secretary of Education?

David Banner: Erykah Badu. She’s one of the most intelligent people that I’ve ever met. The way that she feels about children and the passion that she has and the fact that she’s isn’t into conventional education, I think she would implement what’s best for the children, not what’s best for the state.

DX: What about [Secretary of Treasury]?   

David Banner: [Diddy] would have to be my [Secretary Of Treasury]. Well, I don’t know. The reason why I would say [Diddy] is that Puff could find a way to use other people’s money and other countries’ money so we wouldn’t have to spend America’s money. I think Puffy could drop the national deficit. Puffy would get other countries to buy Ciroc so we could use that money to feed these kids. But I don’t know. Maybe his corporate ties would get us in trouble.

I probably would say Ludacris for Treasurer. I would say Luda because of his cool head and his ability to rationally think but he still has the heart for poor people. Ludacris does so much for the inner city while still being able to make a lot of money for himself. A lot of people do a lot of charity but their pockets don’t reflect their heart. Ludacris has been able to maintain a healthy balance.

For more information on David Banner’s 2M1 campaign, visit DavidBanner.com.




  • Anonymous

    You know what the funny thing is, these muthafuckas didnt even review his new work Sexy, Drugs and Video Games. But yall can take the time find that new Lil b shit though huh?

  • Anonymous

    youtube Mafi G2 Green Nation... Perfect for anyone concerned with the issues

  • neversleeps

    Real Talk you speaklike a man with common sense who believes in the true principles of this great nation we live in. Unlike this rabble rousing neanderthal BLACK who hates WHITES and his own country that he lives in. How ass backwards can this be?? Hey Black if you were to lose your job (if you have one) tomorrow you can be eligible for unemployment. Meanwhile a guy in a 3rd world country loses his job...BUT GUESS WHAT? No 99 weeks of unemployment for him. No help from a corrupt gov't who abuses their people in those poor countries. But you come on here BITCHING about how bad America is???? Immigrants come to this nation because they feel they can make a life here with their families and succeed. Spoiled & entitled "gov't owe me motherfuckers" like yourself are a JOKE that the world laughs at constantly. I come across guys like this BLACK character all the time. He wants a government to give him something for nothing. That is why he believes in the state to tell the citizens what to do because he isn't too responsible for his own lackluster life. HEY BLACK IT MUST SUCK TO BE YOU.

    • BLACK


  • Jacc

    David stays on some political shit nowadays

  • Jasmine

    If I were the President: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbVGl98Mh0c

  • kev

    this is retarded.. the day entertainers fully run this country would be the day i move to canada.. look at this guys english literacy skills.. he uses double negatives.. come on.. would you really be okay with someone like that running your country?



    • Anonymous

      see how you people are? you openly admit to wanting a dictatorship. do you people not know what that is or has NBC glorified Cuba & Venezuela enough to the point that you actually think those are great countires.

    • Furious Styles

      Hey little Brit kid i thought i told you to go and find a job or a girlfriend.Go and listen to Tinie Tempah or something. Just leave real hiphop alone.Little Brit kid.

  • RapWax

    I like the Tech N9ne choice for Chief of Staff

  • SMMFH!

    im already done with this biased Q&A after his 1st answer. Banner do you think the Democrats did NOT do the same thing when Bush or any other Repub president was in office? neither one wants to help the other. they both could give 2 shits about us. get off your Obama is my color so im gonna back him no matter what BULL SHIT and realize he is the same fucking person as every other piece of shit politician and president.

    • Marx1684

      Politics is the only kind of business where you get started & pick a side to fight in order to produce results. What other productive job splits its work force into parts & has them argue for lengthy amounts if time instead of working together to figure out what's best. Their splits in decisions split the people in half as well. Democracy or Dictatorship. There are black, white & gray areas i both.

    • Anonymous

      there is some common sense in this world! people like you need to be voting and not david banner. you can atleast form your own opinion and not repeat what MSNBC is telling you

  • dentaldamboy

    Umm I don't know about this guy being a good president. But I know for sure that Bidrman and Lil Wayne would be a great President & Vice President Combo. "President Carter, Young Money Democrat". I like the sound of that. What do you guys think?

  • anon

    lmfao, this nigga think he's a politician now. "I'ma pick all rappers for my cabinet, cause they have experience in running government shit" this motherfucker is dumb and trying to act like a smart intellectual.

    • Marx1684

      Government people don't have experience in running government. Look up the background of a few past presidents. It's about connections. We've had actors & war heroes run out country b/c they look good to the people. Wake up.

  • Real Talk 100

    3) David Banner Sophism: Making Money and Abundance of Products is Parasitic. First Banner misunderstands the nature of Money. Money is simply a medium of exchange. The best way to understand money is to reduce an economy down to Barter, or a world without money. Furthermore, let's reduce the economy down to an exchange between a Baker and a Butcher. The model assumes the Baker and the Butcher want to make an exchange. Production proceeds Consumption. The Butcher will not trade the Baker until the Baker has baked his bread, therefore the Baker cannot "buy" anything from the Butcher until he has done his job and used his labor. So prior to exchange, the Butcher raises his livestock, and the final product is meat. And at the same time the Baker labors all day with his dough and finally produces bread. Now that production is complete, exchange can occur, followed by consumption. Think of the bread as money. Think of the meat as money. The Baker now is able spends his bread. The Butcher now is able to spend his meat. Furthermore, both have made each other HAPPY in the exchange. Both the Baker and the Butcher have access to both bread and meat, when previously they only had one. Now say they do not want to exchange, the Baker wants corn, and the Butcher wants a car. This is where money comes into play, as the fruits of labor get stored into this medium of exchange. When the Baker sells his bread, he gets money, which is not what he wants, the money simply is a debt that society owes him for his labor. So people making money means that they are providing useful things for other people, that society wants. Furthermore, abundance of products is not harmful to society, it is helpful. Supply and demand. The less bread and meat produced, the more expensive it is. But if bread and meat are abundantly produced, than food is less expensive, and more people are able to eat for less. Abundance is not parasitic, it is beneficial. David Banner has the strange opinion that people being able to afford food/clothing/cars via abundance is greedy and a negative thing?

    • Anonymous

      Its banner who doesnt produce anything with his money. He's the rich people thats the problem. People like him and these fake ass actors who just sit on their money and buy cars. Banner doesnt employee anyone, he doesn't offer any jobs to the public, he doesnt provide insurance. you call this guy Real a brain washed idiot, but you people are the ones repeating the same rhetoric told to you by fake ass reporters like Al Sharpton and NBC & MSNBC. And what kind of fake oss reverand changes his religious beliefs based on what a politician does. Fake ass Sharpton & Jesse Jackson. If was black, and I thank god every day that Im not, I would be embarassed that these people call themselves black leaders.

    • BLACK


    • Real Talk 1 MILLIE

      @Fuck you, I present to you an idea called freedom, your fallacy my brother, as wit the Nazi BLACK, is assuming that I am defending the Status Quo and that I am somehow naming the Status Quo in America as Free Market Capitalism. No, I am simply explaining the undisputed economics of why what David Banner said was wrong about the nature of Money and the nature of Abundance. I believe he is correct in noticing there is a disease, but he is incorrect in diagnosing the root causes of the disease. You are correct there are people getting enriched falsely in America today, I will explain why in a second... However, you should also note this is not true everywhere. Example, a rapper who supplies me entertainment, along with millions of people is justly wealthy, the exchange is moral. (Prior to his demise) Steve Jobs and Apple supplies us with their miracle products, we willfully and gladly give them the money because their products are that good, therefore they are made wealthy and prosperous justly, the exchange is moral. You are correct, to say this is not true with everyone in America. When you interject the State into the Equation, you will find that the State plunders and STEALS the labor of others. The plundered money has unjustly been directed toward multitudes of people in America who did nothing to earn it, from Failing Banks, to Giant Corporations receiving subsidies and tax loop holes, to middle class Home Owners in the suburbs, to jobless lower class people collecting pay checks from the State, to overpaid useless State bureaucrats, to rich Doctors protected by Barriers of Entry erected by the State. All mentioned are the unjust beneficiaries of a system of Piracy and Plunder called by various names, I call Statism. This system makes life more expensive for you, me, and anyone you know hustlin and employed in useful work, pulling the proverbial wagon, as the rest of America collects a piece of our paycheck and raids the market place with unearned currency.

    • Fuck you

      David banner is right. You are wrong. The people making the most money in this country dont produce anything.

    • BLACK


  • zilch

    Y'all are crazy. He's a rapper. He answered the questions really fucking well, and I dig his choices... even Diddy, fuck it. You are some letter-writing-campaign cats that can't appreciate entertainment.

  • Anonymous

    Rappers...screw Obombya and that faggot name Mitt

  • Real Talk 100

    2) Healthcare. David Banner wonders why no MAN in the State has DESIGNED a system that adequately provides Health Care to the People. Correct Mr Banner, this is because CENTRAL PLANNING of the ECONOMY by MEN has FAILED every time it has been tried in History, from small government programs to entire societies (such as China under Mao, or the Soviet Union). The American Health Care system in its current form is a great example of this. A) If a friend wants to make you a sandwich or a hamburger, they can do this. If a businessman wants to do this and sell his sandwiches, he can do it without even a middle school education and with minimal govt regulations to deal with. B) If a friend wants to fix your car, he can do this legally. If a business man wants to fix your car for a fee, he can with minimum govt regulation. Note: an automobile is a VERY complex machine, learning about automobiles is alot like a doctor learning about the human body. Furthermore if the person that fixes your car messes up, it could mean DEATH. So we observe two of the above systems, both of which work quite well in today's world. One of these systems adequately supplies us with sandwiches/hamburgers, the other with automobile repairs. It is not perfect. Some times we have a bad hamburger and we choose to put our dollars elsewhere. Some times we come across dishonest mechanics, and eventually we find an honest one we give our business to. But it is not THE STATE or any MAN that has developed these systems, these were Organically grown in Freedom by the People. Now on to Health Care: C) First read up on a black man held down by the State named Vivien Thomas, played by Mos Def in the movie Something the Lord Made. He was a Janitor by occupation, who revolutionized Heart Surgery and SAVED LIVES, but this was DESPITE the System of the Central Planners in the STATE that told him he was NOT able to attend medical school or practice medicine legally, and was regulated to being a JANITOR if not for his determination. If I want to supply medicine to you to heal you or do other medical procedures, I cannot. It is illegal. The State says I cannot without a license. Furthermore a businessman who graduates college with a Bachelors Degree and a business license is not allowed to practice medicine by Law. So we see a difference from the grocery store and the auto mechanic, and that difference is the Law. How than must one practice medicine? Jump and hop over obstacles economists call Barriers to Entry. The purpose of which is to increase doctor's pay by artificially limiting the supply of labor, the result of which is higher costs for consumers. It stems from an evil economic doctrine called Protectionism, a Statist cousin of Socialism and Merchantilism, an enemy of Freedom and Capitalism. To practice medicine, you must first go to college, than hope to get accepted in a medical school (which in one year the AMA lobbyied the government to shut down 50% in the country), than get a Medical License. All of which is very expensive and very difficult, all of which limits the labor supply, which results in EXPENSIVE health care. Furthermore following WWII, another distortion came into play in the form of Prepaid Health Scams, called Employer Provided Health Insurance, encouraged by the State via subsidy. Imagine if you could only afford FOOD if you had a job and your job provided Grocery Insurance. Have you ever seen prices when shopping for groceries? Good. Now have you ever seen prices when shopping around for an oil change? Good. Now have you ever seen prices when shopping around for a Doctor? Hell no, that information is not available. Hence the market distortions and the powerlessness of the consumer. Now you begin to see why Freedom and Society are Blessings and organically provide Systems for us to procure products/services, and how the State and MEN that David Banner speaks of has utterly failed out Designing such Plans.

    • Anonymous

      its pretty obvious to anyone with a brain that Black, you need to go read som books. Real Talk is just wasting his time trying to teach the ignorant. hes better just doing what the rest of us are going to do and that go vote Nov 7 for anyone but Obama and his goal to tank our country

    • BLACK


    • Real Talk 100

      Meant "Ever HEAR.." of course not "Ever here" lol*

    • Real Talk 3000

      @Anonymous Ever here of bread lines in the former USSR and also during the Great Depression in the U.S.? Good, now you know how State Central Planning causes inefficiency, misery, and death. Ever here of people in America of being able to afford food, clothes, TV's, and everything else we want? Good, now you understand why the Free Market works best. Ever here of the same people in America having issues and even dieing, because they can't afford health care? Good, now you know how State Central Planning causes inefficiency, misery, and death. Ever here of children and breast cancer patients dieing in the UK because of 6+ months of sitting in a line? Ever here of people in the UK having to pull teeth with vodka because they dont want to sit through 6 months of pain in going to a dentist? Have you checked out the UK's debt crisis lately? Good, now you know how State Central Planning causes inefficiency, misery, and death.misery, and death.

    • Anonymous

      ever heard of the NHS in the UK

    • REAL TALK 1000

      My system sucks... well no actually it's not MY system, I know brainwashed Nazis like you get confused wit shit but bear wit me, but really the system Im talkin about is Freedom, and the Health Care system as I proved to you is NOT free from the State. I'd like to know which System in which country is better, cuz rich White Nazi Teachers in my Public School been tellin me my whole life that EUROPE was the ideal system.... Wow look at Europe now, in case the rest of the Nazis havent told you, Europe is FUCKED, your "Better" system is fallin apart, unfortunately YOUR nazi Forefathers adopted similar Fascist systems in America long ago, and America is likely in deep trouble as well.

    • BLACK


  • Real Talk 100

    I would like to respectfully refute, each and every one of David Banners policies. 1) Lobbyist. David Banner would ban lobbying. Wrong. This is against the People's right to organize and petition our government. This is also against James Madison's vision of a Free Republic of Competing Factions, whereby the influence of one faction in a free society is equaled and cancelled out by one or more other competing factions. David Banner is wrong. The way you fight factions is not to stifle our freedom, but to expand it, and the way you expand freedom is to take away Power from the oppressive State and to follow the Constitution. For example, the more power we give the State over say the Health Care industry, the greater incentive there is for the Health Care industry to lobby the State in its favor, the more bad legislation, the more corruption. The more power we take away from the State over the Banking/Finance industry, the lesser the incentive is for the Banking industry to lobby influence. Example, you meet a poor bum on the street, do you see the Health Care industry giving him money to influence law? No, it is ridiculous, because the poor bum on the street has no influence over such things. Neither does the Federal government if you read the Constitution.

    • BLACK


    • Real Talk 100

      @Black, the principle here is your a fuckin Fascist Nazi. It's not about "ForeFathers", its about two opposing ideas: Freedom and State Power. If you disagree with absolute the freedom to petition your govt, than real talk, you a nazi who thinks the State should have the Power to tell us who can and cant. LOL Me,Im not a Nazi like you so I believe freedom works.

    • BLACK


  • justice born

    Diddy.ciroc really? used to think Banner was somewhat smart,but now ..hmmm I have serious doubts.