• S
    • M
    • L
    • XL
    • XXL
      • XXL
      • XL
      • L
      • M
      • S

David Banner, Sex, Drugs & Video Games

David Banner may have stepped away from the mic for two years, but you can’t tell by his sixth solo album—which, in reality, is the best way to describe Sex, Drugs & Video Games. The project is a free release, as Banner and Los Angeles producer Swiff D are responsible for the majority of the album’s production, while features include Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Snoop Dogg, Game, Bun B, A$AP Rocky, Don Trip, Big K.R.I.T. and more.

Following the “Intro,” “Sex, Drugs & Video Games,” Banner spits his view on hip-hop’s current state, taking a jab at the widely publicized Common vs. Drake beef. In the same breath, he reminisces on a deeper experience, reflecting on earlier parts of his career. “Our soul is controlled by music that we make/When I die I wanna be known for more than just ‘Play’/Now let me say, that I’m a tad bit embarrassed/That White folks think it’s cool that there’s niggas off in Paris,” he raps. “Went to Africa, a child said, ‘Banner now it’s on/I’m a nigga till I die, ’cause I heard it in your song/‘Real hoes get down on the flo’, how I know?/’Cause I bought your fucking CD and that bitch, it told me so.”

The Mississippi rhymeslinger goes on to address hip-hop’s influence on youth with socially conscious records like “Who’s That,” “Swag Remix,” and the percussion-heavy “Malcolm X,” where, this time around, he encourages his sisters to get off the stripper pole. Enlisting Big K.R.I.T. for “Believe,” an infectious record that samples Jodeci’s “Love U 4 Life,” Banner talks love and loss. Backed by melodic strings, Banner appeals to female fans on “Let Me In” with R&B crooner Tank.

Aside from those tracks, the Southern rapper salutes both coasts while showcasing his infamous Southern bravado. Standout West Coast anthem “Californication” enlists Snoop Dogg, Game, Nipsey Hussle, Ras Kass and Kree for an in depth story. Old-school influenced “Castles in Brooklyn” appropriately features Brooklyn representer Maino and pays homage to the legendary Beastie Boys, sampling “Brass Monkey.” However, the album is not without a Southern collaboration as Trill OG Bun B kicks the real on “Smoked Out.”

While the rapper/producer’s album is a bit lengthy (15 full tracks, 5 interludes), the star-studded features, catchy production and variety of song topics keep the listener attached. SDV proves to be a comprehensive album of club bangers, R&B records, and socially and politically conscious tracks while compiling different sounds into one project. It’s remains to be seen if Banner was actually able to create a new model with this release—he hoped to get 2 million fans to donate $1 each, as part of his 2M1 Movement—but even if he doesn’t reach that lofty goal, he did accomplish putting out a project worth sitting with. —Rachelle Jean-Louis (@RJL24)

  • Real Talk Slim

    This album goes hard please support the brother and donate a dollar you pay more for bullshit, This is a buck for a solid ass project. keep it real yall go on itunes and pay 99 cent for some trash. (cashout,same damn time) Real Talk

  • Grant

    xxl review 50 cent the lost tape, cant believe this mixtape got reviewed first when 50′s got more buzz. Too many 50 haters, smh

    • Patrick

      nah, fifty had more buzz, but it was definitely not as good as banner’s.

  • sumguy

    “Death of a pop star” was a really good album and hiphopdx rated it 4/5 stars. But who listened to it? Who said anything about it? Nobody, and so the message was lost because no one gave a fuck about it. So with this project he was trying to push his message to more people by putting some commercial songs on the album. Why? So ignorant muthafuckas would be tricked into learning something. I do acknowledge that those filler tracks was a tough pill to swallow but I love what david banner is talking about lyrically in the other songs like Malcom X for example. The commercial artists that was on the project seemed like they were’nt on the same page with Banner though. The interludes is what plagues his mind as an artist, african american, and a man. JUST LISTEN to what he is saying on songs like “Sex,drugs and money” , “Swag Remix”, “Who’s That” , and especially “Malcolm X”. But there are fun tracks on the album as well.

  • swype-matic

    ^^I agree with you sumguy. Though this tape did have a handful of commercial sounding tracks, they weren’t your normal corny ass contrived tracks, they still sounded good themselves. the only Tracks I didn’t keep were the Wayne/Chris brown one, and both “Yao Ming” sounds. But every other track is dope in some way. No Choice, Let Me In, Malcolm X, Smoked Out, Believe, and Californication were the standouts for me. But there’s so many other good tracks, and I will be donating. ‘Death of A Pop Star’ was a great album too. Only thing I didn’t like was that it was 30 minutes.