David Banner’s camp has released a statement regarding the public feud between the rapper and Rev. Al Sharpton over the activist’s attempt to clean up rap lyrics. The statement, e-mailed to EUR yesterday, backtracks on the recent profanity-laced comments Banner made toward Sharpton, saying they were from a “conversation on a DJ conference call,” and not “from a formal interview. …The manner in which it was delivered was not how he would respond in an interview.”
Among other choice words, Banner was quoted on rap site SOHH.com as saying: “The next time you see Al Sharpton, tell him I said f*ck him and he can suck my d*ck. I might change the name of my album from ‘The Greatest Story Never Told’ to ‘F*ck Al Sharpton.’” Kirsten John-Foy from Sharpton’s National Action Network responded with a statement that referred to Banner by his real name, Levell Crump. It read, in part:
“In keeping with the National Action Network’s Decency Initiative, I am sure Rev. Sharpton would not call Crump the ‘N’ ‘B’ or ‘H’ word. And, despite Crump’s personal request, I am sure Reverend Sharpton would not call him a f-g–t. He would just pray for him. We at NAN are pro civil rights for everyone, even Levell Crump who has not had a banner year since his debut album in 2003.”
The response from Banner’s camp included an open letter from the rapper that is said to have been written before his public comments about Sharpton, yet not released until now. “Banner’s true feelings and points that he desires to get across can be found in the letter,” the statement explains.
Here it is in its entirety:
Wrote A Letter To The Government The Other Day!
Stop Attacking The Kids
To all the black ‘so called leaders’. Al, Oprah, Jesse, etc, etc, etc… I’m saddened by your current direction and current ‘pet projects’ you guys have taken under your wing at the expense of Young Black America. As an urban professional living in this crazy world, I dare ask, who are you leading? I listen to what you say, I hear you complain about the youth, and about the direction of our lives, the kids, and where Black America is going and yet I still ask – who are you guys leading? And most importantly, where are we going? Do we know the goal we are trying to reach before we get there? Have we identified our end before articulating our means to an end! Who are you REALLY reaching? Why do you feel the need to attack the young generation for the things we are doing? “WHO DID WE LEARN THESE THINGS FROM? We are trying to have fun in the midst of our traumatic circumstances. People are trying to make a living by any means necessary, people are voicing their experiences, people are speaking the truth about situations and honestly the truth hurts and sometimes it’s ugly. If music/hip hop/ rappers are wrong with the language they use, the images they portray in their videos – then come talk to us – I use the term ‘us’ as a collective because I’m defending what I have a passion for so this also involves me. Pull us to the side and say “hey kids, that’s not the way to go” and then we can say “change what we see daily so we cansing and rap about the roses and not about the bullets”. We will say, help give us better situations to create better verbal material”. Don’t just go running off to the media to air the dirty laundry of the family and not expect us to fight back in some kind of way. What you are doing is wrong and it’s pissing off a lot of people with less money and camera time!
Young Black America’s problem is not Hip Hop or the music, Young Black America’s problem is Old White America. In the young black community, there is a growing level of resentment toward the ‘so called leaders’ because you guys DON’T WANT TO REALLY FIX OUR PROBLEMS. You guys don’t really want to be on our side fighting for better school systems, more after school programs, more money for college funding! Where are you leaders at when there’s a need to break down to freshman in college on how not to get caught up with credit cards by singing up for an MBNA card, with high interest rates that eventually screw up your credit and makes it that much harder for you to become a homeowner after you graduate college pending you can find a job in your field after you’ve spent all this money in student loans! Where are those seminars? Dubois had it right when he spoke of the Talented Tenth! Rally around us to help teach us about THIS life! It’s not our fault that the world is messed up and filled with debauchery. It’s not our fault that our communities are screwed! The problems in our community should not fall on our lap. And if you begin to hold us accountable for simply our words – then I will begin to hold you accountable for your actions; or lack there of. Right is right and wrong is wrong. You as our leaders should have taken a better approach to gaining the attention of those that you are dissatisfied with and had a conversation with them. You don’t scold your child in public without fair warning!