Rapper David Banner Talks About ‘Floating’ In Sobriety Through Meditation

By Keri Blakinger 05/25/17

"I’m learning to tap into God through meditation. I don’t need them drugs to put myself on that level.”

David Banner

“Sex, Drugs & Video Games” rapper David Banner may just be into sex and video games now. In a recent interview with Unique Access, the Southern rapper opened up about his sobriety and love for meditation.

The 43-year-old artist started off telling host Soren Baker about the “spiritual transition” he sees on his latest album The God Box. “It seems like you’re more honed in on and you’re more focused, thematically,” Baker offered.

“And I’m sober,” Banner interrupted. He went on to explain what impact that could have on his music. “Being high—even though it allows you to open up portals to put yourself on other levels—you’re broken, you sort of float wherever the feeling goes.”

His album with 9th Wonder—back in 2010—was his first sober, Banner added. “I still drink a little bit, but I don’t get hammered. I’m learning to tap into God through meditation,” he said. “I don’t need them drugs to put myself on that level.”

The Mississippi native said it was an ongoing battle with depression that sparked his decision to find another way to approach his craft. “I was really dying for real,” he said. “When I would go to the doctor, everybody was like your cholesterol is a little high but we don’t see anything. There was one doctor in Mississippi who said, ‘Your spirit is dying. Whatever you are doing if you continue going down that path, you are going to die.’”

Banner took that diagnosis to heart. “At the time I was a staunch Christian,” he said. Accordingly, he was skeptical about the value of meditation, which he didn’t see as a part of orthodox Christianity. But he decided to give it a try, in desperate need of a change.

“The only reason I needed transcendental meditation was because I felt like I was dying,” he said. “It changed me. Like literally I feel—I say this and people think I’m joking—sometimes I really feel like I’m glowing,” he said. 

“Sometimes I really feel like I’m floating and shit, and people might think that’s strange and David Banner’s crazy, but I’m just being honest with you. I think it shows in the music.”

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Keri Blakinger is a former drug user and current reporter living in Texas. She covers breaking news for the Houston Chronicle and previously worked for the New York Daily News and the Ithaca Times. She has written about drugs and criminal justice for the Washington Post, Salon, Quartz and more. She loves dogs and is not impressed by rodeo food. Find Keri on LinkedIn and Twitter.