"Rubber Band Man"
Producer: David Banner
T.I.: “Back before I was fortunate enough to do what I loved for a living, I used to make my money when the sun went down. Back in those days, the rubber bands that you had on your wrists were in hope of the funds that you would incur that evening. If someone is walking around with four or five rubber bands, they probably have about $4,000-$5,000 worth of work to sell. So by the end of the night, these rubber bands are going to be on these bank roles and not on our wrists. That was our lifestyle.”
“After I garnered some success from '24’s,' 'Rubber Band Man' was the follow up. Basically, I was naming people who had been fucking with me first, since like I’m Serious. I just wanted to show my respect and say thank you to places like Cackalacky, which is a slang term for Carolina. The idea was, they support me; I support them. Even exchange, no robbery.
“We toured the Southeast and Midwest regions so we appreciated all of the towns and neighborhoods that embraced us like Duval, Columbus, Gainesville, Tallahassee, Memphis, Chattanooga, the Carolinas, Mississippi, St. Louis, Detroit—all those places. We were doing a show in those places like three or four times each year.
Basically, I was naming people who had been f**king with me first, since like I’m Serious. I just wanted to show my respect and say thank you. - T.I.
DJ Toomp: “Tip wanted to do a rubber band song a while back, but he wanted to do something with The Spinners’ 'Rubberband Man.' We kept listening to the record but there wasn’t a way to make that record bounce the way we wanted it to. Once he heard that David Banner beat, he kept that concept; he just didn’t use The Spinners’ melody. The title 'Rubber Band Man' was always embedded in Tip’s head, he always wanted to do a song based around that. That idea was in his head for about a year and a half before he finally heard the right track to bring it out of him.”
David Banner: “Originally, I was in a group called Crooked Lettaz. I was signed to Penalty. Penalty folded and I ended up going to Tommy Boy. Bone Crusher was in a group called Lyrical Giants. When all the Tommy Boy stuff dissolved, me and Bone Crusher became really good friends and we were both really really really broke. So, we came up with this team.
“I was like, 'Bruh, if I’m producing for somebody and we need hooks, I’m going to come to you for the hooks. If anybody need a beat and you doing hooks, you come to me for the beat.' Bone Crusher ended introducing me to everybody in Atlanta that was hot. From Toomp to Lil Jon to T.I., everybody. I played some beats for T.I., T.I. really liked them.
“T.I. told me, he said, 'Listen Banner, I have to basically take care of everybody that’s around me. If you work with me on the price for these beats, I’ll make it worth your while. I promise you that.' I drove from Mississippi to Atlanta to work with him.
Tip wanted to do a rubber band song a while back, but he wanted to do something with The Spinners’ 'Rubberband Man.' We kept listening to the record but there wasn’t a way to make that record bounce the way we wanted it to. - DJ Toomp
“Just about everybody in Atlanta that was hot during that time heard that beat and T.I. was the only one [who picked it]. Everybody liked my beats. I remember Mr. DJ, who was the DJ for OutKast, said to me, 'Banner you two years ahead of everybody, you just have to be patient.' T.I. was one of the people who had the vision to see it before those two years were up.
“I had been doing the ‘David, David, David, David Banner' drop a long time before 'Rubber Band Man' but radio stations used to chop my tag off. T.I. was the first artist to tell radio stations not to take my tag off of his song. That really opened it up for other producers to put their tag at the beginning of the songs.
“'Rubber Band Man' was similar to when Busta Rhymes came out with 'Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check’ for New York. It brightened the scene up. Music was so dark, especially urban music from the South. It had gotten so aggressive, so mean. Although he’s talking about, you know, 'wild as the Taliban,' the beat was na-na-na-na, like it was happy. That one song changed the tone of music. You heard them 'Rubber Band Man' chords in about 12 songs after that record came out. It sort of changed music into that bright music with hard subjects.
I had been doing the ‘David, David, David, David Banner' drop a long time before 'Rubber Band Man' but radio stations used to chop my tag off. T.I. was the first artist to tell radio stations not to take my tag off of his song. That really opened it up for other producers to put their tag at the beginning of the songs. - David Banner
“That song was what allowed me to charge people what I get now for beats. People won’t admit it, but there’s this Mason-Dixon mentality that people have. I can have the same résumé as a producer from another part of the country and labels don’t want to pay you the same thing because you’re from the South, unless you’re connected to a Jay Z or somebody like that. After 'Rubber Band Man' I didn’t have that problem no more. That made me officially that platinum producer. That beat ushered in a new style of music and it also ushered me in as a producer. That record meant a whole lot, not just for me, but for several people.”
DJ Drama: “It was pandemonium [when ‘Rubberband Man’ came on in the club]. That was a huge record.”
Jason Geter: “‘Rubberband Man' was the turning point. That showed the world what was going on in the South. You had artists like Puffy that would come to the market and be like, 'Who the fuck is this kid?' Puff befriended us and wanted to sign Tip to Bad Boy. He came to parties and showed us a lot of support. For 'Rubber Band Man,' Puffy cosigned us [by being] in the video. That cosign definitely [had people asking], ‘Who’s this kid that’s not on Bad Boy that Puff is in this video with?’ That was maybe one of Puff’s first times doing that for a Southern artist.”