Friday, May 20, 2016

RZA & Interpol Frontman Paul Banks Unveil "Very Unique and Very Peculiar" Banks & Steelz Creation, "Love + War" Ahead of Warner Bros. Full-length (Zane Lowe World First Premier)

"Just in from the department of unexpectedness, Banks (no, not Lloyd) has upped a mixtape and it's called EVERYBODY ON MY D*CK LIKE THEY SUPPOSED TO BE. Actually, we kinda knew this was happening. Paul [Banks] sent over a rough mixtape about nine months ago of his beats and production and it was genius. And what, with all the Kendricks and the A$APs and whatever, we thought a mixtape would take Banks to new heights if we got it out months before release... In this case, Paul called in a some mega-favors and got features from El-P, Talib [Kweli], Mike G, and hold up, HIGH PRIZM (né High Priest)," reads Matablog's tongue-in-cheek press release published accompanying Interpol frontman Paul Banks' surprisingly great 2013 "mixtape," Everybody On My D*ck Like They Supposed to Be. It would appear as though around the same general time frame, Banks miraculously managed to link up with avid chess player and Wu-Tang Clan founding member RZA; "Me and Paul Banks from Interpol, we're doing an album together. I love Paul. [We've] been working on it for six months now. He just left my house. He came and spent two weeks at my house - I have a guesthouse in my studio," RZA revealed to Rolling Stone nearly four years ago. "We went to the studio and we started writing songs and they sound very, very different than what I do, but very unique and very peculiar. But it won't be out for a while," RZA exuberantly continued.

Wednesday afternoon out of the blue, nearly four years after candidly mentioning the loose formation of their genre-blending project, Paul Banks and RZA, now known as Banks & Steelz, announced that they would be premiering their as-yet-untitled debut single on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 Radio show the following afternoon. Low and behold, Thursday afternoon, coinciding with a couple LA and New York-area @banksandsteelz pop-up shops, Banks & Steelz gifted Lowe their sultry horn and guitar-assisted single, "Love + War" alongside sharp-tongued Wu-Tang swordsmen Ghostface Killah. It's a rather thought-provoking tasteful melding of RZA and Paul Banks beloved Staten Island Hip-Hop and critically-acclaimed Indie Rock stylings, which to my ears at least, tends to evoke both Santana & Rob Thomas' GRAMMY-winning "Smooth" and Common's John Mayer-assisted Kanye & J Dilla-produced G.O.O.D. Music album, Be (2005). Then, Friday morning, mere hours after having initially announced their long-gestated project, Banks & Steelz again unveiled "Love + War"'s Arms Race-directed visual accompaniment; "this video is unlisted. Be considerate and think twice before sharing," reads a rather cryptic message mysteriously packaged along with "Love + War"'s embedded code. It appears to be a loose 6-minute homage to RZA's friend and frequent collaborator Quentin Tarantino's cult classic Reservoir Dogs and its iconic, often imitated "ear" scene. Banks & Steelz have yet to announce any concrete release plans for their debut Warner Bros. full-length, although they have in fact booked a string of concert dates at FYF Fest, Life Is Beautiful, and Austin City Limits this summer.

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