Interpol's Paul Banks and Wu-Tang Clan rapper and resident producer, RZA, unveiled their new collaborative project, Banks & Steelz, today on Apple's Beats 1 radio. The duo dropped debut cut "Love and War" featuring the Wu-Tang's Ghostface Killah.
A musical venture nearly three years in the making, and a friendship that goes much further, Bobby Steels himself (otherwise known as the RZA) and DJ Fancy Pants a.k.a. Julian Plenti (Monsieur Banks) devised their rollicking rap and rock collaboration over untold games of chess.
In October of 2013, the pair began sharing information on their artistic collusion. At that time, RZA spoke to Rolling Stone of their bonding over the aforementioned two-player strategy game, as well as their cooperative chemistry in the recording studio:
"Me and Paul, we play chess together and just hang out. 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. ... That's where my heart is at musically."
That same year, Banks issued his debut mixtape, Everybody on My D*ck Like They Supposed to Be, with appearances from disparate rappers like Talib Kweli, El-P, Mike G, and High Prizm. The material revealed the rock and roll singer's hip-hop production prowess.
In an interview with SPIN, the Interpol frontman recalled tracking his 2012 solo album, Banks, with producer Peter Katis. Expounding on his love of hip-hop beat-making, the singer brought rap songs to the producer as in-studio inspiration:
"I was listening a lot to Drake when I was recording, but that was once all the songs were written. I took hip-hop songs to Peter to said, 'Check this out.' But he's not into hip-hop. A lot of times he'd be looking at me like, 'Why the f*ck are you playing me this?'"
Below, watch the video for the new Banks & Steelz song "Love and War," seemingly an homage to Quentin Tarantino's film Reservoir Dogs.