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Paul's a big fan of Kool Keith, one of his favorite MCs, and me and Keith had always promised to do a song together. So I don't know if it'll be this year or next year. The kind of guy I am and the kind of guy Paul is, we want to take our time, put our energy forward to get this collaboration the fair chance it deserves.
I didn't know that he was a fan of his or that he even knew him or connected to him. It's just where he's at with his life right now.
That's an element of RZA's production that's always spoken to me. Then you start factoring in that you've got fuckin' Rae and Ghost and RZA, the GZA slaying it lyrically. RZA: I'd heard of Interpol by name, just being in New York and seeing the new indie-rock scene growing.
But on the production side of things, that's what I would study. I didn't get deep into the music until after we met, and the album I got mostly into was this 2007 album and the song that sticks with me the most is "The Scale," in a sense of ... To a guy who discovers later on that I actually was loving rock.
They clocked more than 200 sessions and crafted ideas for around 40 songs, meticulously landscaping the sonic terrain.
In 2013, RZA had just gotten offstage at Los Angeles' Bedrocktoberfest when he first revealed he'd been working with Interpol lead singer Paul Banks on a collaborative project.
Looking back on the moment during a recent chat with , their debut as Banks and Steelz, finally releasing via Warner Bros. While the cross-pollination of hip-hop luminary RZA and Banks, an artist known for moody early-2000s indie rock, suggests experiment for experiment's sake, their chemistry on record is palpable, blending Interpol's icy remove with RZA's disjointed flow.
"We're both hard workers in the studio," explains RZA, who was first tipped off to Banks' work when his manager suggested they duet.
Even if it's just a straight hip-hop song, you need a chorus, and if it's a hip-hop song with a chord progression that I can get a vocal idea around, because we're collaborators, we just wouldn't work on anything that I couldn't see any contribution.
So much of the songs are based around a RZA beat, because he's in his element, and I think as a team of collaborators, we can explore, like, "RZA, why don't you try singing or different sorts of instrumentation?
We'd done it where RZA had both verses and the song was good to go, but we felt this was a good one to have the female perspective in the song.