Tag Archives: RZA


Nick Hakim Celebrates New Album at The Bowery Ballroom

May 18th, 2017

Nick Hakim – The Bowery Ballroom – May 17, 2017

Brooklyn-based Nick Hakim grew up in Washington, D.C., and matriculated from the famed Berklee College of Music before settling in New York City. He has a throwback feel to his vocals, with R&B grooves and good ol’ Motown sensibilities. Jazz influences are also heard, which makes sense as he recently completed a short residency at the Blue Note. And his pair of EPs, Where Will We Go, Pt. 1 and Pt. 2, have garnered considerable praise. Hakim’s upcoming full-length album, Green Twins, was born in a Brooklyn bedroom, and he’s described its influences as “if RZA had produced a Portishead album.”

Last night—two days before his LP’s release—Hakim graced the stage of The Bowery Ballroom. Opening with the title track, he quickly enraptured fans as his mellifluous voice lulled the room. The singer-songwriter managed to dip into his older material, producing “Cold” and the crowd-pleasing “I Don’t Know.” Hakim had lost his glasses and remarked that he couldn’t see, but who needs to see when you have an R&B voice that transmutes hefty doses of soul. Guitarist Joe Harrison took the “oldie” away with a soaring solo.

Midway through the set, pianist Jake Sherman offered up a heavily Auto-Tuned rendition of the Beatles“Yesterday.” The remainder of the performance was largely an introduction to his soon-to-be release, from the lilting “Needy Bees” to “Farmissplease,” which had the audience bopping to the percussion. There would not be an encore, but it’s plain to hear that the the Brooklynite’s neo-soul styling’s ushered in a unique take for this summer’s soundtrack. —Sharlene Chiu


Banks & Steelz – The Bowery Ballroom – September 1, 2016

September 2nd, 2016

Banks & Steelz - The Bowery Ballroom - September 1, 2016

Photos courtesy of Adela Loconte | adelaloconte.com


Paul Banks and RZA Come to The Bowery Ballroom as Banks & Steelz

August 30th, 2016

Introduced by a mutual acquaintance, Interpol frontman Paul Banks and Wu-Tang Clan head honcho RZA first bonded over tequila (in the East Village), noodles (in Chinatown) and chess (everywhere) before they began to make music together, as Banks & Steelz, that “balances chilly post-punk and hard-hitting hip-hop in ways that are equally indebted to and distinct from its members’ past work.” The collaboration “came about because I met Paul and I dug his style, and we hung out a few times,” said RZA to Esquire. Banks told the magazine that “I think lyrically I’ve always taken a lot of influence from hip-hop and a lot of influence from, especially, the hip-hop that RZA’s been a part of.” Their first album, Anything but Words (stream it below), dropped last week: “Cross-genre collaborations don’t always land as expected. When combining riffs and rhymes, there’s a high risk that descriptors like ‘rap-rock’ and even ‘nu-metal’ will creep up to cloud objectivity, recalling ghosts from the late ’90s,” according to AllMusic. “On Anything but Words, the debut effort from Banks & Steelz, two seemingly disparate forces mesh so well that it sounds like they were meant to be together all along…. Anything but Words is a stellar and truly collaborative endeavor between two creative energies, the result of an organic songwriting process that is anything but thrown together.” Now touring behind the new album, Banks & Steelz (above, their video for “Giant”) play The Bowery Ballroom on Thursday night. Kool Keith, who appears on Anything but Words, opens the show.


RZA – Music Hall of Williamsburg – October 3, 2012

October 4th, 2012

Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg | charlesolivierphoto.com


RZA’s Iron Fists Tour Comes to Music Hall of Williamsburg Tomorrow

October 2nd, 2012

Wu-Tang Clan leader RZA is a man of many talents. In addition to being one of the most influential hip-hop producers and MCs of all time, he’s also an author and actor, which would probably be enough for most people—but not the man born Robert Driggs. Why just act in other people’s projects when he could helm one of his own? Spurred on by a lifelong interest in kung fu, RZA cowrote (with Eli Roth) and directed the soon-to-be-released The Man with the Iron Fists (with the killer tagline “You Can’t Spell Kung Fu Without F and U”), which stars Russell Crowe among others. And to get out the word, RZA (above, on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson) is hitting the road. See him, with Supernatural and maybe even some special guests, tomorrow night at Music Hall of Williamsburg.