Wu-Tang Clan's RZA, Faulkner Debut 'NY Anthem' on ESPN's 'Draft Academy'
The collaboration between the rapper and the rock band aired for the first time on Tuesday's premiere episode of the four-week NFL series.
Every NFL draft hopeful needs a solid theme tune, and who better to perform it than RZA from Wu-Tang Clan and rock band Faulkner?
The mastermind producer teamed up with the California alt-rock quartet to create the new collaboration single "NY Anthem," which debuted on ESPN's Draft Academy on Tuesday.
Recorded at Rick Rubin’s Shangri La Studio in Malibu last January and featured on Faulkner's new EP Americaneur, the track includes freestyling from the rapper including classic verses like: "Redbones from Queens drop that Wu-Tang Slang."
"I like these guys a lot... it turned out to be a great energy," RZA told Billboard in February, explaining of the homage to native city. "It's never hard to find something new to say about New York."
Faulkner singer/guitarist Lucas Asher is a longtime fan of the frontman, but never expected RZA to respond when he wrote to him suggesting a collaboration.
However, RZA revealed that he was instantly impressed: "They gave me a demo of the song, and it sounded very interesting. So I said, 'OK, let me come on in and see what kind of energy we have.' And it turned out to be a great energy," he revealed.
Faulkner is the first group to publicly join creative forces with RZA in the run up to the 20th anniversary album, A Better Tomorrow, which will be released later this summer.
Wu-Tang Clan made a unique announcement earlier this month when they revealed that they'll be manufacturing just one unique copy of their forthcoming LP, The Wu — Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, and then auctioning it off for a price they expect to reach into the millions. "Offers came in at $2 million, somebody offered $5 million," RZA told Billboard.
The 31-track album, which was recorded in secret over the past few years and produced by Tarik "Cilvaringz" Azzougarh "under the tutelage" of the RZA, will be housed in a hand-carved nickel-silver box designed by British-Moroccan artist Yahya.
RZA is currently promoting Brick Houses, his forthcoming film with the late Paul Walker, and Gang Related, his Fox show launching next month.
Faulkner will release Americaneur this summer, followed by a number of west coast shows.
Meanwhile, Draft Academy will air in four one-hour episodes on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on ESPN. Most weeks Draft Academy will follow original airings of NFL analyst Jon Gruden’s QB Camp.