One of Wu-Tang Clan leader RZA's favorite albums is by a rock artist. He's spoken about his appreciation for rock music a couple of times in the past.

Back in 2019, RZA explained to Rolling Stone why he thought Wu-Tang Clan should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, arguing that hip-hop and rock 'n' roll have always shared the same spirit.

“It may take some time to get in there. I think it’s good for us and I think it’s good for rock 'n' roll, because hip-hop is a form of music that grabs from every genre, but definitely grabs from rock 'n' roll,” he said.

RZA's history with rock music goes beyond the spirit, though.

RZA Collaborated on an Album With a Rock Artist

RZA and Interpol vocalist Paul Banks collaborated on an album together called Anything But Words, which they released in 2016 under the moniker Banks & Steelz. It peaked in the Top 20 of three different Billboard charts — Top Alternative Albums (No. 15), Top Rap Albums (No. 11) and Top Rock Albums (No. 16).

Banks & Steelz, 'Who Needs the World'

RZA Named His Favorite Rock Albums

In an interview printed in Q magazine in 2016, RZA named his five favorite rock albums at the time. His picks are listed below.

  • Interpol, Our Love to Admire (2007)

”I chose this one because of that song 'The Scales.' That resonated hard with me. I love the progressions, the songwriting and the rock ’n’ roll sonics on this record.”

“I chose this for the song 'Do I Wanna Know?' I could play the Interpol album and this album back-to-back. It’s chunky, it’s a good measurement of rock.”

“The song that got me the most on this was 'Lost In Hollywood.' It’s about a guy going to Hollywood. It sounded like they were singing about my life on that song.”

  • ClutchPsychic Warfare (2015)

“I don’t think they ever sold more than 50,000 records. Their guitars are heavy. HE-AVY. They happened to be playing L.A. one night and I went home sore 'cos I was moshing.”

RZA didn't provide a quote for this pick — but it's still a solo album by a member of Red Hot Chili Peppers. Pretty niche!

One of RZA's Favorite Albums EVER Is a Rock Album

In the aforementioned interview, RZA was asked specifically about his favorite rock albums. But in 2021, he was asked to name the five albums he can't live without by Spin, and one of his selections was a rock album — Arctic Monkeys' 2018 release Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino.

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"Although this is not a hip-hop rock album, it hits harder than many attempts to create such a palette. The lyrics, the arrangements, the instrumentation and the cadence of the performances are all top-shelf," RZA praised of the album.

"I was introduced to this album on a road trip with my son who had just downloaded it. It totally caught me by surprise, made the trip memorable and stayed in my playlist ever since. 'Batphone' is one of the few modern rock songs I memorized from start to finish."

Arctic Monkeys, 'Batphone'

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