Shaun Banks is no pushover to the residency of corruption entangled within the police force. On "Pi$tols and Palmtree$," he illustrates the injustices surrounding the 5-0 in Los Angeles, sequestering his rap soothsayer comrades— Mar and Wallie the Sensei— for the feature.
The accompanying video production masquerades like the title sequence to a post-apocalyptic-block-buster before reclining its top-hood for the summer vibes that radiate throughout this track. Amongst his clique in the backdrop, Mar drops the hook with effortless flow, "watching for the police," as he builds over the words, "riding with the homies, through the blocks they patrolling." As the single evolves over the pulsating 808 thunderings below, 32nd note hi-hat scatterings induce a drooping head-swaying flow, while the squad transitions between L.A. side streets to boardwalks, and twilight meanderings in the whip.
Before we know it, Shaun Banks imposes his curve on the track with a verse that bolsters the comfort he has in his wordsmithing and dripped out vibe. "Bet I shoot like Kobe...doing what it takes to get my ass out the streets," he flourishes, arms swinging as he vibes out in front of his open door Tesla Model X. Proportionally important to the tracks magic though is, Shaun Banks, who imparts his scripture-like lyrical incantations with a whistful and tribe-like cantor for his stanza. "We move real pivotal, one hand on our genitals," he struts as his clique surrounds him, "when you try and find balance, the - will come challenging," erupting before the closing sprays, "we can make it a battle and I'ma let em have it." As the sun sets over the backdrop of the homogenous vibes found throughout "Pi$tols and Palmtree$," Shaun Banks and his clique never struggle to confide in their rap constructs and ultra-smooth flow.
Listen to " Pi$tols and Palmtree$" here.
What was it like filming on the streets out in L.A.? Did you happen to have any run-ins with the police during filming, or while traveling from one location to the next in such large groups?
Filming was dope it was very sporadic as far as locations; we were going with the flow of things so everything wasn't plotted thru but we made it work. We were actually looking for the police to actually be apart of the vid but it wasn't possible because of the seriousness of the riots and looting. At one moment they rolled past us yelling their horns because we were on the freeway recording. We almost had them but we couldn't get them to interact. When we saw them it seemed as if they already had some folks apprehended, plus it was national guard all over.
What is your favorite part about collaborating with Wallie and Mar, and why did you choose to feature them on "Pi$tols and Palmtree$?"
Filming with Dave Polo & these guys was fun and funny like how we are when we ain't doing music. We had been plotting to create the visual for a while now, we just had complications with the videographer prior to this visual.
But we finally pulled thru tho and it's crazy how timing works because this song has that saying, 'Watching for the police" and it pertains to what's going on today currently with the police brutality, leading to the deaths of young and older blacks so it fits the narrative perfectly especially after George Floyd's death. Rest in Peace. but yeah, I didn't really choose these guys, in particular, I just wrote the hook presented it to Mar and he blessed it with his vocals. The day we were in the studio Wallie pulled up and heard it and was ecstatic. He laid his verse quickly without hesitation and it instantly became a hit.
What was the most challenging process that revealed itself during the production for this single and the subsequent filming?
The most challenging thing was getting people together considering the coronavirus theory that's going. I was the one making the calls for folks to meet when and where to meet, follow me's, etc. So yea that was the most challenging thing I had to endure making this visual.
Can we expect more collaborations between you and your friends in the music industry, and are you releasing any more music with the support of Wallie the Sensei or Mar this year?
Most definitely can expect more features. Both of these guys are talented. In fact, I and Mar have a single in the near future called Nympho so be sure to be tuned in to that; I feel like I really stepped outta my lane sparking versatility in this one because the beat is modernized to the new west coast rap today.
What has been keeping you inspired?
Everyday life events keep me inspired truly. I do still listen to a lot of 90's music that's always have kept me inspired. I'm not really fond of the hip hop today but I think I've found a way to be in my own lane considering myself as a conscious artist. Keeping the true elements of hip hop and where it came from is what I stand on. So every time I get on the mic, I get inspired to unveil the true hip hop that inspired me when I was young. The Common's, Mos Def's and Tupac's of the world are what keep me honing my pen game.