Alfred Banks dropped a new EP called Quickstrike over the holiday weekend, produced by EF Cuttin. His lyrics are honest and deceptively simple. The introduction is quite literally an introduction: “I go by the name of Alfred Banks. I’m from a city you may have heard of. It’s called New Orleans, Louisiana. I’m from the uptown part of that city and I represent Underdog Central and it goes a little something like…”
Alfred’s new EP reads like an interview. He tells you all about himself and his goals. He does the work, so you don’t have to — but he clearly values hard work above all else, rapping “Being hard working and talented, they both coincide.” He even chastises people who clown around and make other people’s work harder: “Don’t be talking while other people are concentrating. If you think that you can make it, why don’t you study?” He doesn’t believe in short cuts or doing anything by half measures. “[They] used to all be laughing, used to make fun when I showed ‘em my passion. Now they respect that Alfred is so passionate… My grind got me here so don’t (blame me).”
This EP is equal parts swagger and sincerity. “What I write leaves they jaws ajar. What I make leaves them all in awe,” is balanced out by, “Moms calls me every day just to tell me she’s proud.” He may brag about being able to buy what he wants but he also highlights where the real feeling of reward and accomplishment comes from, “Walkin’ the stores on Canal like I own this shit. Seeing things I always wanted. I always hoped for this shit. But nowadays I can buy it, what I’m noticing is, knowing you can get it is more satisfying than owning the shit.”
Today (December 2), Banks released a music video for the EP’s “Going On.”
Alfred is joined on the final track of the EP by Chase N Cashe, Chris Crack and Mickey Factz. Last year, Alfred and Chase performed together at Gasa Gasa. Next week, Alfred will be playing Gasa Gasa again, with fellow record-mate Mickey Factz and Mega Ran, who were both also featured on his EP, The Beautiful Prelude. Alfred is fresh off the road with Tank and the Bangas, so this should be a strong show. “You see that boy, Banks (We got things going on). He been rising up the ranks. (We got things going on)…. He always sayin’ he the best. Let’s see what he gon’ do next.”
Alfred Banks performs at Gasa Gasa, 4920 Freret St., on December 12, with Mega Ran and Mickey Factz. $12-$14. Doors at 8 p.m. Show at 9 p.m.