Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA is gearing up to release his next major motion film with the help of entertainment company Lionsgate. Love Beats Rhymes, directed by RZA himself, is scheduled to release in the coming weeks and stars controversial rapper Azealia Banks, Common, Jill Scott, Lorraine Toussaint, Hana Mae Lee and Lucien Laviscount. Filmed in New York in 2015, Banks plays Coco, a lead character who aspires to be a successful rapper. Taking poetry classes to enhance her rapping skills, Banks goes through a number of obstacles until she reaches her ultimate goal.

Director RZA spoke with XXL recently about Banks' involvement in the film and how the "212" rapper ended up as the lead character in the movie. “When I was casting, my producer brought a video to me and said, 'Check out this girl! She could be...'—the lead character’s name is Coco—and I was like, 'Wow, actually she can be Coco. She actually is Coco,'" the Wu leader shares. “We had casting calls and a lot of beautiful sisters came in and they all did great jobs but for some weird reason, Azealia was Coco in my mind. And we got time to film in this movie, she was that. And she delivered."

Further in the interview, RZA compliments Banks for her acting role in the film and speaks on her potential in the movie industry. "I didn’t know nothing about her history or her past, or anything that I learned later because she came to set as a professional," he adds. "She did her job professionally and I think she has a great career in acting. I think that this girl seriously, if she would just emerge herself into her art…the sky is the limit."

RZA’s Love Beats Rhymes will release at select movie theaters and on video on demand formats starting on Fri., Dec. 1.

Watch RZA open up about Love Beats Rhymes and Azealia Banks' role in the video below.

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