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Did Goldie slip up and reveal Banksy’s identity?

The musician might have dropped the elusive graffiti artist in it on Scroobius Pip's podcast

The attempted unmasking of Bristol graffiti artist Banksy has been going on for years, with everything from full-scale investigations to accusations that he is in fact a she in the hunt to uncover his real identity. We’ve seen a lot of madcap theories in that time, but it turns out that after all that, all we really needed was for one of his mates to fuck up in a podcast.

While chatting to Scroobius Pip for his Distraction Pieces podcast on Tuesday, drum and bass legend Goldie got into a discussion about the commodification of Banksy. He said: “give me a bubble letter and put it on a t-shirt and write ‘Banksy’ on it and we're sorted. We can sell it now. No disrespect to Robert, I think he is a brilliant artist. I think he has flipped the world of art over”. Shortly after this blunder Goldie changed the subject, but one listener realised that Goldie was referencing Robert Del Naja, also known as 3D, member of Massive Attack.

Del Naja has been accused of being Banksy before, after journalist Craig Williams posted a piece that posited that he was the leader of a group of artists working under the Banksy moniker. Keen observers noticed that Banksy murals cropped up in locations that Massive Attack visited on tour. The facts all seemed to be there: Del Naja was a prominent Bristol graffiti artist who used to work with close pal Goldie. Banksy provided the foreword to Del Naja’s book 3D & the Art of Massive Attack, stating" “3D quit painting and formed the band Massive Attack, which may have been a good thing for him, but was a big loss for the city.” Del Naja described Banksy as a “close friend”. They have referenced one another throughout their careers, and yet, Del Naja has denied previous rumours that he is indeed Banksy. 

Chances are people will give far less of a shit about Banksy when we really do know who he is. If, as all signs indicate, Robert Del Naja really is Banksy, all that hard work denying his identity has been absolutely scuppered by one of his best mates. Nice one, pal. Trust no one, as your boy Banksy might say.