Only a little more than a year after releasing two EPs Seattle's Shabazz Palaces signed to Sub Pop for their full-length debut. Even on a high-profile label, former Digable Planets member Ishmael Butler (formerly Butterfly) maintains a shroud of mystique, rapping under the facade of Palaceer Lazaro and purposely avoiding publicity, interviews, and liner credits. Considering his long-term time in the game, his wordplay is still surprisingly relevant, and, masked as Lazaro, he reinvents himself by adding an air of sophistication to the persona of a streetwise gangster. Jazz references are no longer the norm and Butler steers away from the blaxploitation slang and rhymes about being an insect or a creamy spy, but he still has a distinctive, surreal style of flowing. As the mainstream becomes more and more predictable, Shabazz Palaces’ inscrutability is a welcome change. Because the beats are so abstract, roots take precedent, and a strong presence on the microphone becomes the most important aspect. Butler fills this role with ease. His smooth, sparkling rhymes glue Knife Knights' watery environment together to create a provocative listen from start to finish.

 

Tracklist:

Free Press And Curl  
An Echo From The Hosts That Profess Infinitum  
Are You… Can You… Were You? (Felt)  
A Treatease Dedicated To The Avian Airess From North East Nubis (1000 Questions, 1 Answer)  
Youlogy  
Endeavors For Never (The Last Time We Spoke You Said You Were Not Here. I Saw You Though.)  
Recollections Of The Wraith  
The King’s New Clothes Were Made By His Own Hands  
Yeah You  
Swerve...The Reeping Of All That Is Worthwhile (Noir Not Withstanding)  

 

Label: Sub Pop

Catalogue Number: SP900

SHABAZZ PALACES - BLACK UP

£17.99Price