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Shabazz Palaces

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Shabazz Palaces are percussionist Tendai Maraire and Ishmael Butler, formerly of Digable Planets and Cherrywine. Working now under the moniker Palaceer Lazaro, Ishmael provides the group’s vision and vocals, while Tendai employs ancient instruments from his homeland Zimbabwe.

After releasing several recordings themselves on small time labels, in 2010 they contracted to release an ep with Sub Pop and have collaborated in recordings and on stage with artists such as mc Silk, and THEESatisfaction. They deliver sincere and radical lyrics with sounds and beats that include sounds from around the world. Containing echos of , minor-key , London and sounds they structure their songs outside the 16-bars/chorus/repeat form of much hip hop.Their music won them the first ever Music Genius award from The Stranger in 2010.

The group which also features mixing engineer Erik Blood, often dress in elaborate costumes and masks for their live performances.


For Butler, who never stopped making music since he released his classic album by Digable Planets , ‘’Blowout Comb’‘, Shabazz palaces is his latest place to play with ideas. Those ideas have always been simultaneously global in their expansiveness and basement ceiling low in their commitment to hip-hop’s bottom line.


Their video for Belhaven Meridian is a one-shot bw music video, shot in Watts, LA, homage to the 1977 classic film Killer of Sheep, a film set around the Watts Riots. It features a cameo by Ernest Wadell from The Wire.

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  • eagors93

    just discovered Lese Majesty and literally can't stop listening to it

    21 Oct 10:27pm Reply
  • shaolin86

    I wasn't immediately hooked, but Lese Majesty is really growing on me.

    4 Oct 6:16pm Reply
  • Massive_Anus

    i only see fantango at swans shows in connecticut [2]

    4 Oct 3:23am Reply
  • h_r_f_d

    ishmael @_______________@

    29 Sep 10:02am Reply
  • Off456

    EKAC#

    27 Sep 10:03am Reply
  • electrobaboon

    Really enjoying Lese Majesty. Motion Sickness is killer.

    25 Sep 8:27pm Reply
  • persisofmem

    it's like listening to bauhaus/animal collective rap

    22 Sep 4:10am Reply
  • JordanMatondo

    TOP 3 TRACKS OFF LESE MAJESTY: 1. They Come in Gold | 2. Motion Sickness | 3. Noetic Noiromantics

    18 Sep 12:55am Reply
  • jefffq

    very pleasantly surprised by this

    16 Sep 5:02pm Reply
  • lukeloseth

    Lese Majesty is so important

    7 Sep 7:44pm Reply
  • bkelleher

    I still can't get into his flow... idk

    5 Sep 8:40pm Reply
  • optimistic_tour

    I feel like they're equals, completely mastering their respective styles. Black Up is more direct and energetic; Lese Majesty is more jazzy and fluid and spacey. also I'm having a hard time believing that anything in 2014 will be better.

    4 Sep 12:05am Reply
  • EnderFoShowYo

    lese is only like a single rung of the ladder below black up.

    3 Sep 9:49pm Reply
  • JordanMatondo

    It's funny how I'm telling myself Lese Majesty is without question weaker than Black Up but still playing "Noetic Noiromantics" on repeat after what feels like an hour straight lol. #Touch&Agree

    3 Sep 2:49am Reply
  • Alec_Trevelyan

    lol everyone is mostly listening to Lese in order! Look at the charts! Good job everyone, long live the album. iTunes single track buyers shall fall and learn the error of their fickle ways.

    31 Aug 9:00pm Reply
  • Alec_Trevelyan

    Sooooo good this music

    30 Aug 11:00pm Reply
  • mocoa

    good shit shabazz

    28 Aug 1:47am Reply
  • crapuccino

    i love the new album way more than black up, mindblowing shit

    24 Aug 12:22am Reply
  • The_Altruist

    Majesty is timeless. It's unidentifiable in the best possible way.

    23 Aug 10:17pm Reply
  • futhamucka

    Lese Majesty is that shit.

    16 Aug 5:04pm Reply
  • All 737 shouts