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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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  • BPlusAPlusA


    Yesterday 6:09pm 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
  • SouptheHoop

    Can I just say that Ishmael is a phenomenal track. The first like 3 tracks are pretty great too.

    16 Aug 3:38am Reply
  • EnderFoShowYo

    i only see fantanus at swans shows in connecticut

    14 Aug 3:41am Reply
  • optimistic_tour

    Wrote a little about #CAKE and Shabazz in general, calling bullshit on that line about "not the future, but a step to the side" being a bad thing. Check it if you're in the wrong camp too!

    9 Aug 11:40pm Reply
  • sunheadbowed

    Isn't it blatantly obvious that an album like Lese Majesty takes more than a couple of listens to fully appreciate? Whether or not you wish to put in the effort of repeated listens is your prerogative, but people shouldn't be so quick to judge it as inferior to Black Up when the album has only been available to listen to for a couple of weeks. I'm glad no one dismissed Black Up so easily.

    9 Aug 1:04pm Reply
  • Sutinen

    I see fantano everywhere.

    8 Aug 1:41pm Reply
  • optimistic_tour

    Definitely a grower. There is absolutely no filler here. I swear, if they were simply longer tracks, instead of 2 minute track marks inside suites, no one would bat an eye. Instead people pick out tiny segments they think are worthy or not. It's all part of the feel!

    7 Aug 10:52pm Reply
  • Xhi

    "Black Up" was darker, yet "Lese Majesty" is almost ten minutes longer (some say due to fillers). Seems like a solid second album though - neither hate nor hype. Maybe a grower?

    7 Aug 6:42pm Reply
  • aquajitsu

    Please tell me more.

    6 Aug 2:45pm Reply
  • sunheadbowed

    You've probably listened to it like once.

    6 Aug 2:29am Reply
  • RussellChap


    5 Aug 10:36pm Reply
  • lukabruka

    New stuff not as good as "Black Up".

    5 Aug 10:22pm Reply
  • Spinnbar

    decades of music are hidden in 'lese majesty'. these two guys playing easy in a real royal league!

    2 Aug 5:00pm Reply
  • honicz

    Lese is AOTY [3]

    1 Aug 10:48pm Reply
  • All 723 shouts

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