Shabazz Palaces — Black Up

15 05 2011

Artist: Shabazz Palaces

Album: Black Up

Genre: Experimental Hip-Hop

Year: 2011


1.) free press and curl

2.) An echo from the hosts that profess infinitum

3.) Are you… Can you… Were you? (Felt)

4.) A treatease dedicated to The Avian Airess from North East Nubis (1000 questions, 1 answer)

5.) Youlogy

6.) Endeavors for Never (The last time we spoke you said you were not here. I saw you though.)

7.) Recollections of the wraith

8.) The King’s new clothes were made by his own hands

9.) yeah you

10.) Swerve… the reeping of all that is worthwhile (Noir not withstanding)


Mediafire (48.29 Mb; 192 kbps)

This album is gonna take my blog to the limit, as it will be allowing me to—for the first time—be a Sub Pop fanboy and try to act hip-hop at the same time.  Shabazz Palaces is Ishmael Butler and Erik Blood of Seattle, WA making some spacey, psychedelic hip-hop. and I’m going to tell you what I like about their new LP, Black Up, which is going to be the first hip-hop album out out on Sub Pop Records ever.  But in my opinion, Black Up actually has more of an Anticon-eqsue sound; at times, Shabazz Palaces sounds a lot like a busier cLOUDDEAD mixed with some London dubstep.  The lurching time signatures and variety of instrumental samples almost lend a found sound feeling to these tracks, but in the end it just adds to the abstract hip-hop weirdness of this album.  The sound-space is deep and echo-ey , and all different kinds of instruments float by as they travel past the deep bass and modulated vocals.  The actual rapping varies from good to mediocre between the ten tracks, but that’s probably only because a lot of it is competing with some truly outlandish instrumentation; this album still has plenty of SWAG SWAG SWAG SWAG SWAG SWAG SWAG.  Oh yeah speaking of swag, I think it’s very cool that between Black Up, Tyler the Creator’s Goblin (which I won’t be be discussing on this blog because I can’t make up my mind about it), and Death Grips’ debut Ex-Military ( to be discussed soon), 2011 has been a really interesting year for hip-hop.  And Shabazz Palaces’ chirping, glitching space rap sound will certainly go down as one of the most bizarre.



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