Shabazz Palaces “ Black Up” | Sub Pop Records
Last year, Shabazz Palaces released one of the most interesting LP’s of the year. It’s a sound collage of hip-hop music with sophisticated hooks that scream ingenuity and natural, instinctual exploration.
Before Black Up, Shabazz had self-released multiple EP offerings with all sorts of incredible spices. Black Up brings out different flavors with some same of the same spices. So many flavors that it was listed #1 in the Seattle Times music column.
Listening to Black Up is listening to two talented dudes following out their feelings and not their ideas. On top of that, they are the first hip-hop group to be signed to Sub Pop ever.
Some songs recall a younger MF DOOM but gone off on its own remarkably gorgeous tangent. Some strike chords in eastern traditional along with Southern styled hip hop. But it’s really hard and not even fair to compare. On top of it being completely original and hard to compare, it has a mystical component as well.
As if Shabazz Palaces hatched from nothingness and gave a completely new light onto hip-hop and the way we perceive it. Song are not structured verse, chorus, verse chorus. Shabazz has broken down hip-hop generics and made something that screams confidence.
Each song seems to be made up of multiple songs. The beats sound like rusted robots battling on some distant, ghetto planet. The rapping is so intuitive, almost careless over the futuristic soundscape. Listening to Black Up is like listening to a mystical, Eastern cyborg having tea with a cultured, vinyl collecting alien. It’s an addictive release that sprouts out different noises with every listen.
Black Up is constantly reforming itself and plays more like a musical story board than a regular album. It is incredibly well put together and even the album covers minimal presence attracts. It’s one of last years “need to listen to” albums. I am in love with this album and highly recommend it if you haven’t heard it yet.
Get it HERE