|Origin||Seattle, Washington, United States|
Shabazz Palaces is an American, Seattle-based experimental hip-hop duo led by Ishmael Butler, aka Palaceer Lazaro (formerly Butterfly of jazz–hip hop group Digable Planets) and multi-instrumentalist Tendai "Baba" Maraire, son of Mbira master Dumisani Maraire.
The pair anonymously self-released two EPs, Eagles Soar, Oil Flows and The Seven New (referred to as Shabazz Palaces and Of Light, respectively) in 2009 before becoming one of the few hip-hop acts to be signed to the Sub Pop label and releasing its debut full-length album, Black Up to wide critical acclaim in 2011. Black Up was listed #1 in Seattle Times music columnist Andrew Matson's "Local Top #10" of 2011.
In February 2016, Butler announced that the duo were completing their third studio album, which Butler described as being about "our relationship with devices. Not just our reliance on technological devices, but the ways they make us live and present and manipulate yourself."
Shabazz Palaces is included in Black Constellation, a collective of visual artists, fashion designers, and musicians. The group hosts a series of parties referred to as "Black Weirdo" in Seattle, Toronto, New York and Minneapolis.
Maraire collaborated with Hussein Kalonji as Chimurenga Renaissance to release riZe vadZimu riZe on March 25, 2014. Butler contributed two features as Palaceer Lazaro.
The group were also featured on a track from Flying Lotus' 2013 mixtape Ideas+Drafts+Loops.
Style and influences
Butler notes that the work of Shabazz Palaces differs from his previous work stylistically. He cites his primary influences as "abstract", pulling from podcasts and mixtapes. Butler attributes the use of African percussion and jazz overtones to his family's musical preferences.
- BBC - BBC 6 Music Programmes - Lauren Laverne, 27/09/2011
- Video: 'The King's New Clothes...' on YTGVB | Rolling Stone
- Shabazz Palaces - Black Up - Album Reviews at Undertheradar
- Matson, Andrew (December 24, 2011). "Best pop music 2011: Seattle and beyond". Seattle Times. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- Drake, David (2014-05-02). "Shabazz Palaces' New Album "Lese Majesty" Release Date Announced". Complex. Retrieved 2014-07-29.
- Rolland, David. "Shabazz Palaces' Ishmael Butler Hints At New Digable Planets Material". New Times Broward-Palm Beach. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
- "Okayafrica Audio: Chimurenga Renaissance- "The B.A.D. Is So Good" Okayplayer". Okayplayer.com. Retrieved 2014-07-29.