|Origin||Seattle, Washington, United States|
|Genres||Alternative hip hop, experimental hip hop|
|Associated acts||Chimurenga Renaissance, Digable Planets, THEESatisfaction, Flying Lotus|
Shabazz Palaces are an American, Seattle-based experimental hip-hop group 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 group 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.
Maraire collaborated with Hussein Kalonji as Chimurenga Renaissance to release riZe vadZimu riZe on March 25, 2014. Butler contributed two features as Palaceer Lazaro.
They were also featured on a track from Flying Lotus' 2013 mixtape Ideas+Drafts+Loops.
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.
Style and influences
Ishmael Butler, half of the duo, says 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 overtone's to his family's musical preferences. Butler's listening habits are eclectic as well; Rick Ross, Fleet Foxes, Animal Collective and Panda Bear all have a place in his library.
- 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.
- "Okayafrica Audio: Chimurenga Renaissance- "The B.A.D. Is So Good" Okayplayer". Okayplayer.com. Retrieved 2014-07-29.