Peter Holslin wrote this from his vacation home on Mars Ishmael Butler handles the mic like a king. I mean this quite literally. On the new Shabazz Palaces album, Lese Majesty, I keep picturing the veteran rapper luxuriating atop a throne, ruling over some deep space Planet X, as he drops 10-dollar words (“sepulcher,” “farceur”), […]
Zilla Rocca divides cakes to rise the stakes Collecting cake is dirty business. Make the stakes too high and no one buys in. Make the punishment too soft and no one kicks back bread. You give a jackpot chaser a yard, he takes ten miles. Deadlines must be given, force used as a last resort. […]
Shabazz Palaces offer the least compromises, which makes them the most radical. It’s not so much fear of speaking out that frightens political artists, but fear of fucking up the money. A decade and a half after “The Real Slim Shady,” rebellion is largely a pose. You can market revolutionary sentiment  to college kids in […]
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TRUTH. BEAUTY. EMOTION. SOUL. FUNCTIONALITY. AWESOMENESS. MINIMALISM. SHABAZZ PALACES. Ish is holding court at Gorilla Vs. Bear today — dropping old Mingus, Gang Starr, Mobb Deep, Funkadelic, and 80 Blocks From Tiffany’s. Instructions self-evident.
I’m sick as hell and my brain feels like it’s been stripped and sold for scrap metal. I tried to write a Kriss Kross obituary, but the words came out as tangled as the dance moves I once attempted to bust to “I Missed the Bus.” But let me offer a heavy-hearted RIP in lieu […]
Quiet as kept, Tendai Maraire of Shabazz Palaces dropped a solo LP last October, under the banner of Chimurenga Renaissance. Judging from the group’s website, it’s a concept record about the history of Zimbabwe, Cecil Rhodes, wars against imperialism, and blood diamonds. The record’s first track, “A Toast to Frame and Ro,” features Palaceer Lazarro […]
When you name a song “Iridescent Asteroid Mists” you know what to expect. Something straight out of the Siberian asteroid debris playbook. Synthesizers that glow like moon rocks, drums that boom like a rocket launch, and a veil of confusion and chaos that sounds like extraterrestrial takeover. Ask and ye shall receive. Few do the […]
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Shabazz Palaces, dropping the video for my favorite track off Black Up. Their raps have always seemed divined from some esoteric and secret scroll stashed in one of Haile Selassie’s hidden archives. So maybe it’s fitting that this video is half in Amharic and aims for the dopest Ethiopian vibes that the Pharcyde once spoke […]
Tonight: serrated rap and subduction zone bass. I have two pairs of tickets to give away to the first two people who e-mail to tell me the sample on this Digable Planets song.
The Echo, for the Hosts that profess infinitum. There is only one excuse not to go to this — that you’re going to Portishead at the Shrine. And even then, Portishead play on Wednesday night too. So there are no excuses. Now that that’s settled. Download: MP3: Shabazz Palaces-“Swerve…The Reaping of All That is Worthwhile […]