March 8, 2011

The Butterfly born Ishmael Butler went cocoon over a decade ago and returned with these crawling caterpillar raps. Political rap for an apolitical period. Songs as formless cryptograms. Dying and dust and blowing up hopes. Slaves to network’s master plans. Caustic chants of “who do you think you are?” The revenge of those who once had Rigor mortis. Shabazz Palaces take anger and turn it aggressive, filtering revolution (lower-case) through drugged and diseased drum patterns: bragging, boasting, killing, coasting…

Promised infinity by auspicious starts and shady record labels, this is the boomerang. The beat like Bangladesh had been tarred and feathered, killed and reanimated, and handed an MPC and a xylophone. Hand drums collide with creosote synth smears and Butler’s late 30s sneer, oozing with contempt for the colonial mentality. Their forthcoming record drops May 31 on Sub Pop, an interesting combination sure to make cardigans itch. It’s called Black Up and you can interpret that any way you want. Afro-centric revival, an artist buried alive digging himself up out of the grave, or the declarative to step the fuck back.  I don’t even like most political rap, but this makes you want start throwing picket signs at those with weak minds. Shabazz Palaces. Straight out the dungeons of rap.  Here they stand.

MP3: Shabazz Palaces – “An Echo From the Hosts that Profess Infinitum

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