Black Up - SUB POP
FILTER Grade: 88%
By Brooke Osborne on May 31, 2011
Live, Seattle’s Shabazz Palaces flip electronically inclined avant-hop on its head with tribal percussion, garish hoodie-headdresses and processed beats ripped reminiscent of Flying Lotus. Frontman Palaceer Lazaro’s time with boho-rap trio Digable Planets (as Butterfly) was sorely underappreciated and here he drops further down the rabbit hole of sample-based rap. Just pop off the Anti-Pop Consortium–esque jam “An echo from the hosts that profess infinitum,” off this Sub Pop debut. The lyrics are just as obtuse and serpentine as the clanking, cacophonous beats. These muscular lab dudes are true experimenters that don’t quite sell an anthem such as “A treatease dedicated to The Avian Airess from North East Nubis (1000 questions, 1 answer)"—better than that, they blaze it. Blasting off from their 2010 mini-albums (Of Light and Shabazz Palaces, with Black Up), Shabazz Palaces have truly arrived—just don’t expect them here on Earth for too long.