We’re gearing up for the release of Shabazz Palaces’ Black Up on June 28th, and it can’t come soon enough. The pulses, beats, and acoustic percussion of the avant-rap on this record will define the next wave of hip-hop. There have been flashes of futuristic, space-age hip-hop from a few bands that have gotten lost in the mainstream focus groups and overpriced production. Shabazz Palaces’ new record is of the top-shelf variety, but coming from DIY roots, they were able to follow through their vision with class, foresight, and integrity.
In “Swerve… The reeping of all that is worthwhile (Noir not withstanding),” the final song on Black Up, we get to hear many sides of Shabazz Palaces, including the guest vocals of THEESatisfaction. By now we know that there is usually a directional change amidst most Palaces songs. This time we get thick intro beats, the signature Lazaro riffs, the subtle transition into THEESat, and an outro that encapsulates the album’s namesake with some tribal percussion and ambient electronics. Keep us guessing ’til the very end, Shabazz! Keep us guessing.