Taking hip hop to mysterious far off lands
I don’t know what it is, but when the sun peeks its rays out from behind our usual heavy cloud cover in the Seattle Springtime, i just want to throw on some Shabazz and just chill out and take it all in. If you haven’t heard of this group yet, you can thank me later. Here is some background on them. You may know Ish aka Buttterfly from the amazing and genre bending hip hop group Digable Planets in the 90′s. They created the soundscape which brought me in my mind from my parents house in a small city in Massachusetts to the cool and hip streets of black Brooklyn during the times that jazz was the new cool. Ish now calls himself Palaceer Lazarro and is lending his instant recognizable high pitched, soulful voice to this new project. Along with drummer/mbira player Tendai Maraire, they are the first hip hop group to be signed to legendary Seattle label Sub Pop who is known for discovering bands like Fleet Foxes and Nirvana, which is saying that there is something very special happening here. They are very, very good live. If they are in your hood, go.
They have a new album coming out called Black Up on June 28th which continues their use of crazy, long song titles and deep, deep bass and trippy sounds and lyrics. I for one, almost lost it when one of the first released tracks came on in my car on local radio station KEXP. It kind of blew my mind. It’s called “an echo from the hosts that profess infinitum”.
This video “What Matters Most” is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while. Shot in Seattle and reminds me of all the beauty that keeps me here. I can’t wait to see what Shabazz Palaces has up their creative sleeve for us in the future. My eyes and ears will be open.
Written and Directed by: Kahlil Joseph
Music by: Flying Lotus and Melvin Gibbs
Other cinematic achievements:
Bellhaven Meridian which is an ‘allegorical short film/music video for Shabazz Palaces shot in Watts, Los Angeles, directed by Kahlil Joseph, Photographed by Matt Lloyd. Featuring a cameo of Dante (Ernest Wadell) from “The Wire” in homage to Charles Burnett’s 1977 classic film “Killer of Sheep”.’