iTunes

Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn't open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
iTunes

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To preview and buy music from Black Up by Shabazz Palaces, download iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC

Black Up

Shabazz Palaces

Open iTunes to preview, buy, and download music.

Album Review

Only a little more than a year after releasing two EPs — a self-titled one, and Of Light — Seattle's Shabazz Palaces signed to Sub Pop for their full-length debut. Even on a high-profile label, former Digable Planets member Ishmael Butler (formerly Butterfly) maintains a shroud of mystique, rapping under the facade of Palaceer Lazaro and purposely avoiding publicity, interviews, and liner credits. Considering his long-term time in the game, his wordplay is still surprisingly relevant, and, masked as Lazaro, he reinvents himself by adding an air of sophistication to the persona of a streetwise gangster. Jazz references are no longer the norm and Butler steers away from the blaxploitation slang and rhymes about being an insect or a creamy spy, but he still has a distinctive, surreal style of flowing. Compared to former albums by Digable Planets, Cherrywine, Camp Lo (Butler guested on some of their tracks), or even on the prior Shabazz Palaces EPs (which were pretty dark to begin with), Black Up is a much harder-edged album. There are no obvious singles, and the beats are murky, splintered, and synthesized, reminiscent of the space-age rap of acts like Deltron 3030, Kool Keith, and Dälek. In a year when minimal production is on the upswing — a trend highlighted by the enormous buzz surrounding Odd Future and Tyler, the Creator's bare-boned productions — Shabazz Palaces seems perfectly in tune with a modern underground movement that embraces the most ominous and difficult aspects of hip-hop. As the mainstream becomes more and more predictable, Shabazz Palaces’ inscrutability is a welcome change. Because the beats are so abstract, roots take precedent, and a strong presence on the microphone becomes the most important aspect. Butler fills this role with ease. His smooth, sparkling rhymes glue Knife Knights' watery environment together to create a provocative listen from start to finish.

Customer Reviews

You haven't heard something like this before...

But you're going to love it.
If you think hip hop plays it too safe lately, this is something you'll love.
Ephemeral beats, complicated rhyme structures, awesome production, it's not afraid to throw you for a loop.
Check it out

Awesome

one of the best experimental albums

Something that makes you remember what hip-hop was

There is a classic hip=hop vocabulary, feel, and texture about this record. IT's fun and thoughtful and there aren't many albums like this anymore

Biography

Formed: Seattle, WA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The first hip-hop crew signed to the Sub Pop label, Shabazz Palaces is the brainchild of Ishmael "Butterfly" Butler, although the Digable Planets member wasn’t so quick to admit it. In 2009, Shabazz Palaces released two EPs — one self-titled, the other titled Of Light — but Butler’s name didn’t appear on either. No promo shots, no social networking sites, no interviews, and no press releases were issued by the enigmatic, Seattle-based project, but that didn’t stop the local press from...
Full Bio
Black Up, Shabazz Palaces
View In iTunes

Customer Ratings

Contemporaries

Become a fan of the iTunes and App Store pages on Facebook for exclusive offers, the inside scoop on new apps and more.