To celebrate the reissue of the rap group, Digable Planets’ 1994 classic album Blackout Comb, founding member Ishmael Butler has released a video for his current project Shabazz Palaces. Think rap legends’ inner child meets a wavey Pirates of the Caribbean. With a concept that could only be actualized by the heros of experimental hip hop, Shabazz Palaces create a twisted dream world filled with glistening swords and fur-lined garb, against a backdrop of time lapsed ocean waves.
Adding a thick layer of historical buttery icing on the already decadent cake, over the weekend, always ahead-of-the-curve music outlet Gorilla vs. Bear handed over the keys to their site for a full takeover experience guiding us through the influences that have shaped one of the most instrumental forces in hip hop.
When you think about the lifespan of modern artists in terms of their recording careers, the list of acts that can claim they’ve produced more than a few highly revered albums is few. Without a doubt, Digable Planets and Shabazz Palaces fall in that category. Continuing to reinvent himself, evolving with trends and times, while staying true to his style and character, Butler has achieved one of the most challenging aspects of any artist’s musical career: surviving.
Heavily influenced by jazz greats, infusing classic instruments with that slow burn of distorted cloudy effects and a tinge of billowy darkness, Shabazz Palaces heed a message that they are alive and well, in the form of a video for the single, “An Echo From The Hosts That Profess Infinitum Bookmark”, off their game changing 2012 album Black Up. With vicious words that flow effortlessly over slow rolling beats, rap music’s original warrior drips through your psyche and plants a seed–”Who do you think you are?”. 2013 just got framed in a whole new light.