Sub Pop’s recent signing of Seattle’s ascendant hip-hop collaborative Shabazz Palaces highlights an exciting, new example of the city’s legendary and ever-evolving music community. After self-releasing 2 EPs, Of Light and Shabazz Palaces, in 2009, the group quickly gained local acclaim, especially (and most noticeably to us) here within the Sub Pop offices. The Stranger, on Shabazz Palaces:
Shabazz’s almost subliminal messages are universal: ‘Find out who you are and see it/Find out what you are and free it/Find out who you love and need it/Find out what you can and be it.’ It’s a timely sentiment for Seattle hip-hop, which, after years of self-negating/hating or looking too much to the Bay Area and Brooklyn for direction, is enjoying a creative surge and homegrown industry that is—no bullshit—changing the landscape of Seattle music.
With their debut full-length expected and anticipated in 2011, Shabazz Palaces will keep busy playing shows (see below), receiving awards (see below) and turning heads (see them live).
“I think we both have a lot of love, appreciation, respect and energy for music and for each other. Recognizing the fact that business is necessary for maximizing exposure to it, I think we mutually feel that doing business is less a ‘job’ and more an opportunity to exercise those feelings in dope ass ways. Shabazz, we bring a distinct hip-hop mentality from left to Sub Pop, which has established itself wide and deep in r&r from that same field. So, it’s going to be cool to see what gets born from rolling together. And, of course, Seattle is the immeasurable muse, the backdrop, backbone, the foundation to how we all get down. So SP feels a lot of pride around this partnering-up as well. The people, the office, the deal, it all feels super plush. So stay tuned, it’s ’bouts to be on.”—the palaceer, Shabazz Palaces
“It’s in the initials. We SPs need to stick together—and we do. Seattle is our home and that means a lot to both parties. And we’re not stopping at both parties, our professional collaboration will undoubtedly inspire many more parties, with some choice SP music as the soundtrack. To put it more prosaically—but no less sincerely—we at SP are honored, humbled and psyched to have been given the responsibility of further introducing the world to the music of SP.”—Jonathan Poneman, Sb Pop Records.
Shabazz Palaces are the first music recipients of The Stranger‘s Genius Awards. The Genius Awards are given to outstanding visionaries in Literature, Film, Art, Theater, and for the first time ever, Music in the Seattle area. Shabazz Palaces will performing and accept their award at the Genius Awards Party, on September 17th at Seattle’s Moore Theatre.
Shabazz Palaces will also be performing on October 15th at New York’s American Museum of Natural History as part of “One Step Beyond,” a monthly series featuring live music and dancing at the Rose Center for Earth and Space. The series, presented by FADER, has featured performances from Kid Sister w/ Kanye West, Passion Pit, Moby, Animal Collective and more. Details available here.
Come July 29th, after a three year hiatus from the massively confident and genre-redefining debut Black Up, Shabazz Palaces are back with what is arguably (or if you work at Sub Pop, inarguably) the most anticipated record of the year, Lese Majesty. The record’s 18 tracks are grouped into seven suites, creating an experience for listeners that is alarmingly interesting while maintaining artistic cohesion. IT’S VERY GOOD IS WHAT WE’RE SAYING. But don’t take our word for it, listen to the lead off track “They Come In Gold”, of which, Gorilla vs. Bear had this to say:
Here’s the long-awaited first track to be unveiled from Shabazz Palaces‘ lush, dizzyingly brilliant new full-length, Lese Majesty. Not necessarily the most representative track on the new record, “They Come in Gold” kicks off with the kind of diamond-hard beat and ominous flow that made Black Up the best album of 2011,
but the comparison with the last record ends there. When taken out of
the context of the new album, only the song’s brighter, prismatic second
half begins to hint at the impossibly deep, singular astral landscape
the group has created on Lese Majesty.
All customers who pre-order the LP version of Lese Majesty will
receive the limited, “Loser Edition” of the album on purple-colored
vinyl. In addition, customers who pre-order will also receive the
following, while supplies last: -A bonus 7-inch featuring the unreleased track ”The Palace Slide” on the the a-side, and an instrumental version on the b-side.* -An instant download of the first single, “They Come in Gold”. -Advance access to stream Lese Majesty in full, 1 month before street date, from your SubPop.com account.
Lese Majesty Tracklisting:
Suite 1: The Phasing Shift
01 Dawn In Luxor
02 Forerunner Foray
03 They Come In Gold
Shabazz Palaces 2014 summer tour schedule in support of Lese Majesty now includes a performance at Brooklyn’s AFROPUNK Festival on August 23rd. Find a current list of tour dates below, and then, if you can, find your way to one of those shows, you’ll be happy you did.
Shabazz Palaces’ Lese Majesty, the follow up to the groups universally acclaimed label debut Black Up,
is a sonic mythmap of new black wave and psychedelia, featuring
highlights “They Come In Gold”, “Dawn In Luxor,” “#CAKE,” “Ishmael” and
Lese Majesty is available for preorder from Sub Pop Mega Mart, iTunes, and Amazon
now. The double vinyl version is sheathed within a shark skin-like embossed
jacket and includes a fold-out poster, and an etching on side D. Preorders from Sub Pop
will receive the limited, colored-vinyl Loser Edition of the LP on purple vinyl AND a
seven-inch featuring the non-album track “The Palace Slide” b/w “The
Palace Slide (Instrumental)” while supplies last. Again, while supplies last. Order soon is what I’m trying to say.
Jul. 28 - Oakland, CA - The New Parish
Jul. 29 - Oakland, CA - The New Parish
Jul. 30 - Los Angeles, CA - The Roxy
Aug. 21 - Washington, DC - Black Cat*
Aug. 22 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer*
Aug. 23 - Brooklyn, NY - AFROPUNK @ Commodore Barry Park*
Oct. 22-26 - Helsinki, FI - Supermassive Festival
* w/ clipping.
July 29th is approaching quickly, and if you’re like many of the people who have already pre-ordered Shabazz Palaces new record, Lese Majesty, from us here at Sub Pop, then you’ve already heard the space-bound ride that is the new song “Forerunner Foray”, because we’re giving all pre-orderers of that record a stream of the record in its entirety. But, if you aren’t one of those well-equipped consumers, than this morning’s Gorilla vs. Bear premiere of the Lese Majesty track is your first go around that mind-bending track. So, head on over there, or press play in the handy embed to hear another piece of the Shabazz Palaces masterpiece, Lese Majesty.
Lese Majesty, Shabazz Palaces’ mind-boggling, dizzying, universally-acclaimed follow-up to their 2011 mind-boggling, dizzying, universally-acclaimed debut record, Black Up, is officially available wherever good records are sold. The record is truly an artistic triumph, and we here at Sub Pop couldn’t be more proud to have released it. If you haven’t had a chance to, maybe take the focus track “#Cake” out for a spin with the embedded player, and then pick up a copy of Lese Majesty from us here at Sub Pop, iTunes, Amazon, or your local independent record store.