Shabazz Palaces is the cerebral and enigmatic art-rap duo of Palaceer Lazaro, aka rapper/producer Ishmael Butler, and percussionist Tendai "Baba" Maraire. The first hip-hop crew signed to pioneering underground label Sub Pop, Shabazz Palaces have concocted a string of heady recordings with elements of avant-garde jazz, funk, and dub supporting Butler's likewise mind-expanding verses mixing profundity and humor. Their albums are Black Up (2011), the Top Ten Billboard R&B/hip-hop entry Lese Majesty (2014), the concurrent releases Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star and Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines (2017), and The Don of Diamond Dreams (2020). The Seattle-based Shabazz Palaces debuted in 2009, the year they independently issued their self-titled and Of Light EPs. Neither Ishmael Butler (who became known in the early '90s as ...
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