Shabazz Palaces is an abstract hip-hop project based out of Seattle, Washington. Comprised of percussionist Tendai Maraire, engineer Erik Blood and former Digable Planets emcee, Ishmael Butler, the group breaks free of many of hip-hop's typical molds, creating a moody, psychedelic style that should appeal to fans of alternative versions of the genre. The group's odd tendencies are compounded by eccentric live shows that includes trippy costumes and masks. Blood's production sounds both modern and vintage, pulling not only from trending genres such as dubstep, but also from classic laid-back jazz and soul. Digable Planets' fans should be plenty familiar with Butler's smooth flow already, but new listeners will find that his on-point delivery keeps the more glum, icy aspects of Shabazz Palaces' music firmly grounded in accessible territory.
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