The Cosmic Consciousness of Shabazz Palaces’ Ishmael Butler

Bandcamp Daily

Shabazz Palaces Photo by Victoria Kovios.

For more than two decades, MC and producer Ishmael Butler has built a diverse and challenging body of work, exploring the nuances and potentialities of Black American music. In the early ‘90s, he helped infuse hip-hop with deep jazz sensibilities and Marxist philosophy as a member of the Grammy-winning rap trio Digable Planets. He spent part of the 2000s diving deeply into minimalistic psychedelic funk with the band Cherrywine. And as frontman of the avant-garde hip-hop duo Shabazz Palaces, Butler’s practice of open experimentation and exploration continues. Working in Los Angeles and back at home in Seattle, the group has created two separate but complementary albums to be released together: Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Starand Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines. Both are the products of this adventurous approach to music making. From the rolling, bass-heavy soul groove of “Shine a Light” to…

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