In 2011, Shabazz Palaces released one of the most exploratory and perplexing hip hop albums of this decade. Three years later Black Up lost none of its potency and remains an irresistible token of imagination and creativity.
“They Come In Gold” is the first tease from Ishmael Butler and his collective’s long-awaited follow-up, Lese Majesty, and holds possibly the most memorable, hard-hitting and perhaps also most afflicting groove of any Shabazz Palaces cut. But as so often with Shabazz Palaces, “They Come In Gold” ends up somewhere very different from where it begun. The raw, menacing energy of the introductory beats are on a constant coalition course before swiftly arresting into an electro-jazzy foil. Still, it’s relatively far from Black Up most dystopic soundscapes, but its just as unpredictable and weirdly fun.
In the end, nothing today quite sounds like “They Came In Gold” and it’s perhaps pointless noting that this is the most vital hip hop release so far this year. I’m sure the same will apply the full-length. Lese Majesty is out July 29 via Sub Pop.
Welcome the future of hip hop.