“I run on feelings/Fuck your facts.” – Shabazz Palaces
Like a child that doesn’t want to get a vaccination, Shabazz Palaces may not be what hip-hop wants, but it can only be good for it. It’s angry, at times off-putting, and may leave you asking what you’re listening to when noises that sound like a crying alien, or a spaceship become the music. I would like to describe their sound with a litany of hyphens but it would be an act of futility.
Their new album Black Up is the first hip-hop album released by Sub Pop records. The home to such artists as Fleet Foxes, Band of Horses, Ben Gibbard, Iron & Wine, Hot Hot Heat, Male Bonding, Modest Mouse, The White Stripes, The Postal Service, The Shins, Sleater-Kinney, and last but certainly the funniest, Patton Oswalt. Sub Pop is also home to a ton of other fantastic bands but I didn’t want to insult your intelligence and list them all because you got the point back at Fleet Foxes I’m sure.
I chose the song “Swerve… the reeping of all that is worthwhile (Noir not withstanding)” because it’s the tune that got me hooked. It took one listen and one read, because if you know me you know I hold a special place in my heart for things that have extremely long and precise titles or very truncated ones. Which, I suppose, partly explains the affinity I have for my last two posts.
I’ll leave you with a tweet from Rich Jensen the former Sub Pop general manager. He tweeted this after seeing Shabazz Palaces live. “Somebody has to say it: Neumos Friday felt like OK Hotel (April 17, ’91) when an Aberdeen trio first dropped a song about teen deodorant.” Neumos is a venue. The Aberdeen trio mentioned is Nirvana. And the song about teen deodorant is “Smells like teen spirit.” So just listen to “Swerve… the reeping of all that is worthwhile (Noir not withstanding)” already.