Going back to his days as a member of the Grammy-winning Digable Planets. Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler has had reputation for being exceedingly different; after all, Digable Planets were one of the more unique and forward-thinking acts of their time. Personally, I can’t think of many acts that sounded exactly like them, looked like them or had their playfully inventive yet precise flow. In any case, after the band’s demise, Butler seemed to disappear a bit; however as it turned out, Butler relocated to Seattle where he met multi-instrumentalist Tendai “Baba” Maraire, the son of Dumisani Maraire and formed Shabazz Palaces. 

Black Up, the duo’s Sub Pop debut was released in 2011 to critical applause across countless publications and the blogosphere for its unusual and kaleidoscopic synths, oddly syncopated rhythms skittering and rattling through the mix – and most importantly Butler’s incredibly dexterous flow. Every time i hear him spit, I think he’s sadly so unheralded. 

July 29 marks the US release of Lese Majesty, the follow up to the band’s critically acclaimed 2011 release. Featuring contributions from Black Constellation collaborators THEESatisifaction’s Catherine Harris-White, Erik Blood and Thadillac, the new album will be comprised of 18 tracks divided into 7 suites and based on the album’s first single “They Come In Gold,” the album’s overall sound will be much more astral – the best description I can possibly come up with is intergalactic trap music. The synths shimmer with a cosmic glow, and the beats seem to barely keep the song from floating off into the ether while Butler’s flow manages to play with alliteration and complex inner and outer rhymes. If anything, the track will continue Shabazz Palaces’ reputation for being trippy as hell. 

 

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