Formed by Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler, once of Digable Planets flame, Shabazz Palaces manages to continue Butler’s reputation for creating a brand of hip hop that’s so unique that it uncompromisingly defies easy description or categorization. In fact, on Black Up, the duo’s last effort, Butler and his collaborator, Baba Maraire crafted a sound that was psychedelic, kaleidoscopic and at times surreal as it consisted of layers of swirling electronics, odd syncopations and most importantly, Butler’s ridiculous and complex rhyme schemes. At times it felt like falling down a hip-hop rabbit hole… 

Baba Maraire is set to release a a new project, Chimurenga Renaissance which interestingly not only continues Shabazz Palace’s trippy, surrealistic hip-hop, it also continues a trend for hip hop to be gloriously strange and experimental – both across mainstream and indie/underground hip hop scenes. “Lean,” the latest single off Chimurenga Renaissance’s forthcoming album rIzE vadZimu starts of with layers of pulsing synths that propel the song forward. But you’ll notice the swirling electronics which seem to be densely layered as Maraire spits lyrics about balling – and balling hard. Although clearly psychedelic the song swaggers in a way that the previous single, “The B.A.D. Is Go Good” doesn’t.