Shabazz Palaces – Black Up

Thursday, November 22, 2012
Black Up (2011)

Black Up (2011)

This is easily one of the weirdest albums I have hearkened upon. It is my first foray into experimental hip-hop (at least I have heard nothing quite like it), and if it’s any indicator, I will definitely be coming back to it.

Very eccentric beats, smooth delivery, wonky and dubby and glitchy. I actually got Black Up back in 2011 when it first came out, but it’s taken a few listens to digest. Okay, so it sat in my queue for well over a year, but better late than never, right?

The album is surprisingly short – I notice the ten tracks fly by whenever I listen to it, which might make its experimental nature easier to digest.

To me, what makes this album are the amazing beats. They jump around and force you to focus all your attention. There is also some soul infused into it. I like to think of this album as if post-rock and hip-hop married.

Needless to say, the album is a challenge in a good way. Fans of hip-hop looking for something more out there will not go wrong with his.  Maybe it’s a bit pretentious, but hey, it’s what you get your indie friends to listen to get them into hip-hop.

Highlights: An Echo From the Hosts That Profess Infinitum, Recollections of the Wraith, Swerve… The Reeping of All That Is Worthwhile (Noir Not Withstanding)

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