Shabazz Palace: True cosmic hip-hop outliers

Seattle hip-hop duo Shabazz Palaces’ journey from avant-garde rap to the astral plane outer limits got a cosmic turbo boost with their most recent album project.

Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star and Quazarz vs the Jealous Machines is a twin concept album about a an alien visitor, “a sentient being from somewhere else, an observer sent here to Amurderca to chronicle and explore as a musical emissary”. With mission statements like this, it’s no wonder they beam images of iconic jazz pioneer Sun Ra during their live shows.

MC Ishmael Butler aka Palaceer Lazaro and multi-instrumentalist  Tendai “Baba” Maraire are real rap outliers — taking their cues from spaced-out psychedelia, jazz-fusion and Afrofuturists like Sun Ra and Parliament-Funkadelic.

Shabazz Palaces are a parallel world away from the typical MC and DJ live hip-hop showcase, with the pair programming live beats on the fly, triggering samples and African percussion, while choreographing mirror-image hand gestures to each other.

Shabazz Palaces play the Sugar Club in Dublin this Friday, February 8. Tickets here.