Tag Archive: “Shabazz Palaces”

The One With Maximum Rockage

On this episode: our dear cousins call attention to the “Who Dursted First” controversy and call out Comedy Bang Bang in the process, Luke’s gentleman’s dilemma turned out to be an idiot’s dilemma, Brian gets creepy on Idris Elba in a new segment called The Elba Room and they play eight of the best songs you’ll hear all week!

Every week Ghettoblaster feature writers (and dear cousins!) Brian LaBenne and Luke LaBenne bring you fresh new songs with the hopes of introducing you to some that you may consider to be the best song ever.  Both Brian and Luke have no idea what songs the other has picked, so what you are hearing is their genuine reaction to listening to the songs together.  Also, if you enjoy this episode, head to ITunes to subscribe and rate our podcast with the highest rating available to you.

TWITTER: @BestSongEverPod


Songs Played on The One With Maximum Rockage

Overcoats – Nighttime Hunger from Young out now on Arts & Crafts Productions

Palehound – Flowing Over from A Place I’ll Always Go out June 16th on Polyvinyl Records

Morning Teleportation – Calm is Intention Devouring It’s Frailty from Salivating for Symbiosis out now on Glacial Pace Recordings

Shabazz Palaces – Shine a Light from Quazarz, Born on a Gangster Star out July 14th on Sub Pop

Chloe Foy – Are We There Yet from Are We There Yet EP out May 12th

Great Grandpa – Teen Challenge from Plastic Cough out July 7th on Double Double Whammy

Gothic Tropic – How Life Works from Fast or Feast out May 19th on Old Flame Records

Hazel English – Love is Dead from Just Give In / Never Going Home EP out May 5th on Polyvinyl Records

This is Past Sounds. Every Friday Ghettoblaster Magazine is looking back and finding great music from various eras. Below are songs that sound great no matter what decade they’re played in. So strap in as we take a musical journey, back in time.

Funkadelic – “Hit it and Quit it” (Maggot Brain, Westbound Records) 1971

Maggot Brain, the third album from Funkadelic, is widely considered one of the best funk albums of all time. “Hit it and Quit it” is a definite standout track from the start with the fantastic guitar and organ interplay right out of the gate and it doesn’t let up from there.  The drum and bass groove that the song settles into is quite interesting and will have your head bobbing without a doubt.  This song really is an example of a perfect song.  It’s catchy, it’s aggressive, it’s got both an awesome organ solo and a scorching guitar solo and both the main vocal and background vocal performance is arresting.  This is definitely one to turn up and roll the windows down to.


Digable Planets – “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)” (Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space), Capitol Records) 1993

Digable Planets are true masters of the fusion between Jazz and Hip Hop and “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat) is a great example why. It begins with a simple, jazzy bass line loop and introduces a fantastic horn loop just seconds later.  Digable Planets is comprised of three excellent rappers under the names: Ladybug, Butterfly and Doodlebug.  It’s no surprise that rappers with names like theirs would go against the grain of typical 90s hip hop.  “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)” is quite literally about how they are some cool cats.  Just listen to the smoothness of each of their vocal delivery spitting lines with intricate wordplay all about how awesome they are.  It’s really a lot of fun, and also very true.


T.I. – “Bring Em Out” (Urban Legend, Atlantic Records) 2004

T.I. is in a class of rappers with only a select few. This class is made up of rappers who are incredibly commercially successful and critically acclaimed as well.  They make ear worms for the masses with substance to knock you on your asses.  There are not too many rappers who can succeed at this and that is essentially what the straight up banger “Bring Em Out” is all about.  Everyone loves T.I., everyone is chanting to bring out T.I., we all want a piece of him.  “Bring Em Out” does what most great T.I. songs do; it creates a sense of victory and celebration, as if there was a parade being thrown in his honor.  Just listen to those horns, those whistles and that driving beat!  None of this would matter if T.I. couldn’t rap, and “Bring Em Out” displays why his fast and smooth delivery is so enjoyable and celebrated.


Curtis Mayfield – “Move on Up” (Curtis!, Curtom Records) 1970

Infinitely Sampled and Underrated: The Curtis Mayfield Story. Curtis Mayfield has created some of the best soul music ever and while he is popular, he is not widely considered in the conversation of best musicians for some reason.  “Move on Up” should serve as exhibit A in the case to make that he should be.  It’s a marvel of music, which was actually sampled in Kanye West’s “Touch the Sky.”  Curtis’ guitar work blends beautifully with all the horns and percussion and everything going on here.  Honestly, words don’t do it justice, just hit play.

Shabazz Palaces – “Swerve … the reeping of all that is worthwhile (Noir not withstanding)” (Black Up, Sub Pop Records) 2011

Shabazz Palaces is comprised of Ishmael Butler (aka Butterfly from Digable Planets) on the mic and Tendai Maraire on the instrumentation. They have pulled inspiration from a lot of different places to create this spacey and abstract form of hip hop with elements of jazz and African percussive instruments.  The songs they make are really mesmerizing and “Swerve … the reeping of all that is worthwhile (Noir not withstanding)” is a glorious display of their talents.  It floats along in three movements, separate yet cohesive.  The first movement features Butler rapping over fractured and dystopian beat.  Movement two introduces female vocals from THEESatisfaction with a slight tweaking of the beat.  Finally, movement three focuses on a simple and beautiful refrain sung over very catchy African inspired music: “Black is you, Black is me, Black is us, Black is free.”

Print issue #39 of Ghettoblaster will be hitting shelves near you any day!

It’s a great one too, featuring Shabazz Palaces on the cover and interviews from Shellac, Dilated Peoples, Electric Wizard, The Black Angels, The New Pornographers, Blonde Redhead, Flying Lotus, Zola Jesus, plus America’s Funnyman Neil Hamburger, Cinemax‘s The Knick, Valiant Hearts: The Great War, Oni Comics‘ Black Metal, Ticket to Ride‘s Alan R. Moon and so, so, so much more!

You can order a copy soon over here, or you can fill out this form to subscribe for a whole year’s worth of Ghettoblaster delivered straight to your door!

Feast your eyes on the official video for Shabazz Palaces’ “#CAKE,” a standout from the acclaimed Lese Majesty, featuring guest vocals from Catherine Harris-White of THEESatisfaction. The new visual was directed by Hiro Murai (Earl Sweatshirt, St. Vincent, The Shins).

Watch: Shabazz Palaces “#CAKE,” A resplendent new visual from Lese Majesty http://youtu.be/DDRPf8KHawY

Lese Majesty is available for purchase on CD / 2xLP / CD from Sub Pop Megamart, iTunes, and Amazon now.  The double vinyl version is housed in a “shark skin” embossed jacket and includes a fold-out poster, and an etching on side D.

Catch the band live here:

Aug. 22 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer**

Aug. 23 – Brooklyn, NY – AFROPUNK @ Commodore Barry Park**

Aug. 26 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle

Aug. 27 – Athens, GA – Georgia Theatre

Aug. 28 – Atlanta, GA – Basement (Red Bull Sound Select Show)

Sep. 13 – Chicago, IL  – Lincoln Hall

Sep. 14 – Bloomington, IN – Bishop Bar

Sep. 15 –  Little Rock, AR – The Rev Room

Sep. 16 – Austin, TX – Red 7 (Patio)

Sep. 17 – Mc Allen, TX – Cine El Rey

Sep. 19 – St. Louis, MO – The Firebird

Sep. 20 – Kansas City, MO – The Riot Room

Sep. 21 – Lincoln, NE – Vega

Sep. 22 – Boulder, CO – Fox Theatre

Sep. 25 – Boise, ID – The Crux

Sep. 28 – Portland, OR – Zidell Shipyards

Oct. 20 – Amsterdam, NL – MC Theatre

Oct. 21 – Brussels, BE – AB

Oct. 22 – Rouen, FR – Club 106

Oct. 23 – Paris, FR – Batofar

Oct. 24 – Lyon, FR – Le Marche Gare

Oct. 25 – Helsinki, FI – Supermassive Festival

Oct. 27 – Gothenburg, SE – Pusterviksbaren

Oct. 28 – Copenhagen, DE – Vega

Oct. 29 – Stockholm, SE – Kagelbanan

Oct. 30 –  Vevey, CH – Rocking Chair

Oct. 31 – Luzern, CH – B-Sides Indoor Festival (@Sudpol)

Nov. 01 – Lisbon, PT – Musicbox

Nov. 03 – Brighton, UK – The Haunt

Nov. 04 – London, UK, Illuminations Festival at The Laundry

Nov. 05 – Manchester, UK – Gorilla

Nov. 06 – Leeds, UK – Brudenell

Nov. 07 – Glasgow, UK – Nice ‘N’ Sleezy

Nov. 08 – Bristol, UK – Start The Bus

Nov. 10 – Birmingham, UK – Hare and Hounds

Nov. 12 – Brno, CZ – Kabinet Muz

Nov. 13 – Prague, CZ – MeetFactory

Nov. 14 –  Berlin, DE –  Kantine Berghain

Nov. 15 – Cologne, DE – Club Bahnhof

Nov. 16 – Munich, DE – Feierwerk

** w/ clipping.