Black Up album cover
Black Up

Shabazz Palaces

Sub Pop

The two EPs Ishmael Butler and Tendai Maraire dropped in 2009 were startling, but the first proper full-length Shabazz Palaces album broke things wide open: here was an enigmatically rooted yet clearly forward-thinking vision of hip-hop from an ex-Digable Planets member who first made waves as a ’70s-feting jazz-rap throwback. Black Up was hip-hop for a world where that ’70s kept building off its noisier, synthier, avant-Afrofuturist tendencies until they burst with a promise that’s been resonating with ego-death acid trip revelations ever since.

Nate Patrin

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