Portraits Of Seattle #19 Ishmael "Butterfly" Butler of Shabazz Palaces/Digable Planets & Tendai Of Shabazz Palaces by ktjen22

In case you’ve been wondering what happened to former Digable Planets frontman Ish “Butterfly” Butler, he’s been making some supremely out-there music under the moniker Palaceer Lazaro in the duo Shabazz Palaces.

Along with producer Tendai, the Seattle-based group just dropped more trippy, space-age hip-hop with “an echo from the hosts that profess infinitum,” the first single from their debut album Black Up on the SubPop Records label. The disc is set for a May 31 release. Mark your calendars.

On the single (hear it below), Palaceer’s voice is as slick and inherently cool-sounding as his days in DP. And toward the end of the track, the beat morphs into what sounds like some funky kalimba playing, amid some pretty eerie ambient effects.

The group sticks with plying their songs with extra-long, quasi-spiritual song titles as they did on their self-titled mixtape EP. (Best track there: “32 leaves dipped in blackness making clouds forming altered carbon.”)

But FYI: Shabazz Palaces is just one of several hip-hop acts that are making some noise from Seattle hese days. Theesatisfaction, two lesbian MCs, Champagne Champagne, Kung Fu Grip, and others. Big things are happening out on the Northwest’s indie circuit.

The good folks at the Seattle Times ran two Q&As recently where Shabazz Palaces and Theesatisfaction each played interviewer and interviewee in two recent Q&As. Both are decent reads. See here, and here. Then listen to SP’s single below.



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