Digable Planets alumnus Ishmael "Butterfly" Butler plays with a wide array of electronic sounds in his latest project, Shabazz Palaces. Butler and multi-instrumentalist Tendai "Baba" Maraire sample haunting, disembodied voices, electronic fuzz and driving percussion, creating a dark, brooding brand of rap.
Disorienting, explorative beats are something of a theme with Shabazz Palaces. As is mystique.
After anonymously self-releasing two lauded EPs, then ducking requests for interviews, the Seattle band achieved the unique honor of becoming one of the first hip-hop groups to ink deals with indie rock label Sub Pop. Since then, Butler and Maraire have dropped their first full-length, 2011's Black Up. While the mystery behind the band is solved, the mists that shroud Shabazz Palaces remain.