Back in March, Shabazz Palaces’ Palaceer Lazaro and Tendai “Baba” Maraire collaborated together on riZe vadZimu riZe, the debut album from Maraire’s Chimurenga Renaissance side project. Today, the duo have announced the return of Shabazz Palaces proper with the release of their sophomore album, Lese Majesty, on July 29th via Sub Pop.
The duo broke the news this past weekend when they premiered the album at Seattle’s Pacific Science Center Laser Dome. In their review, The Stranger called the album “the future of hiphop”, adding, “There was no need for drugs, or even the dazzling light show, since the music’s fathoms-deep dubscapes and strategically predatory beats equaled the angular and smoky psychedelic visuals—each track already dazzled by a universe of deep-space stars, clouds of galactic gases, and the bright trails of wandering balls of ice.”
In an interview with Hypetrak last year, Palaceer Lazaro said he and Maraire had no intentions of simply recreating 2011’s excellent Black Up. He said of the record’s sound, “I don’t know. I doubt that it will sound much like it. It will probably sound… I don’t know. We’ve left that. That [last album] is kind of far behind us now. There will be some similarities I guess, because we are who are. Other than that, it’s not gonna sound much like it at all.”
As Complex points out, the album’s title is a play on “Lèse-majesté”, the French term for “injured majesty” or an attack against an official state. Black Up did feature some political commentary, but it was far more nebulous than aggressive and more so emphasized concepts of gender, race, and identity.
Stay tuned for more news in the coming weeks. In the meantime, revisit Black Up: