Photo by Nina Corcoran
Shabazz Palaces have not one, but two albums in the pipeline for release this summer. One is called Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star, a concept album about an alien being sent to “Amurderca to chronicle and explore as a musical emissary,” and the other is its “extra-spatial twin,” Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines.
As a preview, the Seattle hip-hop duo has unboxed “Since C.A.Y.A.”, a track from the former LP. A warped, chameleonic cut, it boasts guest contributions from bass virtuoso Thundercat and production from Knife Knights, aka Shabazz’s Ishmael Butler and longtime collaborator Erik Blood. Hear it below.
A press release for the song points to a Purple Cliffs Quarterly excerpt in which Butler, who also goes by the name Palaceer Lazaro, recounts the time he had an epiphany at the local C.A.Y.A. (Central Area Youth Association) community center:
“In the era of Quazarz youth, The Central District of Seattle, Washington shone wildly vibrant and pulsed strong like the muscles of the heart. Brave Forerunners, from warm points south, had arrived settled and soon began to born and unleash dazzle of all sorts from this green remote. It was here on a sunny, July day over a free lunch at the C.A.Y.A. baseball field watching the Frontiersman smash an east side club to dust, that Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star — with confused terror then resolute determination — first looked his dreams in the eye. Thee rest as they say, is mystery. The Heritage House, Lowe’s Grocery and One Stop Burgers are gone; fact is, from that glorious epoch there remain few vestiges… I’m one of them.”
Both of Shabazz’s 2017 albums arrive July 14th through Sub Pop. The group will tour North America for the next few months in support.
Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star Tracklist:
01. Since C.A.Y.A.
02. When Cats Claw
03. Shine a Light (feat. Thaddillac)
05. Dèesse Du Sang
06. Eel Dreams (feat. Loud Eyes Lou)
07. Parallax (feat. The Palaceer Lazaro)
08. Fine Ass Hairdresser
09. The Neurochem Mixalogue
10. That’s How City Life Goes
11. Moon Whip Quäz (feat. Darrius)
12. Federalist Papers