Shabazz Palaces: Lese Majesty
(Sub Pop, 7/29/14)
Shabazz Palaces’ landmark debut, Black Up, was fueled by exploration beyond typical hip-hop meters, resulting in segues of experimentation into memorable hooks. The duo’s return, Lese Majesty, exhibits similar ambition but with greater organization.
Instead of using multi-movement song structures, the pair constructs its music via smaller, digestible pieces—18 total tracks presented in seven suites. From cosmic production in the swagger anthem “Forerunner Foray” to the alien-radio-friendly territory of “#Cake” and the alter-egocentrism of “Ishmael,” Lese Majesty is as much a challenge to your musical psyche as it is a weirdo dance show. Ultimately, it’s another liberating contribution to the future of hip hop.