First off, the actual name of this song is “Swerve… The reeping of all that is worthwhile (Noir not withstanding)” and that purposefully non-conformist name is pretty reflective of Shabazz Palaces brand of rap. Chorus, 16 bars, chorus and another 16 this is not – you can hear a plethora of different ideas and influences on this one, which almost feels as if it is made up of three totally different tracks.

Whilst they have no Myspace/Soundcloud/Bandcamp and their own website contains little to no information about them, a Pitchfork interview (in which the front-man refuses to reveal who else is in the group) tells us this:

Palaceer Lazaro, the man at the center of the enigmatic Seattle avant-rap project Shabazz Palaces, is otherwise known as Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler, one third of the boho-rap trio Digable Planets and frontman of the alt-hip-hop group Cherrywine.

Shabazz Palaces have self-released two albums, and their third effort, Black Up, will be out June 28 on Sub Pop. Grab the closing track off that album below, and check out the Pitchfork interview which has Ishmael’s interesting views on “earning fans” and today’s musical landscape here.


Shabazz Palaces – “Swerve… The reeping of all that is worthwhile (Noir not withstanding)”