Shabazz Palaces are an American, Seattle-based experimental hip-hop group led by Ishmael Butler, aka Palaceer Lazaro (formerly Butterfly of jazz–hip hop group Digable Planets) and multi-instrumentalist Tendai “Baba” Maraire, son of Mbira master Dumisani Maraire.
The group anonymously self-released two EPs, Eagles Soar, Oil Flows and The Seven New (referred to as Shabazz Palaces and Of Light, respectively) in 2009 before becoming one of the few hip-hop acts to be signed to the Sub Pop label and releasing its debut full-length album, Black Up to wide critical acclaim in 2011. Black Up was listed #1 in Seattle Times music columnist Andrew Matson‘s “Local Top #10″ of 2011.
The group released its second album, Lese Majesty, on July 29, 2014. The album was first premiered at Seattle’s Pacific Science Center Laser Dome in April 2014. The album scored more than positively on almost every list of best albums of 2014.