Shabazz Palaces released their latest Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star video today, taking another experimental, surrealist approach to one of their futuristic, impressionistic, outer-space hip-hop. The video, directed by Stephan Gray, is shot like an NSFW martial-arts movie, with pastoral settings and mysterious characters who meet violent ends. It’s short and there isn’t much of a plot, but it’s full of stunning imagery that evokes warrior tribes, Game Of Thrones-esque political intrigue, and exotic, understated eroticism, all worthy of the title, which translates to “Goddess Of Blood.”
Shabazz Palaces is the brainchild of Ishmael Butler, who longtime hip-hop fans may recognize as Butterfly from late-90s jazz-rap trio Digable Planets, and multi-instrumentalist Tendai “Baba” Maraire. Their latest albums, a two-part suite called Quazarz, are an Afrofuturistic examination of life on Earth as seen through the eyes of an alien visitor who experiences culture clash, racism, and war for the first time.
The duo is currently touring Europe in support of Quazarz through February 2019, opening for Lauryn Hill on her The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill 20th Anniversary Tour, performing in Paris, Brussels, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, Dublin, and London.
Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star and Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines are both out now via Subpop Records.