Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star and Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines. On both albums, Butler and Maraire continue their experimentation with the hip-hop form, bringing the genre farther and farther into deep interstellar space.
In 2009 a short, self-titled EP by a mysterious group called Shabazz Palaces made its way around the blogosphere, infecting hip-hop fans with grooves that touched on jazz, Detroit techno and African percussion, abetted by cryptic, poetic lyrics and an esoteric, Afro-futurist aesthetic. Once the group signed to Sub Pop, we learned that Shabazz Palaces consisted of rapper/producer Ishmael Butler, formerly Butterfly of ’90s group Digable Planets, and producer-percussionist Tendai Maraire. This year the duo released two albums simultaneously: