Seattle-based hip hop experimentalist Shabazz Palaces have shared their new album Lese Majesty, a week ahead of its scheduled release on July 29th. The album title is a play on the term “Lèse-majesté,” a French term meaning “injured majesty”—in other words, a crime against the state. The release comes three years after they put out one of our favourite hip hop albums in recent years, their brilliant 2011 debut, Black Up.
The group have already premiered three singles from the album, “They Come In Gold”, “#CAKE”, and “Forerunner Foray”.
The duo made up of Ishmael Butler, who used to rap as Butterfly in Digable Planets, and multi-instrumentalist Tendai ‘Baba’ Maraire, the son of Mbira master Dumisani Maraire. Abstract and idiosyncratic, it’s easily one of the year’s best records thus far, an artful, restlessly experimental release. You can stream Lese Majesty at NPR First Listen.