Shabazz Palaces Release Video for "Shine A Light"

Seattle’s Shabazz Palaces have been putting out consistently interesting and challenging hip hop records since their debut Black Up back in 2011. The veteran rappers just recently released a pair of albums, Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star and Quazarz Vs. The Jealous Machines this past month on Sub Pop records -- two albums that defy the wonderfully compelling and thought-provoking expectations the group had previously established with their past work. Yesterday, the band released the video for “Shine A Light,” which continues in the tradition of turning the possibility of what their music can do onto its own head. 

Written and directed by Neil Ferron, the clip tells the tale of a young half goat/half human on its way to be ritualistically slaughtered in a ceremony of teenage romance. While the concept may sound ridiculous, the execution is masterful. Shot in beautiful black and white and featuring Ishmael Butler, one of the Shabazzes and formerly of rap greats Digable Planets as the half human/half goat hybrid. Ferron creates a surreal world in which love and disgust go hand in hand. The band posits, “In these times, what is truly weird?” and with the way the world seems to be going, with traditions and establishments getting pushed to further and further extremes, the visual of a baby goat man getting smashed by a boulder, while troubling, is definitely not the weirdest thing you will probably see this week.

Shabazz Palaces kicked off their North American tour yesterday in Portland and, at this point anyway, we should try to figure out what kind of ceremony we’ll need to enact to get them to add some Canadian dates to their itinerary.

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