My apologizes to Ishmael Butler and Tendai Maraire (otherwise known as the enigmatic Shabazz Palaces) for this long overdue recap, but sometimes a show blows your mind and renders you unable to process. I’ll try my best.
LooseScrewz and DJ Needles worked their stations, the former with a futuristic slant as the solo work from the Scripts n Screwz team member and the latter the host of KDHX’s Rawthentic. Good beats to accompany the trip to the bar for some Urban Chestnut.
Hawthorne Headhunters was a surprise add to the bill and the California collaboration with St. Louis ties served as a good gateway to the more abstract headliner. Currently composed of Black Spade and ‘Train, the duo blended a strong brew with hints of jazz, R&B, hip-hop and funk. I had no idea that Black Spade had relocated to the West Coast, but it was good to see him back in town.
I hadn’t spent much time with Black Up before the show, but after their performance, I’ve made amends for that with constant repeats of the album. The pair held an interesting mystique, kicked off with the duo solemnly entering through the crowd and perpetuated with their coordinated hand gestures mid-song. Shabazz Palaces was not immediately digestible (at least I felt that way), but felt worth the brainwaves trying to piece together Butler’s warped vocals alongside the spaced out tracks. If you want your hip-hop to rattle your mind and your trunk, give Black Up a try.
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Shot for The Luminary Arts