Shabazz Palaces - Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star (Sub Pop) 2017
Sometimes a bit of confidence can really separate the dross from the gloss. A touch of chutzpah, a burst of ego, a shimmer of arrogance can really be the difference between obscurity and the lofty heights of fame.
Shabazz Palaces is a cocky, swaggering, arrogant son of a bitch, who two-shoe shuffles his way throughout this album with a captivating ease. He is far from the greatest lyricist, his music is derivative of a lot of his peers, he magpies a Childish Gambino riff here, a Kendrick tip there, his use of auto-tune is pure Yeezy, yet – despite himself – he has made an album here that grabs you, shakes you down and steals your wallet and watch and tango’s off, without a care in the world, leaving you broke and bruised in the gutter even as he sells your watch for liquor.
Hip-hop with a real feel for his own place, a real identity amongst the stolen beats and riffs, and a real idea of how to build and graft in his craft.
If you like your Hip Hop with brains and balls – this is definitely for you. Gutsy, gloomy and gregarious all in one. Good work Shabazz.