Yes! Seattle institution Sub Pop Records has signed hiphop Genius Shabazz Palaces. This is the smartest looking signing the label has made in a long minute (sorry, CocoRosie)—it gets back to the label's roots of signing local acts with international potential, while Shabazz's singular hiphop sound represents an adventurous expansion of SP's roster beyond the current bread and butter indie rock. Let's go to the press release:
Seattle, WA— Sub Pop’s recent signing of Seattle’s ascendant hip-hop collaborative Shabazz Palaces highlights an exciting, new example of the city’s legendary and ever-evolving music community. After self-releasing 2 EPs, Of Light and Shabazz Palaces, in 2009, the group quickly gained local acclaim, especially (and most noticeably to us) here within the Sub Pop offices. The Stranger, on Shabazz Palaces: “Shabazz's almost subliminal messages are universal: ‘Find out who you are and see it/Find out what you are and free it/Find out who you love and need it/Find out what you can and be it.’It's a timely sentiment for Seattle hip-hop, which, after years of self-negating/hating or looking too much to the Bay Area and Brooklyn for direction, is enjoying a creative surge and homegrown industry that is—no bullshit—changing the landscape of Seattle music.” With their debut full-length expected and anticipated in 2011, Shabazz Palaces will keep busy playing shows (see below), receiving awards (see below) and turning heads.
“I think we both have a lot of love, appreciation, respect and energy for music and for each other. Recognizing the fact that business is necessary for maximizing exposure to it, I think we mutually feel that doing business is less a ‘job’ and more an opportunity to exercise those feelings in dope ass ways. Shabazz, we bring a distinct hip-hop mentality from left to Sub Pop, which has established itself wide and deep in r&r from that same field. So, it’s going to be cool to see what gets born from rolling together. And, of course, Seattle is the immeasurable muse, the backdrop, backbone, the foundation to how we all get down. So SP feels a lot of pride around this partnering-up as well. The people, the office, the deal, it all feels super plush. So stay tuned, it’s 'bouts to be on.”—The Palaceer, Shabazz Palaces.
“It's in the initials. We SPs need to stick together—and we do. Seattle is our home and that means a lot to both parties. And we're not stopping at both parties, our professional collaboration will undoubtedly inspire many more parties, with some choice SP music as the soundtrack. To put it more prosaically—but no less sincerely—we at SP are honored, humbled and psyched to have been given the responsibility of further introducing the world to the music of SP.”—Jonathan Poneman, Sub Pop Records.
More About Shabazz Palaces (http://shabazzpalaces.com/) Shabazz Palaces are the first music recipients of The Stranger’s Genius Awards. The Genius Awards are given to outstanding visionaries in Literature, Film, Art, Theater, and for the first time ever, Music in the Seattle area. Shabazz Palaces will performing and accept their award at the Genius Awards Party, on September 17th at Seattle’s Moore Theatre.
Shabazz Palaces will also be performing on October 15th at New York’s American Museum of Natural History as part of “One Step Beyond”, a monthly series featuring live music and dancing at the Rose Center for Earth and Space. The series, presented by FADER, has featured performances from Kid Sister w/ Kanye West, Passion Pit, Moby, Animal Collective and more. Details available here: http://www.amnh.org/rose/specials/index.php
“Belhaven Meridian” Video directed by Kahlil Joseph: http://vimeo.com/14561393
5-Song sampler:http://soundcloud.com/subpop/sets/shabazz-palaces A Mess Chuch 32 Leaves Blast It Find Out
Shabazz Palaces Press Pitchfork’s Rising: Shabazz Palaces: http://pitchfork.com/news/38708-rising-shabazz-palaces/ The Stranger “Taste That Crown” feature. http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/taste-that-crown/Content?oid=3151670 The Stranger Genius Awards: http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2010/08/04/shabazz-palaces-is-the-first-ever-stranger-genius-for-music
Upcoming Shabazz Palaces Shows Saturday, September 11th@ Jimmy Mak’sfor MFNW Friday, September 17th@ Moore Theatre for The Stranger’s Genius Awards Party Friday, October 15th@ American Museum of Natural History for “One Step Beyond”
Shabazz Palaces performs and accepts the first ever Stranger Genius Award for Music at this year's Stranger Genius Awards Party, September 17th at the Moore Theater, w/Emerald City Soul Club and Trouble Dicso. Tickets available here.