The Word On... Black up, Shabazz Palaces

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The Independent Culture

"Shabazz Palaces sound like no one else and that is where the beauty lies. They'll be compared to a fleet of other 'avant' hip-hop artists, but the comparisons will be ultimately flawed, 'Black Up' is gloriously refreshing. The only complaint I feel one can level against it is that it's just too short at 36 minutes."

"An album with a brilliant sound, one that is as arresting to listen to as it is to puzzle over. If it's a hip-hop album – and that's a big 'if' – then it's the finest one yet this year. And if it's not, well then, let's just call it one of the finest albums of 2011. It certainly feels that way."

"The Shabazz sound splits the difference between the blunt beat crush of Dead Prez and the blunted head rush of Flying Lotus, and Butler's lyrics are a perfect storm of rap swagger, political poetry and cultural crypticisms."