Seattle rap collective Shabazz Palaces strikes deal with rock-minded Sub Pop

Sub Pop Records doesn’t have much of a track record with hip-hop, so it’s worth paying attention to the fact that the Seattle label has partnered with the local hip-hop collective Shabazz Palaces — possibly the label’s first-ever rap act.

It’s not hard to see why Sub Pop was interested: with smart, incisive lyrics and bone-deep grooves mixing boom-bap beats and subtle electronics, the group has a taut alternative sensibility that’s rarely found in mainstream rap. No wonder Shabazz Palaces was recently the musical recipient of the Genius Awards bestowed in the fields of music, art, film, theater and literature by Seattle alt-weekly The Stranger.

After self-releasing a pair of EPs, the group’s full-length debut is expected sometime next year, but you can check out this five-song sampler right now.

Shabazz Palaces by subpop

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