Two EPs and just a pair of local shows into their existence, Shabazz Palaces -- the Seattle hip-hop duo featuring Digable Planets' Ishmael Butler -- have inked a deal with Sub Pop Records. Their full-length debut is due via the label sometime next year.
In a press release this morning, Butler, AKA "The Palaceer" and "Palaceer Lazaro" says:
"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."
Earlier this year, when Sub Pop launched the world music imprint Next Ambiance, I asked the label's co-founder, Jonathan Poneman, why the label was going with world music for an imprint rather than hip hop. Here's the exchange:
Any reason you chose world music as the next direction you decided to go rather than, say, hip hop, which has done well in the Seattle scene over the last six or seven years?
You know, it really comes down to relationships and being fans of a particular thing, (and) hopefully being somewhat knowledgeable about it. I love hip hop, but you know, my social and cultural understanding of it is much more limited than is the kind of music we put out on Sub Pop.
It's an intricate balance between doing something that feels comfortable and striking out on something that is challenging. I like a challenge like everyone else does, but I would prefer to have a connection that runs deeper. If the right person came along to want to do a different kind of label, be it hip hop or whatever, then we would probably consider the relationship.