I make fun of Seattle hip hop quite a bit, for several reasons. One, I think everyone in Seattle takes themselves way too seriously and the local hip hop scene is a good example of that (um, let’s talk about the reverent way we spoke of Macklemore’s Mariners references?), and two, it’s easy to make fun of something that’s getting a lot of hype. Shabazz Palaces is def getting that treatment, as seen with the Pitchfork 8.8 review for the new album, Black Up. Whatever though, this album is pretty epic, the dude is really fucking rad, and I like it. Ok? It’s rap that’s really dark and gloomy but uses deep DEEP BASS and other production techniques that make my skin crawl in a good way. And also let’s give props to a dude who is definitely not the spoiled suburban brats that make up the 95% of overhyped Seattle rappers and producers. Also, amazing album design by local agency Dumb Eyes, who are like if Tom Haverford and Jean-Ralphio from Parks and Recreation had a successful and legitimate version of their do-all creative firm. It’s black velvet with gold glittery accents with a graphic of a tribal looking dude that reminds me of OMAK from Legends of the Hidden Temple.