Black Up - Shabazz Palaces

Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Jun 28, 2011
    A killer second act.
  2. Jun 21, 2011
    Following a pair of brilliant EPs, Shabazz attacks with Black Up.
  3. Jun 27, 2011
    If there's been a better album, hip-hop or not, out this year, I haven't heard it.
  4. Mind-blowing and catchy, Black Up is an album too progressive to pass up. Get on this as soon as possible.
  5. Play loud. I can't speak to the listening practices of the post-illbient beatmakers whose tricks Palaceer Lazaro gathers together and improves on like he's just been waiting for the go-ahead from Tricky himself.
  6. Shabazz Palaces have pushed the music forward, so that it once again can be raw, real, and unconventional.
  7. Aug 9, 2011
    This is hip-hop that doesn't attack; it drifts. Black Up is full of ghostly howls and weird barely-there percussion, devoid of anything like a single.
  8. Jul 11, 2011
    Black Up is at first mind-bending and perhaps confusing in its production and aesthetic, making it easy to lump in with fringe rap artists cLOUDDEAD. But to do so ignores the visceral qualities of the album, both in Butler's lyrics and in the production.
  9. Jun 28, 2011
    Like on that grand finale the production on Black Up is meticulous but furtive, always pushing forward, often unwilling simply to loop. And Butler's rapping sounds perfectly at home in this sometimes chaotic environment, kicking it amidst the kinetic verve of his beats.
  10. Jun 27, 2011
    It's deeply refreshing to hear an artist who exudes such depth and consideration.
  11. Jun 21, 2011
    It's difficult to decide whether Butler's thing is psychedelic thuggishness or thuggish psychedelia, and he probably doesn't intend for us to figure it out. Either way, he's done the near-impossible in creating a sound that's wholly fresh and grows richer with every listen.
  12. Mar 13, 2012
    Shabazz Palaces created an album that is deep, dense, cryptic, hypnotic, and beautiful in its own freaky way.
  13. Jun 30, 2011
    What's likely to stick out first and foremost on the 10 tracks that comprise Black Up are the beats.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 39 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 14
  3. Negative: 2 out of 14
  1. Jun 30, 2011
    Without any hype or press, Ish puts out the best hip-hop album of 2011. The production is crazy. It sounds kinda wonky with maybe some roots in dubstep, but ultimately it sounds like nothing else out there. It's a smart and contemplative album all being spat out from a likable and charismatic MC who doesn't even gather the spotlight because all of the elements just fit so well. This is a album for hip-hop enthusiasts, electronic music enthusiasts and all music enthusiasts that are open for experimentation and a possibly mind altering experience. Full Review »
  2. Jun 30, 2011
    A breath of fresh air into the realm of hip hop. This album is not only one of the most original hip hop albums released in the past decade, but possibly the best overall album of the year. These songs contain immense layers and constantly take unexpected turns, resulting in a stimulating listening experience even after repeated listens. Don't be surprised if this is on every music blog's top 5 list come December. Full Review »
  3. Jun 28, 2011
    What the hell? I am so so in to this, yet so disturbed and yet... so intrigued. Great songs. Great ambience. This is the type of stuff that probably goes on inside the cells of LSD. Full Review »