In a year that has already seen a rapper named Future lead the industry with back-to-back No. 1 album releases, yet another double release is coming from an opposite corner of hip-hop's expanded universe. Shabazz Palaces has announced plans to release a second album, Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines, via Sub Pop on July 14 — the same date Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star, the group's first album in three years, will see the light of day. That release was announced just two weeks ago.
Creative album release strategies aside, that's probably where the Shabazz Palaces comparisons to any other rap act end. On the newly released single from Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines, in fact, Ishmael Butler (a.k.a. Palaceer Lazaro) alludes to the stereotypical characteristics of "your favorite rapper" with a sly call-and-response wink.
"Behold, look who it is / your favorite rapper / His jaws clenched in a Xanax glow / your favorite rapper," he spells out in the lyric video for "30 Clip Extension. The litany continues: "He's focused on the blurry blur / your favorite rapper / He's feeling numb dressed dapper dumb / your favorite rapper."
But Palaceer Lazaro isn't exactly himself, either. As the press release for the Born On A Gangster Star stated, the second album also finds him rapping the tale of protagonist Quazarz, a sentient being who finds himself wandering among the "ethers of the Migosphere here on Drake world."
The album's release will be followed by a limited-edition illustrated album by cartoonist Joshua Ray Stephens. The 32-page book is scheduled for an August 18 release. But don't let the sci-fi guise fool you; if "30 Clip Extension" and the tracklist below are any indication, this pair of albums could provide quite a pointed commentary on the state of things.
Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines:
1 Welcome to Quazarz
2 Gorgeous Sleeper Cell
5 Effeminence [ft. Fly Guy Dai of Chimurenga Renaissance]
6 Julian's Dream (ode to a bad) [ft. The Shogun Shot]
7 30 Clip Extension
8 Love in the time of Kanye [ft. Purple Tape Nate]
9 Sabonim in the Saab on 'em
10 The SS Quintessence
11 Late night phone calls [ft. Laz]
12 Quazarz on 23rd