by Aimee Vitek
Friday, Jan. 25 – Shabazz Palaces
with the Helio Sequence
54 N. Orange Ave.
It’s not a stretch to suggest that mainstream hip-hop has run out of new ideas. But scratch beneath the gold-plated surface and you can still find pockets of innovation. Artists like Shabazz Palaces and SpaceGhostPurrp are pushing the envelope but have yet to reach a wider audience. This week, Shabazz makes an arc through Florida with Sub Pop labelmates the Helio Sequence, and their live performance is not to be missed. Rapper Ishmael Butler has matured since his days with Digable Planets. Even as the young “Butterfly,” his lyrics were more thoughtful and complex than many of his contemporaries’. Now, two decades later, Butler is back as “Palaceer Lazaro,” still ahead of the curve with a delivery that’s stronger than ever. Onstage, multi-instrumentalist Tendai Mariare weaves a dense tapestry of sound, combining electronics with traditional African instruments, all swimming in a sea of reverb and delay. – Joshua Nye