On Thursday, May 12, 2011, Santos Party House featured a hip-hop bill with two acts from a town mostly known for rock music: Seattle, WA. Le1f, THEESatisfaction and Shabazz Palaces.
Le1f is a NYC hip-hop artist who rapped to a mostly empty room but the people gathered up front were appreciative of his energy and music. Towards the end of his set, he performed on the floor and closed up the space between him and the audience. The next act, THEESatisfaction is a young, female duo (THEE Stasia and Catherine Satisfaction) formed in 2008. Their seemingly short set featured choreography, harmonies, and audience members singing and rhyming along with Stas and Cat. One of the last songs they performed, “Do You Have The Time,” felt like a sing-along that I was missing out on since I was experiencing them for the first time.
Shabazz Palaces is from Palaceer Lazaro (also known as Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler of Digable Planets). Shabazz Palaces has the distinction of being the first hip-hop act on Sub Pop's roster in their twenty-plus year history. The set was radically different from the last time I saw them in October. Gone were the black druid-like robes and the female backup dancers that were are part of their show at the American Museum of Natural History. There were only two men on stage: Lazaro and Baba Maraire. The vibrating bass during certain songs was so strong it moved the tom drum slowly across the stage floor, closer and closer to Maraire. Touring in support of their forthcoming album, Black Up, the set featured new songs along with older tracks like “32 Leaves Dipped in Blackness Making Clouds Forming Altered Carbon,” “Capital 5,” “An Echo from Hosts that Profess Infinitum” and “Kill White T.” During the final few songs, THEE Satisfaction joined Shabazz Palaces on stage. Impressively, Lazaro completely improvised a song about New York before the show ended.
If you missed out on Thursday night's show, purchase Black Up when it's released on June 28 and catch them the next time they're in town.