This Is Our Jam: Shabazz Palaces, “Swerve… The Reeping Of All That Is Worthwhile (Noir Not Withstanding)”

Shabazz Palaces
Swerve... The Reeping of All that is Worthwhile (Noir Not Withstanding)” is a three-part medley that is much greater (and stranger) than the sum of its movements. During the first of these, Ishmael Butler's buttery rhymes skate over a slinky beat that sounds like something MF Doom might have slayed a few years years back. The track then introduces guest stars THEESatisfaction, who split Afrofuturist Baduizm with heady free-associative rap. As the song fades, Afrocentric poetics loop in over bongos: “Black is you, black is me / Black is us, black is free.” The core, though, is THEESatisfaction's middle section that swirls with a jazz-inflected entropy. The lyrics say it all: "Boogie woogie let your body feel free / My mind loses connectivity." Best to relax and follow the directions. (Pitchfork)


Shabazz Palaces—Black Up
"Swerve... The Reeping of All that Is Worthwhile (Noir Not Withstanding)"

All music is for sampling purposes only. Please go out and buy the artists' records. If you would like for us to remove a track, please email us at

More from Entertainment

R29 Original Series