When Shabazz Palaces released his debut »Black Up« in 2011, some people might have asked themselves what the hell was going on. The reactions ranged from high praise to confused headshakes, and we can all prepare for reacting similarly to »Lese Majesty«. It’s even more ambitious, more intricate, more confusing and obscure, even further away from classic hooks and 16-bars-raps, from radio- and party- hip hop. Instead, the multi-instrumentalist Tendai ›Baba‹ Maraire juggles with pieces from different genres between tribal, spacy p-funk and grainy dub step. »Lese Majesty« is made of seven mini-suites, produced in a dry and minimalistic manner, simmering gloomily. At parts, it’s comparable to the intensity of Tricky‘s »Angels With Dirty Faces«, accompanied by Ishmael Butler’s slightly nasal and helium-esque rapflow, which also reminds us of Kool Keith. Just like the suites’ titles (»Murkings On The Oxblood Starway«), Ishmael Butler’s lyrics are cryptic and ambiguous. And yet, between space-fantasies, conspiracy-theories and apocalypse, there is always room for sweet talk like »You’re a bird song visualized« – it’s even sexy, after all. All that makes Shabazz Palaces’ »Lese Majesty« be a swan song and at the same time an updating of Afro-futurism as well as hip-hip-history, altogether. It’s a total work of art, at last, and at the same time a fascinating mystery.