Ishmael Butler is a renaissance artist who has lived many lives. You may know him from the Grammy-award winning hip-hop trio Digable Planets or the mysterious force behind the critically acclaimed Shabazz Palaces. But he doesn’t just use his powers to innovate and reinvent himself – he spreads love and inspiration as a teacher and guide to his artistic family. In his art and lifting up the Black Constellation, he’s helped put a beacon on Black art in Seattle.
On this episode, we explore Ishmael’s journey from the West Coast to the East Coast and back again. Through all his stylistic reinventions and his current artistic life as lynchpin of Shabazz Palaces, son of the Central District and under-heralded hip-hop visionary.
Listen to a playlist of music from the episode and read the transcript on KEXP.org.
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