Exotic Birds of Prey
Exotic Birds of Prey
Exotic Birds of Prey
Shabazz Palaces

Exotic Birds of Prey

Regular price $10.00 $0.00
Release date: March 29, 2024
Label:  Sub Pop
Catalog #: 71612


She looked up. A rectangular notification had popped into view, obscuring the view of the road. 

>You have an update pending.

“No thank you,” she said, and brusquely waved it out of her field of view.


Her head jerked up again in annoyance. 

>Stellify Subscriber alert: new album from Shabazz Palaces: Exotic Birds of Prey. 

“Oh.” Her eyebrows arched, her fingers lightly drummed her tablet. “Play,” she said, voice softening.

The integrated Bang & Olufsen speakers cut on. Lyrics and info danced on the windscreen, casting the cabin in a crimson glow.

>Shabazz Palaces’ latest is a foreboding foray into final-days funk. Cold-forged synths cut like steel underneath paranoiac playerisms and science-faction set pieces. What will you do when the robots don't recognize your face?

“Pour more bass on my mids.” 

“Mmm.” The bio-reactive seat gently reclined as the whole vehicle body, composed of recycled marine plastics and seaweed, throbbed with deep, monstrous tones. Her eyes closed. 

“ETA,” she mumbled. 77 minutes, the car said softly.


>BrainBroom Subscriber: your weekly ketamine session is ready to transmit. Initiate?

She opened her eyes. Hers was the only vehicle in sight. Rain sheeted across the windscreen. In the corner, the heads-up relayed a leisurely 160 km/h and fully charged hydrogen cells. The road ahead was lit in a deep violet; the ancient LED’s on this stretch of highway had delaminated over time.


She laid back. As the corners of her sensory perception started to curl up, she heard different voices, new and old to the Shabazz cinematic universe. Stas the Boss, Irene Barber. OCnotes, Jahpreme Magnetic. Purple Tape Nate, Lavarr the Starr. 

“Many among them…traded in myths.”

As she submerged into innerspace, the soundtrack repeated, undermining her sense of time. The softly rocking motion of the vehicle, bee-lining it’s way home, did the same to her sense of space. Swirling in her mind’s eye, she saw ancient bones dancing underneath the solar-powered roadway; empty eye sockets turned and locked on her own. 

“Going back to the essence is not a bad thing.”


Directly ahead, zooming towards her, was an old Tesla, stopped, blue flames feathering out from the windows. The scream caught in her throat, a choked sob her only sound.

She opened gummy eyelids and raised her face. She was at the high, fortified gate of her rural high-rise community. She cleared her throat, and eased the windshield down. She faced the sensor.

>Face Not Recognized. Try Again.

“What?” Sweat rolled down her ribs.

>Face Not Recognized. Try Again.

She looked around, poked her head out and looked back at the forest, dark and featureless. 


Unseen wings flapped in the trees, dark bodies taking flight against the moon.

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