Shabazz Palaces at SXSW 2011; photo by me

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Shabazz Palaces at SXSW 2011; photo by me

“Lost Foundling” by Shabazz Palaces

As the world awaits Seattle rap act Shabazz Palaces’ sophomore album “Black Up” — out May 31 on local label Sub Pop — we consider non-album track “Lost Foundling.”

The two-part song is on a free Sub Pop sampler called “Please to Enjoy – Terminal Sales Volume 4,” available at discerning record stores Saturday, April 16, Record Store Day.

“Foundling”‘s sudden switch-up at the one-minute mark takes it from a disheveled, erratic guitar jam, to a tightly composed robo-rap song. Once on its feet, its eyes are narrowed, synthesizer humming, drums clap-clapping.

As for what Shabazz helmsman Palaceer Lazaro is rapping about … it’s hard to know exactly. Trying to grasp anything about the song seems strongly discouraged:

“you’re hanging by a thread / my style is the scissor”

I hear the first section as a described scene that feels urban, happens upstairs, is sweaty, and involves out-of-body experiences. I hear the second part as veiled and not-so-veiled jabs at writers and rappers.

Bonus video: check out Shabazz jamming on a cool Auto-Tune lullaby at SXSW 2011: