Classics / Canon edition of the DiS Hip-Hop Listening Club


Pumped to listen to this again. Great rec.


Not sure I agree with this - they’re not flashy, showy MCs but they are all pretty amazing in my view, especially Butterfly and Ladybug.


I have never listened to this. Looking forward.


This album sounds so rich, really great production. bass for days even though you wouldnt really think of it as a basshead album per se. think this album did a little bit to tip ish towards the shabazz palaces sound. you can hear some of the sounds and concepts beginning to develop throughout.


Black Ego is a true masterpiece.


It definitely sounds different now listened to in the context of the Shabazz Palaces albums to come rather than as the follow up to Reachin’. Blowout Comb is really one of the first ‘alternative’ hip hop albums, which perhaps why non-one really knew what to make of it at the time.

It’s aged brilliantly though - one of the real greats.


Think I posted it before, but I went to see Digable Planets not too long ago. A year ago maybe. They were playing in a venue underneath Stamford Bridge football ground. Ish very much ran the show and you could see the others rolling eyes when he came onstage late, wearing a string vest and a mirrored wraparound sun visor a la Kool Moe Dee. The set fluctuated between amazing and terrible. We ended up leaving before it finished. They were approaching hour three with Ish and the drummer doing some weird improv freeform shit while the other two stood there. Very odd show, especially as the Shabazz Palaces shows I’ve seen have been super tight.


that sounds wild. saw them a couple of years back at Le Guess Who and thought they were decent


Really have a lot of love for this group. For some reason I didnt hear Blowout Comb until the late 90s and it took me a while to appreciate it. Reachin was just so immediate and perfect. Felt they could never top it and became more interested in harder sounding rap rock around the time BC came out. It’s not nearly as cute as Reachin, which I think is a good thing. The sounds are ever so slightly more plaintive than their debut. This is their De La Soul Is Dead.
There’s more to digest here, still elements to discover all these years later. A really ambitious album from a production standpoint! Gotta be considered in the top 5 production jobs on a hiphop album. Some tracks are extended by a few minutes to let the production breath and shift.So many people worked on this:

Really gaining some new appreciation for this album this week. And had fun checking out live performances:


This one is been a real joy and revelation to go back to. At the time I was a bit bemused by it I think. I’d been a big fan of Reachin’ and vaguely remember finding Blowout Comb a bit impenetrable in comparison. I then forgot all about it and even though I loved Shabazz Palaces when they emerged I never went back to Blowout Comb (ironically because in my head I connected them with the poppy debut album).

Listening to it again, Blowout Comb is closer to Shabazz than it is the the debut album but really is a pretty much perfect balance between the accessible and the adventurous. The way it is mixed with the vocals quite low was disorienting at the time but doesn’t sound unusual now at all. In reality this should be seen as one of the first ‘underground/alternative’ hip hop records. And one of the best. Thanks to whoever picked it for taking me back to it.


Been listening to this a lot this week. Maybe the most of any of the albums we’ve picked in any of the Listening Club rounds. I thought I knew the album pretty well, but I actually didn’t and am noticing a lot of new things upon revisiting.

Was thinking this too at first, but then listened to Of Light and Black Up earlier and now I’m not sure. Those records are really ‘out-there’ and feel like a huge jump from this. And they also feel a lot a more lo-fi than Blowout Comb.

I think Ishmael Butler might be the only hip hop artist whose later stuff I actually prefer.


never really been able to get on board with shabazz, find it a bit too… idk, clinical maybe? been a while since I listened to them though, so maybe I need to give it another chance. still bump this and reachin semi regularly though, great albums


Yeah, that’s an interesting shout. Well, in terms of artists doing something more ‘abstract’ in 1993 that still holds up now, I can’t really think of anyone else. Maybe Saafir or the Project Blowed guys.


To be fair, I haven’t listened to those early Shabazz records for a while - Blowout Comb sits on a comfortable continuum with the two (brilliant) records they released last year but on reflection those early ones are probably a bit more ‘abstract’.


hm not sure this is the right word. whuchu mean?


Not sure I would go this far but it is great to see an old head still innovating and being creative and not just leaning on their past.


I dunno if it is the right word either as I’m working off a distant memory, think I only listened to the first album and maybe an ep but I recall them being a bit cold? sort of metallic clunking with a monotone delivery over the top? this may all be wrong as like I say, not had the motivation to revisit them since whenever they came out


Ah, man. It’s worth persevering with them IMO.

This probably wasn’t far from my first take when I first listened, but now i can’t get enough. In my top 5 current hip hop acts easily.


another one, after stahhr with an emory douglas influence on the cover design.

sounds unique to me, a little slower than other jazzy hip hip? sounds like it’s just about holding back from blasting off into dub echoes.

reckon it might have had an influence on some of the more ‘fun’ sounding later trip-hop (looks about the most unfashionable style written down! but there’s probably some redeemable music) stuff like kid loco…


The Roots — The Tipping Point

this weeks pick courtesy of @Gert