Shabazz Palaces

Game Of Thrones. What is it? A board game? A reality show? You never hear anyone talking about it, and you for sure never see multiple people in the same subway car reading the books. Has anyone ever tweeted about an episode, even once? Hard to say! This HBO show has so far flown completely under the radar, just kidding, nearly every single person loves it and they all talk about it pretty much nonstop. Shabazz Palaces’ Ishmael Butler is one of those fans, and I chatted with him recently about the show, his favorite moments, and why he wants to see Eric Andre on the Iron Throne.

KELLY: Were you on board with Game Of Thrones from the beginning, or did it take some convincing to get you to watch it?
ISHMAEL: I heard it was good but I didn’t start watching until season two was over, so I watched them in about 3 days.
KELLY: Wow, that is a lot of GOT all at once.
ISHMAEL: GOT’s to do it.
KELLY: Hahah, I ask because I didn’t start watching until fairly recently. Even though everyone always said it was great, it always seemed so INVOLVED. Such an undertaking.
ISHMAEL: The first scene I saw was by circumstance at a friend’s house, it was when Khaleesi dropped her robe and walked into the boiling bathtub. I asked, “What show is this?” GOT “Hmmmm gotta check this out.”

KELLY: Haha, oh, of course, that scene probably would have hooked anybody. Have you read or do you have any desire to read the books?
ISHMAEL: Yes, I read a book called The Steele Remains that I dug, which I later found out is an homage to George RR’s whole shit. It was written in his style, that is. So I imagine it would be a solid read.
KELLY: Yeah, definitely. I mean, I know for a fact that I will never in my life read any of the books, based on how difficult it was to just get myself to watch the show. But I understand that I should. Do you feel like reading them now might spoil the series for you?
ISHMAEL: I wouldn’t read ahead, no. But I’m certain there remain major differences. Books always and in all ways are better.
KELLY: There wasn’t a new episode this past Sunday, but did you see last week’s?
ISHMAEL: I did.
KELLY: It was sort of a nice! Until the end!
ISHMAEL: I like Littlefinger and Sansa.
KELLY: Oh, those lovebirds.
ISHMAEL: And I’d also been wanting to see someone get thrown through the hole. The concept of the hole is gorgeous to me. Hella dangerous to have just THERE, it’s like having a gun out laying around the house.
KELLY: Right, there should be a Moon Door guardrail. Or a sign somewhere. “CAREFUL!”
ISHMAEL: Littlefinger is great tho, been following his acting since The Wire and also that Irish TV show. Love/hate, and Sansa well…yeah.
KELLY: I actually haven’t watched The Wire yet so I’m not as familiar with him there.
ISHMAEL: If you haven’t watched The Wire then you have so much to look forward to.
KELLY: I know. I’m excited to watch it, it’s nice having it in my back pocket in case I’m ever, like, in the hospital for 2 months. Speaking of, since everyone always counts that among the Best TV Shows, do you think you’d you rate Game Of Thrones similarly?
ISHMAEL: I have no idea, I don’t have enough TV watching experience. But on the internet you don’t need to know anything about what your typing.
KELLY: Clearly very true.
ISHMAEL: So I’ll say it’s…5th. No 15th. No..55th, yeah 55th.
KELLY: Hahaha, fair enough. Good answer. Game Of Thrones: The 55th best television series of all time.
ISHMAEL: Happy emoji.
KELLY: Do you have a favorite moment from the show?
ISHMAEL: Yes, when Khaleesi’s brother received his golden crown. But I don’t like to play favorites.
KELLY: Oh god that moment.
ISHMAEL: Tough way to go when what you want kills you
KELLY: Be careful and very specific about what you wish for.

KELLY: Okay, so I have a few more questions before you go, I’m just going to ask them rapid-fire. First: Where would you want to live in Westeros?
ISHMAEL: The south side.
KELLY: Stark or Lannister?
ISHMAEL: Stark, cuz they’re family first and they have some consideration for the people. Plus they dress better and have better hair. And their daughters are prettier. All the Lannisters are inbred maniacal tyrants with dastardly proclivities. The imp is cool with me tho. 
KELLY: Out of Jaime and Brienne; Tyrion and Bronn; and Arya and The Hound, which pair do you think is the CUTEST?
ISHMAEL: I like the fat dude of the Night’s Watch and his lady for this category. He’s cool and she’s got an overbite, which is hard to pull off.
KELLY: If you could bring one of the many dead characters back to life, who would it be?
ISHMAEL: Ned or Rob, cuz they’re the noblemen rulers/warriors, and now the Lannisters are coming with the Dick Cheney style of ruling.
KELLY: And finally, who would you like to see sit on the Iron Throne?
ISHMAEL: Eric Andre.
KELLY: That is a perfect answer.
ISHMAEL: I just saw him at Sasquatch music festival and his wit is sharp as Valerian Steel, so he would keep shit poppin right, and his hair would blow nicely in the Westeros breeze.

//

Shabazz Palaces’ Lese Majesty is out 7/29 on Sub Pop.

Comments (14)
  1. Oh God… Shabazz Palaces… Game of Thrones… Kelly jokes… must… resist… NERDGASM!!!

    AHHHHHH SO MUCH GREATNESS IN THIS POST! Palaceer with the greatest responses:

    “GOT’s to do it.” (STEALING THIS ONE!)

    “Happy emoji.” (The New “lawl”)

    “his wit is sharp as Valerian Steel, so he would keep shit poppin right” (Editor’s Note: ValYrian / but still spot on)

    “I like the fat dude of the Night’s Watch and his lady for this category.” (Spoiler: Further proof that Palaceer can see the future)

    I should probably just copy/pasta the whole thing since I love ALL OF IT.

    p.s. Kelly, how did you get a job at Videogum without seeing The Wire? I didn’t think I was even allowed to comment on Videogum without watching The Wire.

  2. Kelly, if you do watch the Wire, I hear you should start with season 4.

  3. anticipating lese majesty so hard..

    • I literally woke up today or yesterday thinking, “Oh man, we get the Run the Jewels sequel this year!”

      Then I paused and almost fell over when I realized, “Oh! AND NEW SHABAZZ PALACES!!”

      Shabazz Palaces: Favorite hip-hop album of 2011
      Killer Mike: Favorite hip-hop album of 2012
      Run The Jewels: Favorite hip-hop album of 2013

      I’m right there with you on the anticipation level. Shabazz in the summertime is blissful.

  4. “Books always and in all ways are better” is nearly always correct but speaking as someone currently limping to the end of A Clash of Kings, it is false as regards Game of Thrones.

    • Interesting, because Clash of Kings/Season 2 is where they deviated from the book the most. I personally enjoyed all the extra bits in CoK (Jojen & Meera) that set up a lot of what is happening currently in the show. The Battle of Blackwater was just as great in the book even though the episode was extraordinary.

      Don’t give up catweazle! Storm of Swords is the best of the bunch, but if you’re limping through CoK, you may start wishing you’re the crow’s meal on Feast for Crows.

      Personally, I have to have the books because I love knowing all the history and back story of all the smaller characters.

      Eh, to each his own. Overall Palaceer is still correct. Not even a popular HBO series can go into every detail Martin dissects in his books.

      • Maybe I just like the show better because in the books the gay stuff is all subtext (so far) but on the show it’s butts everywhere. Also it’s easier to zone out when Jon Snow’s around when watching TV than when reading.

        • Hey, can’t fault you there.

          Palaceer admitted himself that if it wasn’t for Dany’s butt he probably wouldn’t be watching either.

          On a side note, I love the details the show is going into with Theon.

          ***KIND OF SPOILERS BELOW IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE SHOW (MAYBE NOT, BUT BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY)***

          Theon gets removed from the books entirely after Clash of Kings. He doesn’t show back up til book 5. I like that the show is going into detail of how he got there, as book 5 just sort of references what had happened to him. It was the angle of the books that fascinated me the most when I finished the series, so glad to see the show is going into grisly detail. Hell, in the books there is no direct reference to Theon’s ding-dong getten’ hacked off, but George R.R. Martin himself wrote the episode where that happens. Makes me cross my legs recalling that…

  5. This new picture of Palaceer is the best picture I’ve seen this year.

    • Holy shit, you’re right! Those glasses, those gold leashes, AND the fact that he’s wearing snake skin pants. incredible.

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