Knife Knights (Ishmael Butler & Erik Blood) – “Give You Game” Video (NSFW)

Knife Knights is the new creative union of Shabazz Palaces’ Ishmael Butler and musician/engineer Erik Blood. “Give You Game,” their latest recording and Sub Pop debut, is the production duo’s take on displacement and “sceneism” in 2018. It’s a weird, compelling track, with abstract visuals to match.

The new song is off-kilter in all the right ways; in just a little over three minutes, it goes in several different directions. At first, “Give You Game” starts off detached and maybe even a bit extraterrestrial, like what you would imagine could play in an underground club on the moon. There isn’t necessarily a chorus, so much as a slow-burning build up as the beat gurgles up towards the surface, sporadic and unsettling. Marquetta Miller and former THEESatisfaction member Stasia Irons’ vocals come later, lending the track a fuller shape and extra warmth.

The Justin Henning-directed video pans to a lush, forested landscape that’s soon inhabited (or perhaps colonized) by ghostly nude bodies. Where the lyrics may be less cut-and-dry, the video is pretty on the nose when it comes to the song’s take on gentrification. The figures seem to multiply exponentially until the mossy green backdrop is almost completely obstructed by flesh tones. Maybe don’t watch this at work. But if you do want to, you can watch and listen below.

“Give You Game” is out now via Sub Pop.