As far as emulating the style of local music heroes goes, you could sure do a lot worse than Ishmael Butler of Shabazz Palaces.

You'll probably want to consider a dashiki or two, some variety of satin-finish jacket, and some serious shades. (And a pair of snakes?)

Most recently at least, the specific sunglasses of choice of Palaceer Lazaro, as Butler is known, were made in part from recycled vinyl records (like these from Baby and Co.!) in collaboration with a formerly Seattle-based eyewear company, Vinylize.

Though Vinylize Eyewear founders Zack and Zoltan Tipton have moved their operation to Budapest—where plenty of cheap communist-era LPs are just waiting to be upcycled—there are still many local ties. Over the past year and a half, the brothers and Seattle's Silas James have been working to produce custom frames for the Grammy Award-winning hiphop innovator—and for you, and for Seattle youth. 

"I agreed to manage this project on the condition that we donate the proceeds from the sales to a Seattle nonprofit called WAPI," James told me. "They are primarily a drug treatment center working with mostly at risk youth of color. In addition to providing treatment and counseling WAPI's Katalyst program teaches their clients audio engineering."

Image courtesy Vinylize

Apropos, no?

The specific style is called Forerunner, and friends, they are not cheap. Or available in large quantities.

Released in a batch of twenty in tandem with the latest Shabazz Palaces record, at the time of this writing, only three remain of each color—cobalt and gold. They're available exclusively on the Vinylize site, and yes, if it matters to you (it should), we'll definitely count this as "shopping locally."


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