Artist: Blu and Exile
Album / Mixtape: Below The Heavens
Check Out: “The World Is (Below The Heavens)”
Why: It made me realized that the West had some hidden gems that were waiting to be discovered.
I’m not going to lie, when I first heard this album, I had no idea who Exile or Blu were. I went into the album knowing nothing. In fact, the reasons I checked out this album was: a) I heard Blu on Evidence’s “For Whom The Bells Tolls” and b) I saw the album cover on a member of hip-hop message board’s signature, and it intrigue me. My curiosity led me to giving it a shot.
Blu was a breath of fresh air. He was different than the norm. Just take a look at “First Thing First.”
He flipped the normal “love” rap song. He rapped from a relatable, honest perspective. He didn’t brag or exaggerated his raps. Instead, he kept it honest and showed vulnerability by mentioning that he might be in a bind financially with this girl, something that you can actually imagine.
Songs like “Blu Colla Workers,” “The World Is (Below The Heavens),” “So(ul) Amazin’ (Steel Blazin’),” “My World Is…,” “Show Me The Good Life” and “Simply Amazin’ (Soul Rising)” are all dope too. Blu was on fire on this album.
Blu came out of nowhere—at least in my case—and delivered a solid, smooth and soulful record. He left a lasting and refreshing impression when I discovered Below The Heavens.