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Blu

With his cool-headed SoCal demeanor and everyman charisma, Blu was championed at the onset of his recording career when he collaborated with Emanon DJ/producer Exile for the highly acclaimed LP Below the Heavens (2007). Born Johnson Barnes in Inglewood, California, Blu, whose stepfather was a pastor, was very influenced by gospel and Christian rap when he was developing his MC skills in middle and high school. His musical turning point came when he first heard the Common classic "I Used to Love H.E.R." (1994), as well as the Chicago MC's third album, One Day It'll All Make Sense (1997). From then onward, Blu abandoned his schoolyard freestyle frame of mind and dedicated his abilities to crafting well-written songs. As he started doing live performances, he paid his dues working as a hype man for several underground rap and soul artists, including Slum Village, Steve Spacek, Platinum Pied Pipers, and, of course, Emanon. His relationship with Exile and newfound mindset in making music pointed him toward signing with L.A. independent Sound in Color in 2004, which for the young MC meant brushing off interest from Interscope and Death Row.

Subsequently, he cut a few records for Exile's Sound in Color album, Dirty Science (2006), recorded features for other L.A. artists, and self-pressed his Lifted EP in 2006. When Below the Heavens first hit shelves in August 2007, Blu and Exile were virtual unknowns in underground hip-hop, but Blu's deft songwriting and Exile's soul-drenched, Jay Dee-influenced production quickly amassed them a national audience. Below the Heavens ended up on many critics' year-end lists and, particularly, launched Blu into the public hip-hop eye. Remaining independent, Blu later turned to Sound in Color labelmate and L.A.-via-Detroit MC/producer Ta'Raach (formerly known as Lacks) for the collaborative project C.R.A.C. Knuckles. Over the next five years, Blu released a total of seven albums and mixtapes, including 2011's Open and Blu & Exile's Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them in 2012. The previously unreleased albums Her Favorite Colo(U)r and NoYork! also finally saw proper release in 2011 and 2013, respectively. Blu's solo album Good to Be Home was released by Nature Sounds in 2014, and Bad Neighbor, a collaboration with MED and Madlib, appeared on Bang Ya Head in 2015. ~ Cyril Cordor
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: York

1. Do Nothin

2. Everything's OK

3. Everybody Nose

4. Above Crenshaw

5. SLNGBNGrs

6. Soupa

7. Hours

8. Annie Hall

9. Tags

10. Spring Winter Summer Fall

11. Down To Earth

12. My Sunshine

13. Keep Pushinn

14. Doin Somethin

x

Track List: Open

1. NoWorries(TheyGonnaLoveUBaby)

2. GoodGrace(LetUsThankHimForThisFood)

3. RAw!(AsHardAsItGets)

4. TheRunAwaySlaveSong

5. LikeEveryDayAintTheSame

6. OpenChopShop(MilkMoneysFirstBeat)

7. LetMeTellU

8. TalkingToMyselfTooOften

9. WeDance(ThoughIWalk,WeUsedToFly)

10. TheLongWindedReverendBarnes

11. FoundAtTheBottomOfTheRainbow

12. SucreForSunshine

13. ThruTheMist

14. ThankU

x

Track List: Her Favorite Colo(U)r

1. Love

2. Amnesia

3. Since

4. Morning

5. Melo

9. Pardon

10. Vanity

11. Beggars'/BlackGold

12. Celln'ls

14. Peace

x

Track List: Jesus (Explicit)

1. New S**t

2. What If I Was

3. On The Porch

4. Lucky

5. DMV

6. Burgandy

7. 4 U

8. Doo Whop

9. Birdz N Beez

10. Jesus

11. Do The Knxwledge

x

Track List: Kiss The Sky (Single)

x

Track List: The Narrow Path

1. Party Of 2

2. Party Of 2 (Instrumental)

3. The Narrow Path (Instrumental)

4. The Narrow Path

5. Party Of 2

6. The Narrow Path

Comments

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Word to tha musterd
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slept on like a pillow
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Yo Blu bro keep doing Ya thing I keep waiting on the day to do a track witchu I'm Ameer from So Cal
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Yea this sh t banging and smooth at the same dam time like Hennessey
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everybody hypes up below the heavens its aight but i think give me my flowers while i can still smell them s**ts on it if you dont know now you know
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ivanquiroz88
Does anyone know where I can find Like everyday ain't the same? I can't find it in youtube nor in google.
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Viciously poetic. Lyrically exceeds mainstream mantras. Dude is a monster with a Happy Buddha like approach on the mic. I love his first 5 mixtapes/alb u m compilations . Didn't know he composed productions too (reference: artist named ANTHM). A symbol for WestCoast Hip Hop assumes a homo sapient form named Blu.
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Damn. ......real af
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<3
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SO UNDERRATED/U N L I S T E N E D TO! LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS EMCEE!
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Man this brother here teaches in his music. Tell me his song fly ain't one of the realest tracks ever. Plus the production he gets is ridiculous
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Her Favorite Colour is a beautiful album
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Blu made the freshman list of 09, and nothing ever happened it seemed like. Best class ever: Blu, Ash Roth, Kid Cudder, B.o.B..... wale , cory gunz, ace hood but not a huge fan of them to be honest; still good tho!
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man this brother got soul..... My new favorite artist ashe hotep blu keep doing your thing
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this kid is nice... but somethin about him aint right
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Still out in LA? Broken Complex Records would love to talk to him...
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best rapper out there
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a breath of fresh air!!! GOOOOOOOOOOO O O O O O O O O D music!!
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ill skills,dope folws,jus dat damb good music
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He is so under appreciated and many artist in his generation are over shadowed by the bubble gun rap of Jay-Z and Lil Wayne
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this dude is real nice on the production.. definitely feelin it.
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Blu is the dopest new MC I've heard in a long time. He reminds me of a very young Mos Def, or a young Common. If you haven't copped "Below the Heavens" then get it immediately - this guy is one of the deepest and most poetic, REAL mc's I have ever heard.
Report as inappropriate
Sounds good so far we will see these rappers are a dime a dozen now a days f**king clowns in the industry im sick of the commercial rappers you suck a** so BLU dont get commercial and have people we never hear of rappin for you just to get some air time...can anyone say NWA no air play and was still number 1
Report as inappropriate
blu & exile - below the heavens, one of the best albums of the aughts.
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cold
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Dope... Who is this cat...?
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blu is def one of dopest underground emcees
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If you don't have Below The Heavens, you are garbage...pl a i n and simple
Report as inappropriate
get "below the heavens"

you need it in your life.
Report as inappropriate
who da hell is dis

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