So heres a throwback post....this is from my first blog Hip-Hop Alive! Im posting this because of Jeppes comment on Guys article about Lupe and Classic albums! This album is a classic and if you dont think so...smack the shit out of yo self! ENJOY!

Ok here is the second review of my blog....I recently got word of a really great CD that was released during the summer by a pretty unknown artist. That CD is "Below The Heavens". The first Album by a very new fresh rapper named Blu. Blu is a 22 year old rapper with a bit of a gospel or soul flavor to his music mixed with some old school. He packs a great punch with his powerful lyrics. He is a great new product of the West Coast rap scene. I have to tell you this guys style and flow is amazing. "Below The Heavens" is his first LP and it's produced by Exile (hence the Blu & Exile's Below The Heavens). This Cd is the life story of Blu.

Below The Heavens:

Below The Heavens starts out with a song titled "My World Is...." which is basically a self description of himself and how he sees his a single song.....its a great opener to the CD and sets the mood very well from the very first listen you are hooked and you realize this isn't just another rapper this is a true artist who is painting a picture of his life for you.....The next song is titled "The Narrow Path" which is about how hard its been to get to where he is today...all the struggles he has went through (also what every young kid in the ghetto goes through) to get to be who he is today. The influences around him and how hes tried to avoid the bad ones and focused on music to take him to a better place. "Soul Amazing (Steel Blazin')" is the next song and it is a pretty deep song also.....but with a kind of spiritual sense to it...."Juice N' Dranks" features Taraach....and has kinda of a different style then the rest of the CD...its basically telling all haters and doubters to fuck themselves....or as in the chorus "Yall Made Cuz You Aint Us!" Its not a dis but more of a proclamation of how he could care less what you think. "In Remembrance Of Me" is kind of a weird idea for a song for such a young is exactly what the title is a song in remembrance of his life....all his struggles, mistakes, and everything he has done. Its actually a great song....because by the time this song is done you really get a sense of who Blu is and what he stands for! "Blu Collar Worker" is a song for the ladies.....kind of! Haha basically its about how hard it is to have a relationship while hes trying to make a name for himself. How he takes his career serious and that he wont stop working till he succedes! "Dancing In The Rain" is actually my favorite song of the whole album! Hes talking about how sometimes people just need to take a break...relax.....enjoy life. How the stress of being a rapper gets to him. How it can affect his career...but how he deals with it. Its about what he is rapping for....the real inspirations behind his music! "First Things First" features Miguel Jontel. Now it really is a song for the ladies....about how he approaches women, and how he isn't trying to spit game, or front, he just trying to be honest. How he is just being real but how he isn't sure what hes supposed to he would appreciate it if women weren't so confusing. "No Greater Love" is a love song. About how strong love is, and how nothing can "break us up" now I'm not actually sure if he is rapping about a particular maybe his baby's momma....I also think it might also have a deeper his love for hip-hop (that could just be me though.) Either way it is a good song.....its got a smooth sound...and is exactly what you think it is...a love song. "Show Me The Good Life" It features Aloe Blacc & Joseph. "This is a story of wealth, cash, whips, chips, bitches and blunts..."(thats the opening to the song.) Its about how his life is and how hes trying to make his life better and make his child's life better then his. How he is trying to live "The Good Life". But its also about what the REAL "Good Life" is. Not all the material shit that other rappers like Lil' Wayne and 50 Cent show...but the real things in life like Knowledge, Family, & Love. "Simply Amazin'" is about how its amazing that he is where he is hard he has worked...what he has done and what he still has to do. How he got into the game, how he got to being the rapper who he is today. How he is trying to make a difference with his music. "Cold Hearted" features Miguel Jontel again. Its about all the struggles and problems and pain he has faced in his life, all the mistakes he has made, and how cold life is. How he has dealt with everything hes seen and felt....its a very emotional song and makes you feel his pain. Its about how no matter what you gotta keep your head up and keep on fighting! "How you must "Smile! Rain or Shine, Night or Day!" The next song is titled "The World Is (Below The Heavens)" its about how hes trying to live a good life and make it to Heaven. Whats wrong with the world today, and what he thinks he needs to do to make sure he gets to Heaven. Also what people are doing that will put them in "Hell". It about the struggle to find yourself and do what you think is right. The final song of the album is titled "You Are Now In The Clouds (With The Koochie Monstas)" its a good end to the album and it defiantly lightens the mood a bit.....basically it just has a good vibe. The song meant to just lift your spirits and bring the album to a good close.....Now there are some bonus tracks, 2 are only beats but one of them titled "I Am" is him just describing who he is......its the longest song of the whole album and has a bit of a goofey feel, with a serious twist. Now even though its a description about his life its different then "My World Is..." or the other songs because its more about who he is as a person....more then what he has went through.

Track Listing:
  1. My World Is...
  2. The Narrow Path
  3. Soul Amazin' (Steel Blazin')
  4. Juice N' Dranks
  5. In Remembrance of Me
  6. Blu Collar Worker
  7. Dancing In The Rain
  8. First Things First
  9. No Greater Love
  10. Show Me The Good Life
  11. Simply Amazin'
  12. Cold Hearted
  13. The World Is (Below The Heavens)
  14. You Are Now In The Clouds With (The Koochie Monstas)
  15. I Am
  16. Unlisted Bonus Track 1
  17. Unlisted Bonus Track 2

Overall this is one of the best albums I have ever listened to! HANDS DOWN! It brings you into the music. He really is an artist who paints you a picture and tells you a good story through his music and lyrics, and teaming up with Exile (the producer) made it great. These beats are amazing and the lyrics are even better! Blu is defiantly one of my favorite MC's out right now....that earns him a top spot on my "Artists To Watch In 2008"! This kids swagger and soul flow are a confident deep combo that mix well.....I just can't wait to see what he comes out with next!

Take A Listen:

Artist: Blu
Album: Below The Heavens
Label: Sound in Color
Rating: 5 out of 5 Mics!
Notes: Produced by Exile, Artist to watch in 2008!
Posted on 9:57 AM by Mr. Glass and filed under , | 10 Comments »


JeppE said... @ October 20, 2008 at 4:29 PM

Yes yes ya'll!

Wow, talking about classics - "Below the Heavens" is my second favorit album to EVER be released, only beaten by Gang Starrs "Moment of Truth". And actually, it's not impossible that "BtH" will conquer the first position at some point, because ever since the album dropped on '07, it's rapidly grown on me, and it still does, every time I hear it.

I'd like to make one 'correction' though: I think it's wrong to call this Blu's album, and then in perentheses say that it's produced by Exile. This is Blue AND Exiles album. In retrospect; C.L. Smooth didn't make "Mecca and the soul brother", Rakim didn't make "Paid In Full" and Guru didn't make "Step In the Arena" - they had their partners in crime, the DJ's, whose role was just as important then the MCs'. So following the "one mc, one dj" -formula, Blu and Exile created "Below the Heavens".

Now that that is said, let me just re-praise how 'effin' amazing this record is. Actually I won't take up that much comment-space (which I probably will anyway!...) but to put it short and on point; Flow-wise, Blu's among the top 5 right now, and beat-wise, Exile is among the top 5. They both come up with some fresh inputs for sure, but where the real magic happens, is in between the lines. Exiles beats actually has their own voice, and if you listen to the samples that's being used, they always support Blu's lyrics. In this way, an incredible chemistry between the two occurs, and nothing less than straight fire is being blasted out your speakers.

Exile definately has some heavy inspiration from the late Jay D, and in full respect, hes taking Dillas "methods" and applying them into his own ideas, which kinda gives the some off-beat vibe, with some of the smoothest and most perfectly executed sampling and chopping. And the details! - Oh boy, I discover new stuff everytime I hear the album.

Blu on the other hand (or same hand I guess) takes the best possible advantage of Exiles production. Throughout the album, every imaginable subject will be touched; religion, being an underground mc, numerous life-challenges, girls, being a father, poetry, food for thought, philosefies, you name it - Blu does it.
Sometimes Blu even go as far, as to write texts that even his "forefathers" couldn't match. Take for instance "Cold Hearted" - it's pure poetry, and it really justify the "p" in Rap. All the way through, Blu comes correct, and you can really feel his hunger.

"Below the Heavens" = best LP to be released in this millenium. Period.

Guy Fawkes said... @ October 20, 2008 at 4:41 PM

Lol, Jeppe's comments are longer than most of the posts.

I loved this album, and I copped it.
But I don't know that it's the best LP of the millenium.
One Be Lo's S.O.N.O.G.R.A.M.?
Brother Ali's "Shadows On The Sun"?

It's definitely in contention for the #1 spot.... But I can't Blu & Exile the crown that easily.

where's wally said... @ October 20, 2008 at 5:18 PM

Below the Heavens has to be my favourite album of the last 5 years, my first intro to Blu was Sun in my Face, the track that didn't make it onto Jay Loves Japan, via youtube. And it's safe to say I been hooked ever since.

But I agree with you Jeppe, it definitely wasn't Blu's album, both Exile and Blu were interdependent on this, without the other it wouldn't of been the same. And if you watched that Red Bull Academy vid I posted a while back, you'll see just how influential Ex was on Blu making that album. Ex made it clear he wanted to showcase Blu's lyrical prowess and didn't allow him to do a lotta shit he wanted to (which then developed into many tracks off Johnson & Jonson). However, it still bugs me out that this album was done back in 2005, e.g. when Blu was 21/22,if he was on that shit back then, imagine what he's gonna bring with his new material. Considering C.R.A.C and J&J records were done way back, I'm itching to see how he's developed since.

I already know Blu is shaping up to be one of my fave emcees of all time.

JeppE said... @ October 21, 2008 at 6:24 AM

I can't help it!! I love to share my opinions, and that often takes some space! This one's short though!

Guy Fawkes said... @ October 21, 2008 at 12:06 PM

I'm not saying it's bad, just that you could have posted an article instead of a comment.

Danielle said... @ October 21, 2008 at 12:57 PM

I'm sooo glad XXL is doing covers like this. It seems like some of the more popular magazines have the same ten artists in rotation for their covers and it get's kind of tired after awhile.

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