Thanks to Passion of the Weiss [one of the funniest music blogs I regularly check in on] and his inclusion of Blu & Exile on his list of best LA-area albums of 2007, I now have some really good hip hop to listen to instead of the new Lupe album, which of course is great but I don't wanna get sick of it before the year is over.
Weiss likens Blu his hometown's Jurassic 5 [although maybe it's not so much a sonic comparison, Idunno] but I'm going with Mos Def. Or even Talib Kweli. But Weiss is a little more knowledgeable in the hip hop game, so.. whatever.
Listening to this album the first time really reminded me of Black on Both Sides, which probably stands as my favorite hip hop album ever, since I grew up listening to Pearl Jam and Smashing Pumpkins and got into the hip hop game a little late. But that's not to discount Mos Def at all. He's one of the best.
The beats of Below the Heavens seem pretty Jay Dilla -influenced. Opener "My World Is..", with the female vocal samples sounds like it coulda been Blu's guest spot on a Kanye-produced track. And each time I listen to it I half-expect Mos or Talib to chime in with a few verses. Other beats sound like Primo. "Juicen' Dranks", with Detroit's Ta'raach is the most J5 -sounding tune, if not only for T's Chali 2na -like guest verses and the Jayou-esque flute.
All in all it's very good, and very.. indie. Yeah, good description, right? Just go download, listen, and purchase if you like it enough.
Blu & Exile - "My World Is..", from Below the Heavens
Blu & Exile - "Blu Colla Workers", from Below the Heavens
Blu & Exile feat Ta'raach - "Juicen' Dranks", from Below the Heavens
Mos Def - "Ms Fat Booty", from Black on Both Sides
Mos Def - "Speed Laws", from Black on Both Sides
Jurassic 5 -"Jayou", from Jurassic 5
Purchase Blu & Exile Below the Heavens from Amazon.
Purchase Blu & Exile Below the Heavens from iTunes.
Purchase Mos Def Black on Both Sides from Amazon.