Blu & Exile To Release Unheard Songs From Below The Heavens Sessions
This month, Blu & Exile’s 2007 collaborative debut Below The Heavens celebrated its 10th birthday. That LP introduces the masses beyond Los Angeles, California to a soulful, spiritual, and skillful MC named Blu, with his multi-talented veteran producer.
While it’s been recently revealed that Johnson Barnes and Ex’ may be at work on a proper third tandem project, a revisit of their Underground Hip-Hop gem also welcomes a bounty of sessions from 2006 and 2007. L.A. Weekly journalist Jeff Weiss spoke with the duo about making the Sound In Color LP that’s been twice reissued after selling out.
“I had no idea this record would stand the test of time the way it has,” Blu said of his proper introduction. “I was just trying to be as real and ill as possible without sounding like someone else or sounding like I was trying to impress someone. Exile made my vision a reality every step of the way.”
Having spoken to the artists, Weiss noted, “In total, 40 songs were recorded — many of which will see their first release in the coming month. But it’s the final batch that became instantly canonized, spreading virally on a pre-Soundcloud Internet. Upon its release 10 years ago this month, the album immediately sold out of its 3,500-unit first run; then it sold another 3,500 directly after.”
The retrospective also notes that Miguel’s early appearance stems from a longstanding friendship with Blu. The MC, who turned down an offer to be an act on the rebound-hopeful Death Row Records, recorded many of the B.T.H. songs in the same studio as RBX, believed to be Death Row’s first artist to exit.