Archives

Blu & Exile’s Video Imagines Their Playful Chemistry 20 Years Before “Below The Heavens”

Blu and Exile are back with heartfelt visuals to match the pensive rhymes and nostalgic sounds. "Constellations" weaves a visual tapestry that explores the essence of youth and the knowledge of being star-born. The song is off of their recent album In The Beginning: Before The Heavens. The video takes viewers back... Read more

Blu & Exile Take The Meaning Of Soulful Hip-Hop To A New Place (Video)

One of the legends of twentieth-century music relates to the Delta Blues pioneer, Robert Johnson, who died at the age of 27 in 1938. According to the historic tale, the itinerant musician Johnson sold his soul to the devil down at the crossroads of Highway 49 and 61 in Clarksdale, Mississippi to... Read more

Blu & Exile Release A Prequel To Their Below The Heavens Album (Full Stream)

Ten years ago, Blu & Exile’s Below The Heavens debut sparked an enthusiastic reaction, with fans and critics immediately claiming it as a classic and last call of the booming Underground Hip-Hop movement of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Listening now to previously unreleased tracks from the same sessions,... Read more

Blu & Exile Share The 1st Of 14 Unheard Songs From Below The Heavens Sessions (Audio)

UPDATE: More than a month since announcing that expanded Below The Heavens sessions would be released, fans have their first taste. "Constellations" is one of 14 songs included on October 20's In The Beginning - Before The Heavens LP. Within, Heads get to travel back to the mid-2000s to hear... Read more

10 Years Ago, Blu & Exile’s “Below The Heavens” Resurrected Underground Rap

Ten years ago (July 17, 2007), Blu & Exile combined forces for their Below The Heavens album. At a time when so-called "underground Hip-Hop" was sounding like a passé term, if not taken as an unintended diss, these two Southern Californians excited the culture through very straightforwardly channeling their souls... Read more

Blu & Nottz Raise The Bar and the Volume With Their Titans In The Flesh EP (Audio)

A decade ago, Blu was one of the most exciting MCs in Hip-Hop. By 2007's Below The Heavens album with Exile, the Los Angeles, California MC perfected Everyman themes, with an original delivery. Fans took notice, and at the frontier of the digital age, took a Sound In Color release... Read more

Like J Dilla, Blu & Miguel Proved To Be Diamonds In The Rough (Audio)

More than 10 years since the game-changing producer/MC passed away, J Dilla's music is living strong in 2016. Next week, Dilla's family will release an album he worked on for many years in the early 2000s, The Diary. In May, Dilla's family will re-release another title from his beloved discography.... Read more

45 King Reaches In His Pocket Full Of Miracles & Hands Blu A Gem (Audio)

Almost 20 years ago, 45 King (and Kid Capri) gave Jay Z one of the biggest anthems of his career with "Hard Knock Life." Before the vocal sample trend would define the early 2000s, the original Flavor Unit founder returned to form by letting the cast of Annie chronicle life... Read more

Blu & Exile’s Below The Heavens vs. Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly. Which Is Better?

One year ago, Ambrosia For Heads launched a debate among its readers seeking to answer one of Hip-Hop’s most hotly-contested questions: who is the greatest MC of all time? “Finding The GOAT MC” lasted between September 2014 and May 2015, engaging millions of readers and ultimately producing its winner, as... Read more

Masta Ace & Blu Sound Great Together During This Long Hot Summer (Audio)

Western Pennsylvania native Maticulous brings Masta Ace and Blu together on "Bet Your Life." From Brownsville, Brooklyn to the City Of Angels, Ace and Johnson Barnes have a lot in common. Both of these MCs are more than gifted at looking within (often in self-deprecating lights), while still being elite... Read more

Blu & MED Release a Mixtape Strictly for the Underground. No Fakers Allowed (Audio)

While they're both old soul MCs, both Blu and MED utilize the digital age to the fullest. The two sunny Southern California lyricists release music at a pace that would make 2Pac proud. Whether the albums are on major labels, legendary indies, or bootlegged by the men who made them,... Read more

Blu’s soul amazing Returns, With A 31-Track Part Four (Album Stream)

For the fourth time in two years, Blu has released a soul amazing collection. Part Four, as it were, includes 31 songs, stemming from a host of projects, well known and otherwise. Those collaborative efforts include work with Black Milk, Nottz, Cunninlynguists, Rapsody, and even a rare Large Professor remix.... Read more

Finding The GOAT: Elzhi vs. Blu…Who You Got?

As we continue the ultimate battle for the title of the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time), we are asking you to help us rank who is the greatest MC to pick up a mic. We will take over 35 years of Hip-Hop into consideration, pairing special match-ups in a sequence not... Read more

7 Years Ago Today, Blu & Exile Released Below The Heavens & Changed The Game. AFH Celebrates The Back-story & Impact With Exile (Food For Thought Interview)

Seven years ago today, the Hip-Hop faithful was formally introduced to an obscure assemblage of 15 tracks, constructed by an equally arcane Los Angeles rooted duo, Blu & Exile, that over the subsequent years from its unveiling, would prove to be one of the most compelling and dynamic collections of... Read more

Blu Cautions Fakin’ The Funk In A Graffiti-Inspired Visual (Video)

On a true tear in 2014, Blu continues to spread his seeds of thought around bountifully. The Los Angelino appears on Astronote's "Rhymes On Paper." The producer invites the guest to kick knowledge about promoting lies through lyrics, and how such results don't deserve mic-device transmission. Johnson Barnes essays the... Read more

Homeboy Sandman Makes An Oceanic Cut Over Some ’70s-Tastic Blu Production (Audio)

Two of the most versatile voices in the contemporary Underground Hip-Hop world are Homeboy Sandman and Blu. Running in similar circles (Stones Throw Records, Sene, etc.), the pair comes together nicely on "Atlantis." H.B.S. states why underwater is the place to be, given some of the goings-on to be found... Read more

Blu’s Homecoming Is A Few Days Early (Album Stream)

Blu's Good To Be Home is scheduled to release on May 20. However, one of Johnson Barnes' longtime label affiliates, Nature Sounds, blessed the Heads with an early listen to Disc 1 and Disc 2 of the LP boasting full production by Bombay. Veteran MC guests from the likes of... Read more

Blu Drops Off 39 More Tracks In soul amazing part three (Audio)

Blu does it against. The forever unpredictable MC/producer who bootlegs himself was not done with the 77 songs he gave away in January and February, respectively. Johnson Barnes drops off 39 more, topping out at over 100. This batch of heard (but plenty rare) joints includes work with Kendrick Lamar,... Read more

Alchemist & Budgie Invite Blu, Action Bronson & Domo Genesis In For Some G Code Talk (Audio)

The jewels from Budgie's Alchemist-produced The Good Book continue to stack up. Over a groovy piano loop, Budgie meshes in with guests including Blu and Odd Future's Domo Genesis, in addition to recurring cast member Action Bronson. "The G Code," applies to the streets and the skies, if you listen... Read more

Blu Has A Double Album Coming, Check These Regional Raps In The West (Audio)

Blu does everything differently. Over 10 years past the double-album era in Hip-Hop, when 2Pac, The Notorious B.I.G., Wu-Tang Clan, 8Ball & MJG, Krayzie Bone, and others were charging upwards of $25 for two discs in one... Blu follows suit. Produced entirely by relative no-name Bombay, Good To Be Home... Read more

Blu Suddenly Drops A 44-Track Album Featuring Miguel, Talib Kweli & Joell Ortiz (Album Stream)

Blu is the opposite of conventional. The reclusive Los Angeles preacher's kid bootlegged his own major label album a few years back, he's reportedly stepped to Nas at a club about a battle, and he's deliberately recruited U-God above all other members of the Wu. What's not to love? Today,... Read more

Blu & Exile’s Out Of Print Below The Heavens To Have Deluxe Re-Release

In 2007, Blu & Exile released Below The Heavens on Sound In Color Records. The album was heralded as one of the most LPs of its era, including early appearances by Miguel, and as transitioning Aloe Blacc. Within a year of the album's release, stronger-than-anticipated sales and sample issues made... Read more