The Underrated: Blu

A lot of people have a favorite West Coast MC. For years, my favorite West Coast MCs(I don't include Pac or Kurupt really) had been Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg, but as the Left Coast began to evolve, I had my eyes opened to a new era West Coast MC. Hailing from Los Angeles, Blu is a lyrically gifted MC with an amazing(yet strangely mixed) catalog who now holds a top spot as my favorite West Coast MC ever(Cube is still up there too).

I first heard Blu while I was at a local Record and Tape Traders store back in 2007, and was instantly intrigued. I asked a lady who worked there about music they were playing and she said "I think it is some guy named Blu, he had an album come out, it is pretty good". I bought a copy of his "Below The Heavens" album on the spot, listened to it for weeks straight after, and searched to see if he had any other projects. That was how fast his music hit me. The "Below The Heavens" album with Exile on production is a definite classic, and features a much younger Miguel on some tracks also. From the flawless "Simply Amazin" to the smooth "Dancing In The Rain" and other great tracks, the album stands as one of thr best first impressions in hip hop underground history.

Blu continued to work, as he released "The Piece Talks" project with Ta'Raach as well as a great "Johnson&Jonson" album with Mainframe. Blu planted his feet primely in the underground and seemed as if he wouldn't let up. He made the 2009 XXL Freshman cover, leading fans to believe he would be soon impacting the mainstream, but it seems as if Blu didn't want any of the future fame. Soon, we began hearing lo-fi versions of music, which was still great, but the lower quality took away from the art some. Most of these projects were later released in better quality, such as "TheGodleeBarnes" and "J e s u s". He released an album with Exile again in 2012-2013 titled "Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them", which wasn't as classic as the "Below The Heavens" album, but its still an amazing body of work. He put together a very West Coast centric album with "York", along with a few EPs and a mixtape/album which featured
one of my favorite Blu songs "Vanity".

Blu hit hard last year in 2014 with what I felt was the album of the year, "Good To Be Home". The album is possibly Blu's 2nd classic as he put together a flawless project. In terms of quality, it may even be better than "Below The Heavens". Blu has managed to create a solid catalog, is one of the best lyricists out, but his name rarely gets mentioned. This should change instantly. Blu is one of the best of this most recent era and one of the best West Coast MCs ever, in my opinion. More should be familiar. Pay attention.

It's so(ul) amazing.



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