With incisive rhymes and gorgeously dusty soul-sampling beats, the rapper/producer duo Blu and Exile specialize in thought-provoking, head-nodding underground classics. Commenting the inevitable disappointment of the holiday season in poor neighborhoods, Blu & Exile share “Christmas Missed Us.” Foregoing traditional holiday sounds in favor of boom-bap drums and spindly guitar harmonics, “Christmas Missed Us” is a bittersweet rumination on how the celebration of Jesus’s birthday warped into a display of wealth inequality, portraying Santa Claus in a humorous light. Recorded in collaboration with Amazon Music, “Christmas Missed Us” will appear exclusively on Christmas Soul, a holiday-themed Amazon playlist with covers and originals from the likes of Open Mike Eagle, Nicole Atkins and others. “Christmas Missed Us” is a comforting follow-up to In The Beginning: Before The Heavens, a new collection of unearthed gems from the sessions of the duo’s cult-classic Below The Heavens album.
Blu explained to XXL:
“There is so much to pull from surrounding the celebration of the most popular man in world history. I just tried my best to say as much as I could as if it was my only chance to be heard.”
Emerging from a fertile Los Angeles underground scene in 2007, Blu and Exile’s Below The Heavens was an instant cult classic, showcasing Blu’s incisive and thoughtful bars over Exile’s dusty-yet-beautiful soul-sampling instrumentals. In The Beginning: Before The Heavens is a rare time capsule that sounds just as fresh now as in 2007, providing manna for fans of underground hip-hop on both coasts. Featuring appearances from Aloe Blacc, Co$$, Donel Smokes, Blame One, Dr. Oop, and more, In The Beginning: Before The Heavens arrives via Dirty Science/Fat Beats. In 2017, the duo reunited for the nationwide headlining Below The Heavens 10th Anniversary tour.
Exile says of ‘In The Beginning: Before The Heavens‘:
“We planted the seeds of creativity and grew about 40 plants. We picked the ones that we thought were the best for an album, but that didn’t mean that the other flowers weren’t beautiful. I’m super happy to re-release [In The Beginning] to people and have it actually get some attention that it definitely deserves. It’s amazing.”