With his fluid, incisive rhyming style, & his intellectual lyrics, L.A. rapper Blu found his ideal aesthetic match in the dusty, soulful beats of crate-digging producer/DJ Exile. Ten years ago, Blu & Exile released ‘Below The Heavens‘, a contemplative, confident, & wistful masterpiece beloved by critics and embraced by the West Coast underground as an instant classic. Today, Blu & Exile proudly announce ‘In The Beginning: Before The Heavens‘, a follow-up & companion piece to the classic record. Comprised of unreleased tracks from the original ‘Below The Heavens‘ sessions, ‘In The Beginning‘ captures the same ineffable energy of the original record. Today, the duo shares “Constellations“, an organ-driven boom-bap banger, featuring some of Blu’s best bars of the project: “I’m showin you an older Blu in hopes that you embrace it/like a soldier do with gauges/Motor you through pages that I wrote for you/Laid it in the vocal booth/Press it up and sold it to the places that you go into.” With appearances from Aloe Blacc, Co$$, Donel Smokes, Blame One, & others, ‘In The Beginning: Before The Heavens‘, coming 10.20.2017 via Dirty Science/Fat Beats, proves that the ‘Below The Heavens‘ style feels just as fresh in 2017 as it did in 2007.
“We planted the seeds of creativity and grew about 40 plants,” Exile says of the release. “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.”
A former high school basketball star raised by a pastor father who hated rap music, Blu is an idiosyncratic & emotional rapper with a maverick sense of self-determinism. A well-respected producer in the L.A. underground, Orange County native Exile produced tracks for the likes of Mobb Deep, Kardinal Offishal, Jurassic 5, & others before teaming up with Blu for their fruitful partnership. Released in Summer 2007, ‘Below The Heavens‘ received rave reviews from tastemakers and appeared on many year-end best-of lists. The momentum from ‘Below The Heavens‘ led to Blu’s signing to Warner Bros. Records, and propelled the young rapper onto the 2009 XXL Freshman List alongside B.o.B, Kid Cudi, & Wale. In 2012, Blu & Exile reunited for ‘Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them‘, expanding the palette of ‘Below The Heavens‘ & showcasing Blu’s multi-syllabic dexterity. Separately, the duo continued to make music, with Blu releasing countless mixtapes, most notably ‘York‘, and collaborated with the likes of Madlib & Nottz. Exile remains an in-demand producer in the West Coast scene, forming Emanon, a duo with Aloe Blacc, and producing records for rappers such as Wiz Khalifa & Snoop Dogg, Big Sean, Fashawn, and Pharaohe Monch.
In addition to the new album, Blu & Exile announce the extension of the “Below The Heavens 10 Year Anniversary Tour“, which finishes its West Coast leg in Seattle on 9.13.2017!!! Embarking on 9.26.2017 at Beauty Bar in Las Vegas, the 10 Year Anniversary Tour continues for 29 headlining dates spanning from Salt Lake City to Miami. Featuring support from L.A. underground stalwarts Dag Savage, Choosey, Cashus King (fka Co$$), & Pistol McFly, tickets for the tour are on sale now via TheDirtyScience.com!!!