Archive for blu


Posted in Hip Hop with tags , , , , , , on June 15, 2011 by JB

Alright. You know how this works. I post every once in awhile when I feel like it, and I hear something that I really want to talk about. Would be cool if I did this more regularly, but we’ll see.

So some new J. Cole came out yesterday. “LOST ONES.” It’s a dope song, and probably will be on the album in the fall. Unfortunately, it was an unauthorized leak, so it was taken off most blogs. But you can still hear it on youtube, if you haven’t had the chance yet. Anyways, this is a great song. THIS is the J. Cole I love. The lyrics, the great storytelling, and the real heart that comes through the words. The beat is pretty simple. Nice, but lets the words speak for themselves. And the words are powerful. Listen to it and tell me I’m wrong.

THIS is the J. Cole I hope I hear on the album. Who Dat? and some of those other songs are nice, but this is the kind of J. Cole music that I love. “Lost Ones” kind of reminds me of my first favorite J. Cole song, “Lights Please.” It’s got the same masterful storytelling knack that got me excited about J in the first place. Also, both songs use a relationship as the setting, but both hint at deeper issues, and use that setting to talk about those issues without sounding corny or preachy. They’re really interesting songs, “Lost Ones” a bit more powerful just because of its subject matter. But I’m telling you, this is getting me even more excited about the album. His last mixtape was nice, but not as nice as I was expecting. I hope he’s been saving the joints like this for the full album.

And I like the way he spoke through both people on “Lost Ones.” It made the song even more balanced, thoughtful, and provoking. Lets him show both sides, the concerns and anxieties of both, without picking a side until he says his piece in the last verse. That whole back and forth between the man and the woman brought to mind another classic hip hop song, “He Say She Say.” Man, I really loved that song when it came out. Loved the whole album actually. But that song was nice. How each verse subtly changed depending on perspective, some may say it was lazy writing, but I thought it was good music. And the way they talk to each other during the hook? Damn, that song was/is classic hip hop IYAM.

Finally, just because I feel like talking about more good music, this song has a few similarities to Blu’s “Good Life.” The first verses are especially similar as both rappers take similar approaches to the topic. I love that Blu song, and Exile’s production, but as of today, I like J. Cole’s new cut better. That’s just a deep, touching song. The lyrics are on point throughout and the song only gets better as it goes on. “Good Life” is still great, and that first verse has some really nice lines, but as a total product, J. Cole’s song is just more powerful.

Well anyways, that’s what I think. Which of these songs do you like the best?


New days, new classics from Blu & Exile

Posted in Hip Hop with tags , , , , , , on October 15, 2009 by JB

Meant to post a couple days ago, but I got a dang paper I needed to write. Finally finished it, but it’s too long. I gotta figure out some way to shorten it because I got 2 pages 2 much.

My Life In Hong Kong

I got big plans this weekend. Going out and clubbing tonight. Haha. Ever gone clubbing in Hong Kong? It’s pretty cool. They play a lot of US stuff like Sean Kingston and Pitbull, so I’m dancing to stuff I know. And all the Asian people are friendly and it looks like they’re thinking, “Hey! It’s a white guy!” So tonight should be cool. Tomorrow I got a sweet biking trip planned in the New Territories, which might be exhausting, but it’ll be worth it. Then Sunday I got dim sum for lunch and going to Macau Casinos at night. This is it. The weekend. Last weekend in Hong Kong before I fly to Beijing. It’s gonna be bananas. Haha. Unfortunately, I also got a lot of homework I need to do by Tuesday. Dang it. That’s what I get for procrastinating I guess.

First, here’s a track I caught on FH. It’s nothing super original or different, but damn it just sounds good. Archie Eversole and Ray Lavender made a radio song done right. The hook’s all smooth and milky like Hershey chocolate, and Archie goes hard. Guilty pleasures if you know what I mean.

Keep Winning– Archie Eversole feat. Ray Lavender

Another song I heard earlier this week was the new single from Cunninlynguists, Running Wild. It’s a dope song. Dope beat, dope verses, dope hook. Nothing else to say. I love Southern Hip Hop. I usually don’t like Southern Rap, but it’s different with Southern Hip Hop, i.e. Goodie Mob, OutKast, Nappy Roots. I LOVE Southern Hip Hop. I hate to admit it, but I don’t listen much to Cunninlynguists. I’ve always heard good things, but I’ve just never gotten into them. I’m gonna look into this, a shame that I’m sleeping on a real Southern Hip Hop group.

Running Wild– Cunninlynguists feat. E-40 and Evidence

Though I love Southern Hip Hop, the last couple years most of my favorite Hip Hop has come from one place, Southern California. Blu, Exile, Freddie Joachim, Son of Ran, TiRon, UNI, Pac Div, etc… Last week and now this week two Southern Cali HH albums are coming out. Both are great, and if you haven’t listened to much music from Southern Cali, you gotta educate yourself.


This came out last week. Sene’s A Day Late and a Dollar Short, entirely produced by the one and only Blu (AKA GODlee Barnes). I just listened to this thing in its entirety, and it’s a unique album. Sene is a talented emcee, and Blu gives hims some crazy beats to work with. Now, Blu doesn’t produce as well as he spits, but he’s definitley a competent beatsmith, and he’s made some really interesting soundscapes. Some of these beats are what I call ultra-retro. It makes retro sampling sound like future sounds. You don’t normally hear beats and songs like this. A simple, unique, honest Hip Hop album. If you want to hear classic Hip Hop with a unique feel, check this out. Recommended. 4/5.

Here’s some tracks leaked over the last couple weeks. This is a fun, up-tempo song which perfectly exemplifies current Southern Cali Hip Hop. Good vibes and dope verses.

Please Don’t Rain– Sene feat. Kissey Asplund

This is my favorite of the leaked tracks and one of my favorites on the album. Another example of SCHH. Productions, vibes, chorus. Fun times on a sunny day. That’s the only way I can describe it. Perfect chillin, summer, driving music. Roll down the window and let the moment seize me if you know what I mean. Too bad summer is pretty much over. Well maybe for you guys, it’s still nice here in Hong Kong. Haha.

WonLover– Sene

Now this is what I was talking about. A really unique song, in my mind at least. Some ultra retro sampling which lays the foundation for a dope song. Like the rest of ’em, this is a song I can relax and smile to. California is where Hip Hop lives and breathes. If you like all of this, definitely check out this cd and support some real artists. When I first heard these, I was starting to get this “Below The Heavens” feeling. Once I heard the whole thing, it wasn’t quite so(ul) amazing, but definitely worth your money and time.

everydejavu– Sene


This album is amazing. I really liked A Day Late and A Dollar Short, but I LOVE this album. At least now. I’ve only gone through it a few times, but I’m really feeling it right now. Fashawn’s new album, Boy Meets World, is coming out this Tuesday. The cd was entirely produced by Exile, so that should be enough for you. You should cop this the second it comes out. The production is really good, that shouldn’t surprise you. But Fashawn completely holds his own. He has some real, serious ability. Each time Exile brings out a doper beat, Fashawn crafts an amazing song. Honestly, this is one of my favorite albums this year. Hands down. I’m not going to say Best Album of the Year or anything, because it’s not like I’ve heard every album this year, so how can I can say that? But it is one of the best I’ve heard. You need to buy this. You need to hear this. 4.5/5.

I want to let you hear some of these tracks, but I got too much respect for this album to leak anything before it comes out. Maybe next week.

I still remember the first couple times I played Blu and Exile’s Below The Heavens. In my opinion, it’s a modern classic. I loved that cd, and I still play some of the tracks constantly. Afterwards, I started listening to more Exile because he’s an amazing producer. But at the same time, I always thought of Below The Heavens as more of  a Blu than Exile accomplishment. It’s just the classic emcee bias. I heard Johnson & Jonson, and it wasn’t as good, but it was enough proof to me that Blu was the major force in Blu & Exile. But now hearing Fashawn’s new album, I don’t think that way anymore. Exile is at least just as talented and just as responsible for the masterpiece that is Below The Heavens.

Both guys are crazy talented, and this week you got a chance to cop projects from both of them at the same time. Be sure to support some real artists.

Someone up there likes me.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on May 2, 2009 by JB

I had a weird day yesterday. My school’s got this internship program, and all the forms were due yesterday. And I just kinda messed up the last week, because the forms weren’t ready. Friday morning I didn’t have any of the stuff I needed, and I was freaking out.

Then, out of the blue, my supervisor (for the internship) called me and said he’d be in the neighborhood with all the forms. It was crazy. What are the chances? I felt so lucky. If I ever make something of myself, it’ll be because of dumb luck like this.

So I thought it all worked out. Then there was this other complication, and I started freaking out again. Damn, I just got to learn to calm down. People told me the program director was really easy-going, and it wouldn’t be a problem, but I was still worried. Long story short, I met with him. And there was no problem. My forms weren’t completely complete, and my internship technically didn’t meet all of the requirements, but he said it didn’t matter.

So yeah, he was pretty easy-going. I realized why I thought he wasn’t. It’s because he writes all his emails in caps lock. ALL FORMS DUE TOMORROW! Damn, emails like that scared the crap out of me. If you write anything in caps lock, it just seems like final and absolute. For example: Cheese is pretty good. …or… CHEESE IS THE BEST DAIRY PRODUCT KNOWN TO MAN. EAT IT OR I WILL KILL YOU. Caps locks is just intimidating. Well, anyways, it all worked out. Dumb luck saves me again.


Caught this on 2DB. Pretty cool song. Cool Kids aren’t bad. I understand how their sound isn’t for everyone, but I think some of their songs are alright. Black Mags was pretty good. I saw ’em live last year. They’re pretty good. When you’re going for an old school sound, you also got to make sure you’re making it your own, and I think they do that. So check out this song, sounds like the mixtape out Monday’ll be pretty good.

Champions– The Cool Kids (prod. by Don Cannon)

You know how much I love Blu, so I had to put this up. Saw this song on NahRight, it’s a feature of his on the upcoming Tanya Morgan project, Brooklynati. Blu like always brings his lyrical sensibilities. Production’s good too. I hear a lot about Tanya Morgan, but I’ve never really given ’em a listen. They sound pretty good, so Brooklynati will be definitely something to check out.

Morgan Blu– Tanya Morgan feat. Blu

see ya.

Feeling good.

Posted in Hip Hop, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 6, 2009 by JB

Well I had my interview today. Surprisingly, it went pretty well. I tried to be confident and charming and all that, but I thought I just came off as average. Then the guy said he liked me and made it sound like I was very likely getting the internship. THAT’S CRAZY. I wasn’t sure if it would go that well, but it actually did.

Afterwards, I tried to find this hot dog place I used to eat at on Madison. But I couldn’t find it. Did it close down? Does anybody know what I’m talking about? Damn that sucks. I hadn’t been there in a couple years (I don’t go to the city often enough), so I had no idea it was gone. After some walking, I found another place and got a gyros w/ fries. And all was good.

Deliciousness Incarnate

Deliciousness Incarnate

 All in all, the day was pretty good.

Anyways, remember that Blame One song I was talking about awhile back? Well the whole cd, Days Chasing Days, came out awhile ago. It’s pretty great. Not amazing or groundbreaking or anything. But really solid all the way through. Pretty much what you’d expect from a Blame One album produced by people like Exile and Black Milk. There’s lots of great tracks, for instance Persevearance (produced by Black Milk).

There’s a lot of great tracks on the album, so I suggest you listen to the whole thing and then cop it if you like it. I’ll be sure to feature some more of the songs through the week.

Speaking of Exile, I just found this track on Fresh Selects. Courtesy of Kenny Fresh, it’s Blu rapping over “Love Line,” one of the beats from Exile’s instrumental album Radio. In case you haven’t listened to Radio, you got to. The guy’s an artist. I’m not going to enshrine him with Dilla or Premier, but I have never heard anything lackluster from the guy. All of his beats sound great. On Radio, the instrumentals were all made from sampling stuff off the radio, so some of the stuff’s a little out there. But regardless, the instrumentals are amazing. 

Anyways, “Love Line” is my favorite track on the cd, for sure. The beat’s incredible. I couldn’t help but rap over it hundreds of times. So when I hear there’s a version w/ Blu rapping over it, I couldn’t believe it. I was sure it was going to be the best track ever created. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that good. It’s a solid track, with Blu and Exile both doing their parts. I think my expectations were just a little too high. So listen to it and decide for yourself.

LoveLine(s),DedicatedToLastFe’vrier– Blu & Exile

Listen to this.

Posted in Hip Hop with tags , , , , on March 2, 2009 by JB

Just heard this song and I can’t stop playing it. It’s Blame One with GODlee Barnes (Blu) providing the beat and Exile with a verse.
Listen to it.


Wonder Why- Blame One ft. Blu & Exile