Despite such a star-studded resumé, Blu has remained much of an enigma for most mainstream audiences, while still becoming one of the most celebrated lyricists of all time, as well as my own all-time favorite rapper. To get a glimpse into his life and his artistry, I spoke to Blu over email and asked him about the many projects he’s currently tackling including the Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them release with Exile due out September 4th, the Bombay-produced solo album Good to be Home, and even reflected on Below the Heavens and j e s u s.
First off, you and Exile will be releasing the remastered Give Me My Flowers very soon. How are the studio dynamics between you two nowadays?
Well, we just cut a great tune last week, so great I wish it made the album but it will most likely be on my upcoming solo record. Right now, we are gearing up to hit the road. It’s been a while since we killed the road last and we are looking forward to a chance to do that again.
Below the Heavens recently celebrated its fifth anniversary. How do you feel about it looking back? Do you ever think of revisiting the Below the Heavens sessions? I know you told Complex you had around 75 songs recorded.
Evil politics behind those sessions, I wish I was the me aster behind those masters!
Dope, phat, like a phat tape, phat soul, big.
What about lyrically? What themes are you aiming for this time around?
Cali man, so much inspiration there; it’s a record mirror the album I ever made called California Soul, an underground tape.
Are you interested in pursuing another record deal with a major in the future?
Yeah possibly, but right now it’s fun running shit down here!
How about those films you were planning on releasing?
Soon, come June.
Your recent single “Kiss the Sky” had a Lupe vocal sample on it and he once called you “the only emcee in the game that scares me.” Have you kept any contact with him? Will we ever see any new material from All City Chess Club or has that project already been abandoned?
Most likely, we talk every now and then but Lupe is killing the electro-rock sound and we killing that lo-fi soul map, so it’s like whenever we get on the same page, we will be definitely making something special. Jesus!
Yeah, we got a group called “RakimKRSOne&Chuck” — of course ANTHM is Chuck.
It sounds like you’re extremely busy with new projects right now. Can we expect a full RælBlz project in the future?
Yes, titled GRO produced under the moniker, GODleeBarnes. SD cassette shit!
You’ve also mentioned a new solo record with The Alchemist. Could you speak about that?
Fair enough, what’s your songwriting process like?
I use a pen.
What happened to the No York band?
They fell off, and Todd finally got a girlfriend.
Your father is a reverend and you talk about your views on religion quite often in your music. From “A Man”, it appears you disagree with the institution of organized religion. What do you think needs to change? Do you and your father agree?
No, but yes. He sees me clearly, better than any fan would, coming from a more divine perspective, respectively, and I respect him to the utmost for upholding some high morals and values in Christianity and his faith.
How does the j e s u s LP play into this? Can you explain the “j e s u s” song?
It’s what I felt like telling “Jesus” in 2011 bro. I may make another song to him next year, GOD willing!
What constitutes success to you?
You can stream the entire song below on Soundcloud or grab the MP3 directly from Adult Swim.
Adult Swim will continue to release a brand new exclusive song for three more weeks to complete the 12 week, 12 song plan. We’ve already heard new material from artists like FlyLo and Wavves. Next up is Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, which we’ll hear next Monday.
Next up for the California rap collective is their second group compilation, OF Tape Vol. 2, which will be out March 20th via Odd Future Records.
Untitled EP Tracklisting:
01. Bullshittin’ (produced by Juicy J)
02. Cookie Coma (produced by The Alchemist)
03. Lately (produced by Flying Lotus)
04. Samurai (produced by Jonti Danimals)
05. In A Dream (produced by The Alchemist)
06. Ave. (produced by Thelonious Martin)
07. Lamented (produced by Flying Lotus)
08. If Heaven Is A Ghetto (produced by Thelonious Martin)
09. Higashi Loves You
Before that album drops however, we’ll first get new material from the gradually improving Hodgy Beats, who just announced that his new Untitled EP features production from Flying Lotus, the Alchemist, Juicy J of Three 6 Mafia, and Thelonious Martin and will be out this Friday.
OF Tape Vol. 2:
02 Bitches [ft. Domo Genesis and Hodgy Beats]
03 NY (Ned Flander) [ft. Hodgy Beats, and Tyler, the Creator]
04 Ya Know [ft. the Internet]
05 Forest Green [ft. Mike G]
06 Lean [ft. Hodgy Beats and Domo Genesis]
07 Analog 2 [ft. Tyler, the Creator, Frank Ocean, and Syd tha Kyd]
08 50 [ft. MellowHype]
09 Snow White [ft. Hodgy Beats and Frank Ocean]
10 Rella [ft. Hodgy Beats, Domo Genesis, and Tyler, the Creator]
11 Real Bitch [ft. MellowHype and Taco]
12 P [ft. Hodgy Beats and Tyler, the Creator]
13 White [ft. Frank Ocean]
14 Hcapd [ft. Domo Genesis, Hodgy Beats, and Tyler, the Creator]
15 Sam (Is Dead) [ft. Domo Genesis and Tyler, the Creator]
16 Doms [ft. Domo Genesis]
17 We Got Bitches [ft. Tyler, the Creator, Taco, and Jasper Dolphin]
18 Oldie [ft. Odd Future]