Underground hip-hop’s most celebrated collaborative duo reunite for a string of new releases in 2012.
West Coast hip-hop is often associated with the marijuana-laced rhymes of Snoop Dogg or the stabbing keyboard production of Dr. Dre, all products of Death Row records in the early 1990s. Fast forward to the 2000s and independent hip-hop music is very much alive and thriving, with the Internet and blogosphere seeming to favor the promotion of east coast indie rappers, with the exception of Los Angeles-based rhymesmith Blu and producer Exile.
In 2007, the California-duo quietly released their collaborative debut LP Below The Heavens on indie label Sound In Color. Blu’s existential rhymes paired perfectly with Exile’s triumphant, soulful, and gospel-tinged production. To their surprise, the album slowly took the entire hip-hop world by storm and is now widely regarded as one of the best hip-hop albums ever made. Naturally, the humble Blu refused to acknowledge his spot in the limelight and continued to self-release his own recordings in the years following, maintaining his status as a truly independent artist.Both critics and fans have been anxiously awaiting for his reunion with producer Exile, an event that finally came to fruition last year with the lo-fi self-release of their second collaborative album Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them.
Now, in 2012, the team plans to release a remastered version of that album in September and are treating fans with a taste of what to expect with a recently released EP titled Maybe One Day.
“A Man” is the blazing first single off the project that perfectly displays what these two artists do best. Exile’s beautiful gospel sample is chopped and paired with crashing symbols and choir-like handclaps to fully compliment Blu’s existential-examination. “I’m asking who you pray to? Some believe in angels, some believe in one God, some believe in Jesus,” he raps, questioning the existence of a higher power and the power of faith in anything one believes in. Blu and Exile have carefully crafted their signature sound and these special upcoming releases will undoubtedly showcase the best of it.