Mixtape Reports
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This Month's Issue

Interview: Blu
Tuesday, August 28, 2007

T: 'Below the Heavens' is your first full-length release. Are you satisfied with the outcome?

B: At first, I loved it. A few months later, I was over it. Two albums later, I hated it. Now, after listening to it for the first time in about six months, I've stopped hating and found myself in it again. I felt I outgrew it. Now, I feel it's my core, and a perfect introduction...even though there were a few beats Ex wouldn't let me get, which would have added a little spice. But someone told me they think it's a classic, so I'm good with that response. It's really like my skin. "Hello, I'm Blu." They don't got my soul yet.

T: How would you describe the record's style and content?

B: It's the same feeling Hip-Hop in the late '90s gave me. The soul in the beats will be felt on all coasts. The struggle, the style, and content is Cali based, but the format is more East Coast.

T: What distinguishes 'Below the Heavens' from other records on the market?

B: The honesty.

T: What are your hopes for the album's public reception?

B: I want to restore the life in Hip-Hop that our leaders say is long gone. I know Dilla's gone, but there are many of us who are stepping it up not to let him down. So don't toss your roses on Hip-Hop just yet. We still out here.

T: On another note, your feature collaborations so far have spand musical genres and subgenres, with everyone from KRS-1, to former Slum Village member Baatin, Tha Dogg Pound's Daz, and UK electronic music innovator Daz-I-Kue. How have these collaborations come about? Does the diversity reflect your own musical tastes or musical palette?

B: Most times. I'm blessed into these great situations by someone playing my music for someone else. KRS-One was through Jon Ox working with him on 'Boogie Down Ox'. And the same with Baatin. Daz-I-Kue was through Loops, and Daz was through Diego. Sometimes these collabs are from genres I'm into like KRS, Baatin, etc. Some others broaden my knowledge on the genre. Like I was into the 4Hero remixes, and even some Mark De Clive-Lowe, but not Bugz. Then suddenly, boom, I am working with Bugz, or Daz-I. Now I'm on it more.
T: What defines your style as an emcee and sets you apart? Have there been any artists you have modeled yourself after?

B: Having lyrics with a Cali swag. It's kind of rare these days. And yeah, Planet Asia, Com and [Inspectah] Deck influenced me before. Now it's on some Baby, Snoop and Plug Won-type.

T: You also produce. How long have you been at it? From whom did you learn? What do you draw from for your compositions?

B: I've been producing on my own since summer 2006. I took MPC tips From Ex and Raach [Ta'Raach], then applied them to a ProTools set-up. I'm not there yet, but I've got the bug. And I draw from my grandpa. If he likes the bass or transition, it's good.

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