The New Classics

January 17, 2009

Mixtape Review / Download: Blu, (So)ul Amazing Part 2

01.17.09

If you were going to take Lil Wayne’s work ethic, mix it with Mos Def’s lyrical abilities, and jazzy modernized A Tribe Called Quest-like beats, you’d be creating Blu. He puts out material almost constantly, if we were looking at his 2008 discography: Below the Heavens as part of Blu & Exile, The Piece Talks as part of C.R.A.C. with T’Raach, Johnson&Jonson with Mainframe, and part one of his mixtape series (So)ul Amazing. It’s hard enough for rappers to put out one good album, but to put out 4 quality releases in the span of one year is a testament to how talented this kid is. So here we are in 2009 and (unofficially), Blu is putting out some new and unreleased material for consumption, and it is every bit as exceptional as anything else that bears his name.

(So)ul Amazing is such an appropriate title for these mixtapes, because the word “soulful” is the first word that comes to mind in listening. Blu and his superb team of barely-known producers have dug up some gems to sample from, and even though this is a compilation of material recorded from different periods of time, it’s the soulfulness of all the songs that ties everything together cohesively. And his lyrics aren’t the guns, drugs and women themes that we unfortunately are trained to expect from rappers. Ok, maybe there’s a few about women. Take ‘The Classy Guy’ for example, as Blu narrates about having a woman over to his place and finding the right record to put on for her:

Let me find the groove,
I got modern bangers or soul and funk,
but i usually bump jazz or blues.
Miles, Marvin, Curtis and Thelonious Monk
Books by Saul Williams, Langston Hughes.
She probably thinkin’ who the fuck is that?

Blu is obviously an intelligent guy, whose themes usually lean toward being contemplative and reflective about life. (I used to wonder if somebody would remember me as John / when the smoke clears and the hype’s all gone) he raps on ‘Never Be Another Me’, before concluding that he is just going to sit back and enjoy his time on Earth instead of worrying about his legacy:

Nowadays, nothing makes sense,
I stopped tryin’ to make a difference,
I’m appreciating life for what it is.
Guitars flicker and the songs that the hummingbirds whispered to me early this morning:
They said ‘there’ll never be another’.

There are so many amazing songs on (So)ul Amazing Part 2 that it is hard to imagine that these are his “throwaway” tracks; songs he hasn’t considered putting out on an album in an official capacity. Some really cool guests drop by for features, also. On the theatric ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ produced by Khrysis, Evidence from Dilated Peoples, Phonte from Little Brother, and even Will.I.Am from the Black Eyed Peas put in verses for the lyrical phenom known as Blu. ‘Therapy’ comes from legendary producer The Alchemist, who also provides vocals for the track along with Evidence, Talib Kweli & Kid Cudi. And Blu’s tag team partner in Johnson&Jonson, Mainframe, joins him on the 60’s soul-inspired ‘Baby Don’t Leave Me Now’.

I could continue singing Blu’s praises, but if you haven’t heard any material from him, it is just something you need to listen to yourself. Expect countless thought-provoking rhymes and passionate music. Blu isn’t just a member of the next generation of hip hop, he IS the next generation.

Blu, (So)ul Amazing Pt 2

Album: (So)ul Amazing, Part 2 (mixtape)
Artist: Blu
Label: Sound in Color
Producers: Blu, The Alchemist, Khrysis, Folk & Stress, Mainframe, Sene, Dela, Keelay & Zaire, Alphabet 4, DJ Cardik & DJ Heat
Featured Artists: Talib Kweli, The Alchemist, Evidence, Kid Cudi, Phonte, Will.I.Am, Mainframe, Folk & Stress, Dela, Tiron, Keelay & Zaire, Sene, Fortilive, Nino Moschella
Highlights: ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’, ‘We Got You’, ‘On Mars’, ‘The Times’, ‘All the Kings Men’
Rating: 9.0
Source: 2 Dope Boyz

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4 Comments »

  1. […] for the week of 01.16.09-01.25.09 1) Franz Ferdinand, Lucid Dreams 2) Franz Ferdinand, Ulysses 3) Blu, For Whom the Bell Tolls [ft. Evidence, Phonte & Will.I.Am] 4) Obie Trice, You Burn 5) The Decemberists, The […]

    Pingback by Best Music for the week of 01.16.09-01.25.09 « The New Classics — January 25, 2009 @ 5:49 pm

  2. […] Album: The Layover Producer: Khrysis Analysis: I singled this track out as the best song on Blu’s latest mixtape, but at the time I didn’t know that it was actually Evidence from Dilated Peoples’ […]

    Pingback by Music Video Megapost: 29 Music Videos from February 2009 « The New Classics — March 1, 2009 @ 2:38 pm

  3. amazing!!

    Comment by biha — June 2, 2009 @ 5:08 pm

  4. i like the songs of Kid Cudi because they are a bit emotional and kinda hip ~..

    Comment by Decking Kits — December 2, 2010 @ 6:58 am


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