Before I start, yes I know it’s not march.
In my opinion, Hip-Hop is on its 3rd Generation. 1st Generation greats include: Rakim, Kool G. Rap, Big Daddy Kane. 2nd Generation Greats: Jay-Z, Biggie, Tupac, Nas, Eminem. Now who will be this generation’s best rapper?
Top 4 Seeds:
1. Lupe Fiasco (let’s forget about Lasers ok?)
4. J. Cole
Those trying to get in the tournament:
7. Big K.R.I.T.
9. Schoolboy Q
11. Killa Kyleon
12. Alley Boy
13. Danny Brown
15. King Mez
18. Iggy Azalea
19. Azealia Banks
20. Smoke DZA
21. Dom Kennedy
22. Nipsey Hu$$le
26. The Kid Daytona
27. Gilbere Forte
28. Vic Mensa
30. Casey Veggies
32. Earl Sweatshirt
33. Childish Gambino
34. Cyhi the Prince
36. A$AP Rocky
37. Action Bronson
Out of these 38, will come 32. Feel free to comment or add any names you feel that should be included (trust me, most of these names are suggestions, I don’t agree but added them for the sake of debate). Final bracket is coming in the last week of the month.
First off, this review is tricky. Honestly, I don’t even know if this is the real album after Blu threw out copies during his performance at Rock the Bells. May I add that this is his major label debut?
This album has been placed under the microscope nonetheless.
Initially I had no clue what to expect with this album No York! which is his slang for “west coast state of mind”. And if you’re a Blu fan, I’m also telling you to erase whatever expect, because this sounds NOTHING like the classic, Below the Heavens, in both a good and bad way.
This album is very experimental. Think Electric Circus, The Ecstatic, and even The Love Below. I would go as far as to say maybe TOO experimental. There’s a majority of this album that sounds like well…noise. The reason for this is his use of unconventional production from producers such as Dela!, samiyam, and Flying Lotus.
Also, Blu is well known for the depth of his lyricism and content. And a lot of his verse on this album sounds like…noise. Ex: “porn on a Tuesday, porn on a Thursday, woody on my birthday”. Yes, many verses are filled with meaningless phrases such as this. The only way I can rationalize this is that he was using the electric feel of the album to evoke emotions rather than having the focus be his lyrics as usual. Either way, the fact that I have no clue what his motive was isn’t a good.
Another head-scratcher about this album is the features. The opener of the album features U-God of Wu-Tang. Yes, U-God. Many other guest features are very forgettable.
This album does have glimpses of brilliance though. The second song “Everything’s OK” sets the tone for the album with it’s electric instrumental and Jack Davey handling the chorus. “Down to Earth” is also the Blu you’re used to and the single “My Sunshine” is undoubtedly the best song of the album.
While it may seem like I’m totally bashing this album, I really do appreciate it. This album is the manifestation of everything Blu is, and who knows exactly who he is? This project has high replay value for an inquisitive mind. I know it really made me dig below the surface and ask myself “wtf is he trying to do?”. Honestly, every time I’ve listened I’ve heard something new, which is why I keep revisiting.
Curious? Listen here.
With that said, Final Grade: 3.25/5
New album from mysterious MC, Blu. I didn’t know this existed until like 5 minutes ago. Production by 9th Wonder, Madlib, and The Alchemist.