FAV TRACKS: The Lost Angels Anthem (feat. Kezia), It Never Rains In South L.A., Round Bout Midnight (feat. Self Jupiter & Abstract Rude), Straight No Chaser, Champagne, Stalkers (feat. Donel Smokes)
Blu is 35 years old and has been in the game for fourteen years and counting, and yet he sounds fresher and newer than some of the rappers which are half his age. This is his 13th album, and it is produced entirely by Oh No, who is actually Madlib’s younger brother. Oh No is still a legend of his own, with his work on Stones Throw Records, as well as projects like curating the Grand Theft Auto V soundtrack with The Alchemist, Tangerine Dream, and Woody Jackson. He also is part of a hip-hop duo with The Alchemist, called Gangrene.
This album is aptly named, as the amount of double/triple rhyme schemes and bars packed into these songs make the album seem longer than it is, which only clocks in around 48 minutes across 17 tracks. ‘Round Bout Midnight’ is really where the album gets going, with a watertight verse from Blu, as well as great guest verses from Self-Jupiter and Abstract Rude. ‘Champagne’ is a lush, flute interwoven oasis of an interlude, with a small Action Bronson sample. The production on this project is diverse but also consistent, maintaining an old-school West Coast sound through the bars offered by the MCs while the beats themselves get unique and forward-thinking, as expected from someone related to Madlib. The various interludes and skits are also reminiscent of old-school West Coast hip-hop.
Ca$hus, M.E.D., and Definite all join forces on two separate occasions on this album, and their collective wordplay is almost overwhelming and suffocating. “Breed money, honeys, sweet, breath easy on the beat / Teach knowledge, leak, bleed, I bet he seek
/ Preachers pray for my defeat / My seat in the bleachers, piece keep, keep peace / Under siege since beepers / Bloopers tryna beef with my shooters, zookeepers” (‘Made the Call’).
All in all, Blu & Oh No unite to create a unique West Coast experience which offers guest verses on every street corner, making this long Los Angeles summer night seem to go by rather quickly.
Listen to this album here:
Written by: John Yu (@stimyulus)