Tag Archives: Good
Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)
It’s no secret—Blu’s got bars. Those who have been following his career since before he graced the XXL Freshmen cover in 2009 alongside cats like Curren$ y and Kid Cudi already know that, though. But Blu’s capabilities go above and beyond cypher skills. The guy knows how to make a dope project. His 2007 LP with Exile Below the Heavens is widely considered an underground classic, and for good reason. And there’s a long trail of other outstanding releases (his discography is too deep to highlight honestly, and he’s done some ill guest spots too with everyone from The Roots to Roc Marciano) leading us to his upcoming double album Good To Be Home, which is due out May 20th. Produced entirely by frequent collaborator Bombay and with features by Prodigy, Alchemist, Evidence, Fashawn, Casey Veggies, Imani of The Pharcyde, and more, this latest effort is Blu’s ode to California, the coast he calls home. And if his lowrider-ready first single “The West” is any indication of what we can expect from the double LP, we’re in for a soulful, sunny, and straight-up special listening experience.
For our latest In The Lab, Blu—who’s been in Paris working on something that’s still under wraps—found some downtime to shoot us an e-kite and take us behind the scenes of Good to Be Home, giving us a few insights into what his studio life was like while he was putting together the double album. And he dropped a couple bonus tidbits for the series, too. Vibe out with Blu below.
Blu: “I recorded all of the double album between two studios. One in Long Beach and the other off Beverly and Fairfax. It’s a mixture between being around all the hipsters and all the hippies. We sleep in the studio, that’s the Long Beach spot. And the Beverly spot we just go in and bang out a bunch of tunes at once. Our work ethic and recording pace is crazy—we always make the best out of our stay.”
“I wasn’t too involved in the beat-making of this double album. I think the main reason it became a double album was because I had so many gems to choose from. It went from being, ‘Let me cut a couple songs for the homie,’ to, ‘Hey, what do you think of dropping a double CD?’ I always say me working with Bombay was like a kid walking into a candy store, yo. I never left.”
“Man, for this album, the usual. Weed of course—we are very fortunate to live in California where marijuana is legal, so we definitely take advantage of that and stay as far away from cigarettes as possible. Beers—New Castles or Red Stripes, or the brown liqs for late night sessions. [And] Jack in the Crack [aka Jack in the Box for munchies].”
“This was one album where I needed no outside inspiration. My main fuel was wanting to put my style down on a sound that I feel complemented where my pen is right now. Really soulful block music, really really Cali. So the writing was most enjoyable—it was just me telling my story. But I did get a lot of fuel from a lot of the people who are on the record, who seem to have dropped records during the time we were recording ours. So we got the prime hot shit. Mitchy Slick, M.E.D., Alchemist and Evidence, Krondon, Durag Dynasty, Prodigy—[they] all have dropped great albums while we were recording this record. So it was a blessing to get them in the studio with us!! Man, Prodigy’s verse, classic bro bro. Classic Pee.”
“Sometimes it’s just me writing or playing beats with Bombay. Most times, I have a homegirl and her friend holding me down. And the homies always popped up, dropped verses or just hung out, and enjoyed the vibe. I felt like Dre when he was making The Chronic, just a lot broker. But very fortunate.”
“This album was [all about] burning down tablets. The writing was a lot of fun. All the songs were written to the beats for this album, because all the beats were done beforehand.
“[I record all my vocals in] one take, three takes, not any more than four ever I feel like. It was really, really natural, and I think that’s where you can feel the magic happening.”
“Hooks were just as popping as verses, we weren’t muzzled or restricted at all on this record. I really feel like it’s a celebration of how far we have come over in Los Angeles, where a lot of the beef, and police drama, and bullshit on the block has calmed down. Good To Be Home is like a ‘we made it’ celebration party.”
Working with Bombay
“Bass God Bombay was in the lab with me about half of the time, which is alot. But the chemistry was there. We are definitely into the same shit, born the same year, and pretty much had the same vision on how the album should come out. So it was like a snap of the fingers to get us to do an entire record. I’m excited for people to hear the whole double album. It’s full of good shit!!”
“My very first songs were recorded on a cheap hand-held recorder over Brandy and Whitney Houston instrumentals. My cousins wrote all the raps and I would learn them, and we would record to [their] sister’s cassette singles cause they always had the instrumental versions on them. We were like 12 and 13.”
Standout Past Project
“Every record I have ever put out has been a pleasure to create. The most difficult was No York. That has become my Black Album, the blacklisted album that was shelved by Warner Bros. But it was a pleasure creating all of our music.”
Dream Studio Collaboration
“Dilla, bro bro. Anything with Dilla, yo!!”
Previously: In The Lab with Sean C & LV | In The Lab with Harry Fraud | In The Lab with RATKING | In The Lab with The Alchemist and Evidence (Step Brothers) | In The Lab with Thelonious Martin | In The Lab with Troy Ave | In The Lab with Marco Polo | In The Lab with Black Milk | In The Lab with Oddisee | In The Lab with Pete Rock | In The Lab with Party Supplies | In The Lab with Mac Miller | In The Lab with Roc Marciano
Noreaster drops April 20th.
Pharrell followed up his appearance on Saturday Night Live this past weekend with a Monday morning performance of Happy in Times Square for Good Morning America. Hit the jump for another clip of him doing “Marilyn Monroe” and taking some questions from viewers.
ABC US News | ABC Business News
Previously: Pharrell Performs on SNL
Atlanta’s Rome Fortune is preparing his next EP, The Drives, Thighs, & Lies produced entirely by Dun Deal (Young Thug’s “Stoner”, Migos’ “Hannah Montana”). The other week, the Kevin Gates album leaked and one of the beats that was supposed to be on this EP was on it (“Stop Lyin’”), so they released it as a leak (listen to it after the jump).
Rome’s last project Beautiful Pimp II is a good listen and is also available to stream below. My favorites are the first few tracks and “So”.
Rome Fortune – “Trap Pop” (Prod. by Dun Deal):
Rome Fortune – Beautiful Pimp, II:
Denzil Porter is back with a new single from his upcoming Redwood Road project. This is for those late risers.
Future liberates the studio version of “Good Morning”, which he premiered at Spin’s SXSW showcase.
Previously: Future – Covered N Money (Video)
Nore and the Good Belt Gang drop in on Tony Touch for a Toca Tuesdays session.
Previously: Good Belt Gang – Into That (Video)
Future performed the never-before-heard “Good Morning” at SXSW which he described the Detail-produced track as a song that was recorded for his upcoming sophomore album, Honest, but didn’t make the final cut.
Previously: Future – Covered N Money
Off the Believers LP, which is out now on Strange Music.
New visuals from Boy Sand off the Paul White produced LP White Sands, which is out now.
Previously: Homeboy Sandman x Paul White – Wade in the Water