Album Review: Blu "Below The Heavens" (Special Limited Edition Vinyl Reissue)!!

Posted on January 18, 2012 by Kevin | 1 Comment


EDITORS NOTE: The much talked about album from Blu & Exile "Below The Heavens" is increasingly coming quite the collector's item. You can find a CD version for as "little" as $40 online, as in not cheap. It is now available for it's first official vinyl release! It's available in 3 different limited edition colors (1000 Hand-Numbered Pressings of each; Blue or White Blue Marble or Standard Black!!

In honor of this special release we had our man Scott Kebo reflect on what makes it special:

Blu & Exile "Below The Heavens"

When you let the phrase "Below the Heavens" marinate, how do you interpret it? What degree of depth below the unreachable, celestial paradise do you dwell in? Is it the current reality of the modern times or do you find yourself in a boat crossing the river Styx descending into the underworld; ultimately, bathing in flames (as Blu puts it) down in hell where the rogue angel provides you with company because misery loves it. The 2009 XXL freshman, Blu, hailing from Los Angeles, California invites you into his interpretation of being "Below the Heavens" possibly originating from his direct influence of being fathered by a pastor in an intensely honest and personal, smooth soulful experience produced solely by Exile.

As a disclaimer please excuse any and all redundancy regarding the word "smooth" because this word most accurately describes the "Below the Heavens" album and Blu as an emcee. The L.A. native has theoretically a perfect rap voice and smooth flow to compliment it that will instantly engage the listener on the first headphone to ear introduction.

Perhaps synonymous and a chance at being an alternate title for "Below the Heavens", the words "Down to Earth" illustrate this project's identity as being non materialistic celebratory, swag emphasizing, and watered down. In fact, this is a record documenting Blu's life of thriving in the trenches, still going through it, something the average blue collar man can relate too. Whether talking about the finesse of bagging a girl in a club or bar; trying to game her without balling, having a solidified or respectable position in the game in "First Things First" featuring the smooth (see there's that word again) seductive vocals of Miguel Jontel or how about choreographing a dance in the rain articulating the depression mind state and hardships of being broke, juggling a dead end job/girlfriend while pursuing a dream on a beat that fuses melodic, blues based guitar lines with a touch of salsa and jazz (Dancing in the Rain). On "The Narrow Path" Exile provides a knocking bass line to help Blu talk about the dangers of his hometown and how negativity can consume you.

There's a certain gracefulness and beauty present here that's hard to put a finger on. Sort of a meditatively conscious, strong nostalgic element that is alive here. This can be heard in a hindsight perspective on Blu's life in cuts like the blissfully reflective "In Remembrance Of Me", the tranquil dreamlike vibes of "So(ul) Amazin' (Steel Blazin')" spitting the usual creatively clever bars occasionally laced with wisdom and insight "...Fat as Biggie with no pun intended, Know Pun intended to live" or "Look my rhyme lines flow sweeter than swine so any mic that I find, I got the right to be hoggin' it."

As the album draws towards an end Blu gets personal and deep on a disguised light hearted beat featuring a second appearance by Miguel Jontel. "But my wounds show the room where my pops beat my moms, moms screamin' for help" via "Cold Hearted" one of the strongest tracks on the album, which speaks volumes because almost every track is great on BTH. "The World is" dissects the meaning of "Below the Heavens." On a performance standpoint Blu's rhymes rank higher than Exile's contribution on the production end. All in all this album is a classic and a very much slept on album. If you're one of those people saying that "the feeling is gone" well, it is very much alive here, which is a rarity in the modern day.

Written By Scott Kebo


Key items back in stock!!

-BLU "York" CD: 4 Different Album Covers; "Y", "O", "R", and "K"!
-"Open" (The Blu Production album!!)
-Jesus Vinyl
-Amnesia 10"
-Johnson & Johnson CD
-"Her Favorite Colo(u)r" CD or LP!

1 Response


November 18, 2012

At last! Someone with real erxpetsie gives us the answer. Thanks!

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