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.
The Ghost floats above the city in his latest visual from the Phantom And The Ghost LP, due out April 29th through NMCMG/EMPIRE. Pre-order now if you haven’t already and be sure to check out SP’s Reddit AMA from yesterday afternoon, in which he addressed the infamous Aaliyah diss, revealed that his son produced a cut on the new album and lauded Sheek Louch’s knuckle game.
The track playing in the background is the Low Pros (A-Trak & Lex Luger) ft. Juvenile that we premiered last month, right here.
Today we’re releasing an interview with A-Trak, filmed from his home in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In the midst of his touring schedule and yesterday’s release of his DJ duo Duck Sauce’s debut album, “Quack”, the DJ/Producer/Record Label Owner showed us around his pad, giving a behind-the-scenes tour of his at-home studio, his equipment, and how he spends his downtime.
Or stream the album in its entirety after the jump.
Video: Cipha Sounds & Drewski ft. Maino, Bodega Bamz, Chinx, Troy Ave, Mack Wilds & City Boy Dee – Banned From RadioApril 17th, 2014
Previously: Behind The Scenes
Fat Trel remixes Soulja Boy’s “We Made It” for his latest offering.
Previously: Fat Trel – Toca Tuesdays Freestyle (Video)
Killa Fuckin’ Cam covers issue #54 of Mass Appeal. During the cover Q&A with Sacha Jenkins, Cam talks about the new music and film projects he has on the horizon, his cape line, the possibility of him ever doing a reality show and how he manages to remain relevant with minimal effort.
The most interesting takeaway from the story for me though was when he revealed that at one point Crayola hollered at him about doing a “Cam’ron Pink” crayon. Unfortunately for the children of America, the deal fell through.
Continue below to check out some footage from Cam’s cover shoot (complete with a Dame Dash cameo, naturally) and pick up the new issue of Mass Appeal on newsstands now.
Previously: Wiz Khalifa – We Dem Boyz (Video)
Off DJ Iceberg’s upcoming Monopoly Music 19 mixtape.
If you’re anticipating a new Wu-Tang album with appearances from the entire Clan, you might not want to hold your breath. Internal static between the original members has been an ongoing storyline for some time now, but Raekwon made his feelings abundantly clear in an interview with Rolling Stone that was published today. The gist of it is: Rae is not happy with RZA at all. He’s not happy with where RZA is going with the album creatively (wherever that may be), and he’s not happy with his contract situation.
On him and RZA’s creative differences:
My thing is, yeah, he’s right, we’re on different pages when it comes to being creative because RZA, you’re not in the field no more. I’m still paying attention to what’s going on and an amazing group that’s got so much potential to be bigger than what they are if they just focus and come out with great music. On “Keep Watch,” you put this new young kid on there who nobody knows who he is – and I’m not taking shots at the kid – but I don’t even know who he is. That song is something that the crew didn’t have knowledge of, from what I’m being told. Dudes ain’t feeling good about it.
Yeah, he really, really doesn’t like “Keep Watch”
I hate it. I hate it. I don’t hate shit, but I hate that fuckin’ record. It ain’t the gunpowder that my brothers are spitting; it’s the production. And I ain’t shitting on the producer because he’s one of our soldiers. But if it ain’t where it need to be… It’s 20 years later. We talkin ’bout a whole new generation is sitting here representin’ and making fiery shit and you telling me that we comin out with some mediocre shit? That ain’t part of our plan.
And he feels like his money has to be right before he starts working, and according to him, it isn’t:
In order for Chef to work, the Chef contract has to be correct. It has to be a situation where I can say, “You know what? This is the best situation for me and my family.” That’s who I work for. I work for my family.
Later during the Q&A he explains that he doesn’t feel like RZA is in touch with what’s going on in the streets and explains that he feels like they should be bringing in 3rd party producers to work on the album. He goes on to say that even though he still has love and respect for RZA, as of now, he’s on strike from the Wu. Read the full interview here.
It should be noted that the album Rae is referring to is A Better Tomorrow, not Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, the one-off project that RZA plans to take on a world tour before selling for “millions”.
Sean P and Ruste connect with fellow King’s County rep Innocent and kill you real quiet like.
Previously: Sean Price & Illa Ghee – Dave Winfield