Ten years ago, Blu & Exile released one of the best albums in last two decades with Below the Heavens: In Hell Happy With Your New Imaginary Friend. And now, they’re back with another collection of songs that they recorded during the very same sessions.
Officially dubbed In the Beginning: Before the Heavens, the album marks the third from the duo, following 2012’s Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them, and is sure to take you back to the good ol’ days.
“We planted the seeds of creativity and grew about 40 plants,” Exile says of their Below the Heavens sessions. “We picked the ones that we thought were the best for an album, but that didn’t mean that the other flowers weren’t beautiful.”
“‘Below the Heavens’ was about being underground, while comparing mainstream success to living in heaven,” Blu adds. “This is before that. The only thing that happened before God made the heavens and Earth [is God] says, ‘In The Beginning,’ so this is like the training wheels.”
Locked in at 14 tracks, including “Constellations with Lyric Jones, “Back to Basics” and “On the Radio,” the West Coast duo are joined by CashUs King, Aloe Blacc, Blame One, Dr. Oop and Donell Smokes on the remaining 11 songs.
Exile highlights some of the project’s best tracks: “‘On the Radio’ is a song that Blu made that we used to laugh about, but listening now it’s dope. ‘You’re Gonna Die Someday’ is actually me rapping and Blu singing the hook. ‘Hot for Y’all’ is how Blu could have done some Roc-A-Fella vibe type shit. ‘Hard Worker’ is some raw hip-hop shit. ‘Sold The Soul’ is a song, a really dope poem Blu did and he sings on it, it’s amazing. And ‘Stress Off the Chest’ is some train of thought, Blu spazzing and rapping type shit.”
Check it out below and be sure to add Before the Heavens to your preferred streaming platform at midnight.