Thursday, September 18, 2008

YOU MY BOY, BLU!!!!!!!

The double-edged sword that is the internet: A virtually bottomless supply of rappers and their music at your pirate-happy fingertips that allows every fuckass with a working vocal cords, an old Ice Cube album for inspiration and a delusion of talent to get on a microphone and cut a demo in their mama’s basement.

With that, I often really have no idea who to listen to and who to pass up. Sometimes I go by what cats on the boards are saying (which are, very often, opinions laced with horseshit), and sometimes I just try new music just to see what’s what. Blu (nee Johnson Barnes) is an example of one of those emcees I stumbled upon on the nets by happenstance one day who I could easily still be oblivious to. The San Pedro, California emcee is a perfect marriage of splendid, rapid-fire rhyme control; a great voice and relatable, self-deprecating lyrics. I’ve been following his career for about a year and some change now now.

Check out his new joint, Johnson & Jonson, a duet album with producer Mainframe. It’s a proper version of the Powders & Oils joint that dropped earlier this year; containing a few new, removed, remixed and remastered cuts. Mainframe’s dusty, Oldies-sampled production seems Madlib-inspired while maintaining its own identity. It’s good stuff, though it doesn’t serve Blu quite as well as producer Exile did on their epic, criminally underrated 2007 Below The Heavens album.

“Long Time Gone” and “Half a Knot” are worth downloading this alone, but the album’s true highlight is the Beatles-sampled “Hold On John,” which they left as an album-ending bonus cut for some strange reason.

Let me know what y’all think.

01. Johnson & Jonson - J & J 04:21
02. Johnson & Jonson - Up All Night 04:38
03. Johnson & Jonson - Half A’ Knot 02:25
04. Johnson & Jonson - Mama Told Me 02:30
05. Johnson & Jonson - The Gusto Room 03:22
06. Johnson & Jonson - Wow! 03:06
07. Johnson & Jonson - The Only Way 02:25
08. Johnson & Jonson - In The Building 01:51
09. Johnson & Jonson - Bout It, Bout It 01:55
10. Johnson & Jonson - Spell Check 03:39
11. Johnson & Jonson - Long Time Gone 02:46
12. Johnson & Jonson - Still Up All Night 01:24
13. Johnson & Jonson - A Perfect Picture 03:20
14. Johnson & Jonson - Anything Is Possible 02:20
15. Johnson & Jonson - The Oath 02:07
16. Johnson & Jonson - Hidden Bonus Track 03:13

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