This album was released on March 1st this year. I’m a pretty big fan of Blu. Obviously my favorite thing he’s ever done is Below the Heaven’s with Exile, which is an amazing album.
However, I haven’t loved everything he’s released this decade. That Jesus mixtape he dropped under the name B was just okay to me. The lo-fi production was hit or miss for me, and it didn’t seem like he was rapping that seriously on that project. I was also torn on his NoYork! album, which was very inconsistent to me. The second album he did with Exile was actually pretty great. I guess he’s at his best over Exile’s beats. Good to Be Home was very flawed, but I liked it. I probably would’ve loved it if the mixing was better. That’s my biggest issue with a lot of Blu’s more recent stuff. The mixing is really bad. That was what prevented me from enjoying the collaborative album he did with M.E.D. & Madlib in 2015, which is easily my least favorite project that I’ve ever heard from him. It’s very mediocre in my opinion. I was so disappointed by that album that I actually haven’t listened to a single thing that he’s released since then, so this’ll be my first time listening to anything he’s released since 2015. Some acquaintances of mine have given me their thoughts on the project, and apparently it’s mixed properly, so I’m actually looking forward to this record. I probably won’t love it, but hopefully I like it. Anyway, the project is entirely produced by Oh No. Did y’all know that Oh No’s government name is Michael Jackson? I feel like I knew that at some point, but I forgot it…
Man, I feel like it’s been so long since I’ve heard a properly mixed Blu song. This sounds so good. The beat is pretty cool. This isn’t really a song. Blu’s just shouting out a shit ton of cities in California. I enjoyed the production, but I’m never gonna listen to this again.
2. The Lost Angels Anthem featuring Kezia
I’m not crazy about the melody of this hook from Kezia, but holy fuck this song is awesome. I love the production, and GODDAMN Blu is spittin’ his fuckin’ ass off on this shit. He slaughtered that first verse. His flow was crazy. The second verse was just as good. Wow. This is already better than anything that was on Bad Neighbor. The third verse was great. Man… This shit is amazing. I love the production, and Blu rapped his fucking ass off. The hook from Kezia grew on me too. The music video also has some cool effects. This is a great way to start this album off. Blu fuckin’ snapped on this shit. It’s dope af.
3. It Never Rains in South L.A.
Damn. Oh No really put his ass in these beats. The production on this track is amazing. It’s even better than the previous one in my opinion. The first verse from Blu was really nice. I’m not crazy about the hook on this track. It’s tolerable though. The second verse was great. That final verse was fantastic too. The only gripe I have with this track is the hook. I still think this is a fantastic song overall though. The production is absolutely stellar, and Blu killed every single verse on this track. I love this shit. It’s dope af.
4. Round ‘Bout Midnight featuring Abstract Rude & Self Jupiter
Man, I’m enjoying the hell out of the production from Oh No on this project. I love this beat. The first verse from Blu was cool. I like the hook from Abstract Rude too. I wasn’t really that entertained by the sexual content of the second verse from Self Jupiter, but overall his verse was fine. Abstract Rude had a better verse in my opinion. This is definitely my least favorite track on the album so far, but I still really enjoyed it. The production from Oh No is great, and the verses are solid too. This shit is dope.
5. Straight No Chaser featuring Donel Smokes
The beat on this track is pretty dope. The first verse from Blu is great. He killed that shit. I really like how chaotic the hook from Donel Smokes sounds too. The way the production kinda switches up sounds really cool. All of the verses on this track are dope. I don’t really have much to say about the track though. I don’t have any gripes with it. The production is dope, and I like the verses. The hook is solid too. I like this song. It doesn’t blow me away like the first couple tracks did, but I like it more than the previous one. This shit is dope.
6. Boogie to Flex featuring Definite, Co$$ & M.E.D.
The production on this track is great. The hook from Blu is decent. I’m not sure who this is on the first verse. It’s either Definite or M.E.D. I think it’s Definite. He killed that shit honestly. That verse was hard as hell. The second verse from Co$$ was cool. The final verse from M.E.D. was better though. Blu only does the hook on this song. I think the other rappers did a sufficient job with this track. Definite definitely had my favorite verse, but the other guys were cool too. I like this track. Again, I’m not blown away like I was with the first couple of songs, but this is still pretty goddamn good. I fuck with this shit. It’s dope.
This is the shortest song on the album if you don’t count the intro. I absolutely love this beat. It’s really smooth and melodic. Okay, I just finished listening to this track, and GODDAMN this shit is awesome. The way it ends is really fuckin’ cool. It transitions into the following track really smoothly. I don’t know if I should spoil what the song is about. I mean, you can kinda guess what happens if you just look at the titles of each song. Anyway, I don’t really have any issues with this track. There’s only one verse, but it’s really dope. I love this track. This shit is dope af to me.
8. The Robbery featuring TriState & Montage One
The beat on this track is fantastic. I’ve heard a few verses from TriState in the past, but I’m not familiar enough with him to tell if he’s on the first or last verse. All of the verses on this track are really good though. TriState & Montage One play the roles of the people who are robbing Blu, and this entire song is basically just the story being told. It’s really well done. There’s no hook, which is probably for the best. There are just three verses, one after another. I really like the way Blu’s telling a story on this album. This is another really great track. I think it’s dope af.
9. Liquor Store featuring Donel Smokes & Co$$
Goddamn. This beat is amazing. This might be my favorite beat on the whole album. I just listened to this entire track. It’s fantastic. The way all three of the rappers on this track are trading bars is really cool. Basically the song is Blu calling two of his friends and telling them that he just got robbed. I’m not really sure why the song is called Liquor Store. There aren’t any references to liquor stores in the actual song. It doesn’t really matter though. I still think this song is awesome. I don’t have any issues with it. This shit is dope af.
10. Made the Call featuring Co$$, Definite & M.E.D.
The way Blu’s rapping about guns on this first verse is awesome. I really love the beat on this song too. It kinda reminds me of Soul Calibur for some reason. Damn. I just listened to the whole song. There’s no hook; there’s just one verse after another. Every single artist that contributed to this track did a great job. All of the verses are dope as hell. The song doesn’t really contribute that much to the story. It’s just them rapping about how they’re strapped up like Morpheus. I guess they’re about to retaliate against the people who robbed Blu. Anyway, I love this track. I don’t really have any issues with it. The production is top notch, and all of the verses are great. This shit is dope af to me.
11. Stalkers featuring Donel Smokes
Ahh shit… This beat is fucking incredible. You can probably guess what the song is about from the title of the track. It’s about Blu & Donel Smokes creepin’ up on the guy that robbed him. This is definitely one of the best songs on the album. The production is phenomenal, and I love the way Donel & Blu were trading bars like they were having an actual conversation. This shit is awesome. Man, Blu & Oh No are really at their best on this album. This shit is amazing. I love this song. It’s dope af.
12. Pop Shots featuring Oh No
Once again, the production is absolutely stellar. This song probably has the best hook on the album so far. I guess that’s not really saying much since a good amount of these tracks don’t even have hooks. This one in particular is pretty simplistic, but I think it works really well. The first verse from Blu is great. This shit is actually pretty goddamn gangsta. I never really considered Blu to be that hard. I guess the hardness of this record fits with the story. He’s rapping about popping off shots at his enemy. The second verse was cool, but goddamn… That final verse was brutal as hell. Oh No just did the hook. He didn’t have a verse. This shit is hard as hell. I love the production, and the verses are great too. Again, I think this song has one of the best hooks on the project. This shit is dope af.
13. Do the Crime
The beat on this track is great. Goddamn. This song is even more ruthless than the previous track lyrically. He was talking about puttin’ holes in people’s heads and lighting their corpses on fire in the first verse. This shit is crazy. The hook is nothing special, but it works. Damn. In the second verse he gets confronted by the police, and they find all his guns. Man, this shit has me hooked. I love the way Blu is telling this story on this album. This shit is awesome. This song’s production and hook aren’t as amazing as some of the others in my opinion, but lyrically this is one of my favorite tracks so far. This shit is dope af.
14. Murder Case featuring Brandi Price
This track has a nice allusion to Murder Was the Case by Snoop Dogg. This is definitely my least favorite instrumental on the album so far. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t stand out nearly as much as the others. I’m not crazy about the hook from Brandi Price. The first verse from Blu was cool though. I liked that line about how he ran over someone once and considered putting the body in his trunk. He slaughtered that second verse too. That shit was really great. This is a good song. It didn’t impress me that much sonically. Blu’s verses are really what makes this song enjoyable for me. The production wasn’t actually bad. It just doesn’t stand out that much to me. I also didn’t care for Brandi Price’s performance. Blu killed this shit though. This song is dope.
15. Facing Time
This song is really good. It’s just 16 bars over a really nice, melodic beat. You can easily tell what the song is about based on the title alone. Blu’s just rapping about his situation, and how he’s totally fucked. It’s actually kinda sad. However, when you consider the brutality of the crimes he committed, he kinda deserves it to be honest. To be fair, he was retaliating against someone who robbed him. He probably should’ve just informed the police though. Anyway, I think this is a really good song. I don’t really have any issues with it. I actually really love this track despite its short length. This shit is dope af to me.
16. Jail Cypher featuring Playa Haze, Mic Holden, Ayun Bassa, Jabee, Carl Roe & LocalBlac
As you can guess from the title, this track is a cypher featuring some inmates from the jail in which Blu is incarcerated. I’m not familiar with any of these features, so I unfortunately won’t be able to say who had my favorite verse. The hook is nothing special, but it’s cool that it comes from the perspective of one of the prison guards. He was basically just talking shit to one of the inmates. This track definitely has one of my favorite beats on the whole album. It’s amazing. Whoever was on the first verse did a pretty good job. Whoever that is on the second verse sounds a lot like Dave East to me. His verse was cool. The third and fourth verses are really dope. Especially the fourth one. The fifth verse was cool. The final verse from Blu was nice too. It ends with him getting his bail lifted, which obviously leads nicely into the next track. I enjoyed this track. It’s definitely not one of my favorite tracks, but the production was really great, and all of the verses were sufficient. The hook kinda sucked to be honest, but other than that this is really good. I fuck with this track. It’s dope.
17. Fresh Out
This is a pretty celebratory track. I like the beat a lot. None of the verses on this track really blew me away, but they were all sufficient. Some of the lines in the second verse gave me the impression that he’s still committing crimes, which is kind of dumb. I guess it shouldn’t be surprising though. Anyway, I think this is a pretty solid way to end the album, but it’s not nearly as amazing as a lot of the other tracks on this project to me. I definitely like it though. This is dope.
This album is really great. There’s not a single track on this project that I didn’t like. As I mentioned earlier in the review, Blu & Oh No are really at their best on this project. The production is phenomenal, and Blu rapped his ass off on every single track. I love the concept of this album too. The narrative that begins around fifth track is really engrossing. I don’t really think there are any consistent issues with this album. I think it’s one of the best projects I’ve heard all year, and I won’t be surprised if it ends up being my favorite album from March. Blu & Oh No really brought the best out of each other. This shit is exceptional. It’s really dope.
Favorite Song: Stalkers
Least Favorite Song: Murder Case
Watch the video below for more thoughts on this album