Finally, Phillmatic returns with a review of a mixtape that’s been out forever.

Sorry, all 14 or so of our followers, it’s been a busy week for me, and my music reviewing kind of fell by the wayside. I’m back now, though (one year older), and ready to write some shit.

Review: Her Favorite Colo(u)r by Blu.

Blu (a.k.a. Johnson Barnes) is one of those rappers who truly does his own thing. He’s 27 now, if Wikipedia’s correct, and has only released one full length album with his name plastered on the cover, that being 2007’s Below The Heavens (though his long awaited follow up, No York, should be released this summer). His career is far from hopeless, though — even if 27 seems a little old to just be getting going in the rap game, The Slim Shady LP came out when Eminem was 26 or 27, I’m pretty sure.

If you’re wondering what Blu’s “own thing” is, I can explain: his impeccable, clever rhymes, spat with no frills over soulful, post-boom-bap instrumentals or jazz tracks. It’s nothing totally revolutionary (though he does do all of the production on this mixtape, and I always really appreciate when rappers do that), but it is incredibly solid. He doesn’t have any lyrical flops — none of those cringe-inducing moments like when Kanye, in the middle of a great song, can’t come up with anything better than “Man, killin’s some wack shit.” Her Favorite Colo(u)r (which he released in 2009, in case I didn’t mention) has an added layer, though — tons and tons of sampled movie dialog. I’d reckon that about a quarter of the tape’s exactly 30 minute runtime is taken up with movie samples.

It works, though. It works very well. Everything that Blu does on here works — all of his artistic choices make sense. His movie samples fit into the themes within the songs, and he chooses beats and samples that fit in with his lyrics and moods, as well as cleverly sampling a few songs containing his stage name — “Amnesia” being the standout example of this, with Billie Holiday singing the words “am I blue?” in the background, every few bars.

Just read these lyrics from “Amnesia”, too:

"Patience grown thin, home sick and haven’t been home since

Fuck a rapper, I’m an actor in a film called:

 ’Leave me the fuck alone til’ I find a real job’

Busting chrome grills off at these soft hearted breakbeats bouncing with 808’s and gray ink

Blue heart, red skies, true art died in the heart of my mind

Kept trying to fulfill this, blank script with realness, even if it kills this

Poet inside”

That’s beautiful. Completely and utterly. The rhymes are solid, his imagery is about as far ahead of most other rappers as you can get (this side of DOOM, at least).

I guess I’m running out of things to say. But know that Her Favorite Colo(u)r is everything a mixtape should be. It’s my personal favorite, as mixtapes go. Download it now — it’s on Datpiff, and probably everywhere else on the internet too.

_________________________________________

Rating: A+ (Easy to listen to all the way through, any time, several times a day, forever)

Finally, Phillmatic returns with a review of a mixtape that’s been out forever.

Sorry, all 14 or so of our followers, it’s been a busy week for me, and my music reviewing kind of fell by the wayside. I’m back now, though (one year older), and ready to write some shit.

Review: Her Favorite Colo(u)r by Blu.

Blu (a.k.a. Johnson Barnes) is one of those rappers who truly does his own thing. He’s 27 now, if Wikipedia’s correct, and has only released one full length album with his name plastered on the cover, that being 2007’s Below The Heavens (though his long awaited follow up, No York, should be released this summer). His career is far from hopeless, though — even if 27 seems a little old to just be getting going in the rap game, The Slim Shady LP came out when Eminem was 26 or 27, I’m pretty sure.

If you’re wondering what Blu’s “own thing” is, I can explain: his impeccable, clever rhymes, spat with no frills over soulful, post-boom-bap instrumentals or jazz tracks. It’s nothing totally revolutionary (though he does do all of the production on this mixtape, and I always really appreciate when rappers do that), but it is incredibly solid. He doesn’t have any lyrical flops — none of those cringe-inducing moments like when Kanye, in the middle of a great song, can’t come up with anything better than “Man, killin’s some wack shit.” Her Favorite Colo(u)r (which he released in 2009, in case I didn’t mention) has an added layer, though — tons and tons of sampled movie dialog. I’d reckon that about a quarter of the tape’s exactly 30 minute runtime is taken up with movie samples.

It works, though. It works very well. Everything that Blu does on here works — all of his artistic choices make sense. His movie samples fit into the themes within the songs, and he chooses beats and samples that fit in with his lyrics and moods, as well as cleverly sampling a few songs containing his stage name — “Amnesia” being the standout example of this, with Billie Holiday singing the words “am I blue?” in the background, every few bars.

Just read these lyrics from “Amnesia”, too:

"Patience grown thin, home sick and haven’t been home since

Fuck a rapper, I’m an actor in a film called:

 ’Leave me the fuck alone til’ I find a real job’

Busting chrome grills off at these soft hearted breakbeats bouncing with 808’s and gray ink

Blue heart, red skies, true art died in the heart of my mind

Kept trying to fulfill this, blank script with realness, even if it kills this

Poet inside”

That’s beautiful. Completely and utterly. The rhymes are solid, his imagery is about as far ahead of most other rappers as you can get (this side of DOOM, at least).

I guess I’m running out of things to say. But know that Her Favorite Colo(u)r is everything a mixtape should be. It’s my personal favorite, as mixtapes go. Download it now — it’s on Datpiff, and probably everywhere else on the internet too.

_________________________________________

Rating: A+ (Easy to listen to all the way through, any time, several times a day, forever)

Notes:

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