One of the greatest myths of hip-hop that there is a singular path to greatness, and that that path is inexorably tied to commercial success. The Los Angeles rapper Blu is proof that that notion is patently bullshit. After releasing the album Below the Heavens with the producer Exile, Blu was saddled with the burden of being the "Next Big Thing" in hip-hop, finding himself placed on the XXL Freshmen cover in 2009 along with the likes of B.o.B., Wale, Kid Cudi, and Curren$y. But for all his rhyming skill, writing chops, and ability to inject his verses with warmth, humanity, and pathos, Blu seemed to reject the glare of the spotlight, dragging his feet amidst pressure to release his Warner debut NoYork! After being dropped from the label, the record found its way into public eye earlier this year. Had it been released on a major, it would have been perhaps the strangest major-label hip-hop album ever. And while it was undoubtedly rugged, jagged, and more than a little drugged out, it still showcased one of the great rap talents of our time, pursuing his muse. His latest project is a team-up with the producer Nottz, the vibe returning from the left-of-celestial-center NoYork! and taking things into the same warm territory as his work with Exile. "End of the World" is the second single from the EP, due out on Coalmine Records on October 22nd.
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