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.
If R. Kelly Makes Us So Uncomfortable, Why Do We Keep Listening?
This is art we're talking about, and it's as real as you allow it to be.
Britney Spears: Capitalism's Last Stand
At last, the Queen has found her domain.
The Real Rick Ross Stands Up
We met with the ex-crack kingpin, who told us stories from his drug dealing days and gave us an exclusive excerpt from his upcoming autobiography.
Sorry, Dudes. The Ladies Won Punk This Year.
These are the women who kicked a particularly large amount of ass in 2013.
2013: The Most OK Year Ever
Kitty Pryde reflects on her sort of shitty, sort of amazing 2013.
Cam'ron is Still Harlem's Diplomat
We met with the Golden Boy and spoke wi
YG: Krazy, Sexy, Kool
As he readies his debut studio album, the Cali rapper talks about just how krazy his life is.
When Kellz Freezes Over
We flew down to Atlanta to interview R. Kelly. Like everything in the world of Kellz, nothing went as planned, but it still felt right.
Frank Turner Dragged Me to the Weirdest Show I've Ever Been to
Sometimes you end up at interactive dance parties in Brooklyn basements with cat people.
Kevin Morby's Midwest Heart
The former Woods player and Babies member opens up about his love-hate relationship with New York, and how the internet is eating our souls.