Blu & Exile – Give Me My Flowers: The Review

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Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the most official album review for this album…any review I do will be the most official review for that album. Anyway, here we do not judge names, bank statements, or tmz appearances. We judge music. Dig that.

Songs are judged on a 0-5 basis (0 being cheeks, 5 being classic), and the judgement is based on the following: lyrics, production, and the cohesiveness of the two. Whether or not the song is good for what it was intended to do, and its according entertainment value.  Now, I am going to be very specific with what these numeric values mean in terms of what I am giving them. Here is the scale:

 

0-1.5 – Amongst the most terrible songs i’ve ever heard

2 – Bad song

2.5 – average song- not good/not awful

3 – pretty good, not mind blowing but good

3.5 – I could ride out to this

4 – Has great replay value

4.5 – Song/Album of the year candidate

5 – Classic hip-hop record

Albums in totality are judged by the same, but including flow of the album and consistency of attributes throughout the album. With that being said…

Blu – He is of the elite emcees doing it today. Very easily.  All you have to do is listen. It ain’t hard to tell. The boy is nice. His delivery, his cadences, his emphasis, his context, his technical ability…all on point.

Exile – One of the elite producers doing it today.  It disgusts me that he is virtually unknown with the quality that he has produced over the years.  It has been a while since we have seen one producer do multiple albums in totality and actually create full on great output.  He has done that…

Below The Heavens is a post 2000 classic hiphop album. That’s right. The Blueprint, Supreme Clientele, Late Registration…Below The Heavens. All you got to do is listen. Now with that being said… Here is the 2009 recorded, 2011 released effort from the best California duo since Shaq and Kobe entitled, “Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them”  Right.

1. A Letter – An intro with no rhymes being dropped, however..the beat with the beautiful string work and the Moody’s Mood for Love sample…I love it. First of all, Moody’s Mood for Love is one of those songs that your grandfather should have been playing for you when you were in a crib. Dont matter who’s version. This track is lovely though; an effective way to set the tone for an album 4/5

2. More Out of Life – Dope beat, dope rhymes…nicely placed song as far as the feel and cohesiveness along with the intro. Its not mind blowing, and lyrically he got a little preachy on us at the end, but i’d probably never skip this track while listening to this album 4/5

3. The Only One – “Alive again, wanna feel like I can fly again, they say the limit is the sky, but im sick of getting high, I dont wanna have to die, just to feel like im alive…” I find that beautiful right there god. Exile blesses the track once again. Lyrically Blu shines on this one..especially the first verse “I met some sisters out in Mozambique, who asked me what part in Africa was my fam tree…” that is brilliantly subtle…one of the things that makes Blu who he is as an emcee. This is certainly one of the more complete hiphop songs that I have heard this year. 4.5/5

4. Mask Your Soul – This is the Exile production that im not too fond about. Not much bounce. Kind of weak vocal sample..just a bad version of his usual. This joint is pretty slow, and Blu is on his ramble on this one. 3/5

5. I Am Jean – Now they are back on track. This beat…I cant front, im a sucker for these piano loops and randomly placed chords..and blu is spitting. 4/5

6. Money – This is some funky ass- sniff your top lip ish right here. Blu is still spitting…but this is his default level as Blu the emcee. As a song, its decent. 3.5/5

7. She Said It’s Okay – Exile is going mama’s buiscuits on this album. I have to say though…this Exile going coconuts/blu rambling for 8 bars and spitting complete thoughts for 8 bars formula is getting redundant at this point of the album…but this joint is still dope nonetheless 4/5

8. Good Morning Neighbor – This nigga flipped Mr. Rogers theme song. lol. This joint bangs. BANGS. 4/5

9. Everybody Nose Feat. Johaz & Fashawn – Didn’t like the beat that much. The hook is awful. Cats were rapping good but that couldn’t save it. SN: Fashawn, that boy good. 2.5/5

10. Don’t Be Jelly – Aesthetically it is pretty dope (dope beats, dope rhymes of course) , but its somewhat of a snoozefest. 3/5

11. Berries & Juices – Hot damn @ this beat! Exile is becoming my favorite producer with this album. Blu is on what has become his usual. 4/5

12. Seasons – This joint has been circulating for atleast a year now. Didnt really like it then, dont really like it now. This vocal sample is mad annoying.  2.5/5

13. John McCain – An instrumental outro. Lucky for them, they put some bonus tracks behind this, because this is pure huff. Thank God they didn’t seriously end the album with this. I see the vision, but i’m not seeeeeeeeing the vision. 2/5

14. O Heaven – This is a complete hiphop record right here… This is vintage Blu and Ex right here. 4/5

15. Ope – This is decent. Only 57 seconds. Meh 3/5

Conclusion: Aspiring rappers and music makers, let this be a lesson to you.  As you have read, I am madly in love with more than half of the songs on this album….individually. This album solidifies my claims that a) Blu is an elite emcee and b) exile is an elite producer. Their chemistry is amazing as well. Thing about it is… this album becomes very redundant over the 45 minute course.  There was no switching it up that took place whatsoever and that made me cringe a little while bobbing my head to the strong exile beats and smiling to myself as Blu did what Blu does. If anyone wanted to know how you make just a pretty good album out of a collection of very good songs…this is how.   4/5

 

-Sonny Rockwell


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