Blu & Exile Drop New Song “Back to Basic’s” Ahead of ‘Below The Heavens’ Prequel
It's been 10 years since Blu & Exile dropped Below the Heavens, and now the two West Coast rap luminaries are bringing that old feeling back with "Back to Basic's," a "new" cut from their Below the Heavens upcoming prequel album, In the Beginning: Before Below the Heavens.
With Blu's typically dexterous technique and Exile's boom bap production, the new track finds both artists in the same zone they were in when they recorded Below the Heavens more than 10 years ago. On the song, Blu spits about being a rapper trying to make it without selling out.
"Somebody asked me what exactly I'ma do for Black music/I told 'em I'ma chop it up loop it and rap to it/I'ma a conscious slash average Black human/But see I'm from the street, so you know I gotta keep that ass moving," Blu raps, showcasing some impressively tight rhyme schemes in the process. What inspired the track?
"'Back To Basic's' was a dedication to my homie Basic," Blu tells XXL. "I would go to his crib in high school to freestyle and beg him to bring me to the Wake Up Show, 'cause he worked there. He never did [laughs]" he continues. "But I would always go back to Basic's."
Exile confirms Blu's story about the song's inspiration, saying Basic taught Blu "to rap more artsy. He also says the track is, at its center, all about taking things back to the essence of hip-hop. "My beat was just some raw hip-hop shit with raw cuts. Pretty much ultra-hip-hop 'flexing on fools'-type joint," he explains.
While Blu & Exile have gone on to do big things since the release of Below the Heavens, he recognizes the project as the fan-favorite. Their love of the album pretty much gave him no choice but to drop Before Below the Heavens, a collection of tracks recorded during sessions for Blu & Exile's West Coast masterpiece.
"I wanted to release this project because so many people love Below The Heavens, more than all my albums, so it was a no brainer to feel open to give the fans more music from that era," reveals Blu. "Imagine if we didn't have any extra songs?" Exile shares a similar sentiment.
"We found the songs, our people want the music," he says. "We had to give it to them. It just feels good to have your music get heard. Its fun for us to drop these old joints, plus they're still heat. Most cats fuck with our throw away joints... word up!"
In the Beginning: Before Below the Heavens drops on Oct. 20. After that, Blu & Exile are setting out to make 2018 their own. "We chilling man. Exile owes us another tour but the crew is ready, 2018 is already wrecked. Plain Pat, we got that!" says Blu.
Exile says he's been putting the "finishing touches on all the other albums brewing in the pot to be poured in 2018!" Word. Check out the tracklist for In the Beginning: Before Below the Heavens below. Listen to "Back to Basic's" beneath that.
Blu & Exile's In the Beginning: Before Below The Heavens Tracklist
1. "Soul Provider"
5. "Party of Two"
6. "Back to Basic's"
7. "On the Radio"
8. "You're Gonna Die Some Day"
9. "Life Is a Gamble"
10. "Things We Say"
11. "Hot For Yall"
12. "Hard Workers"
13. "Sold the Soul"
14. "Stress Off the Chest"
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