The 5th annual Okayplayer Holiday Jam went down last night, so in typical fashion I woke up on my living room floor this morning with more questions than answers. I was definitely expecting this to be the worst day ever, until I checked my email and saw what Blu just sent over… a new Blu & Exile LP. Let me repeat that, a new Blu & Exile LP. Recorded in 2009, here is give me my flowers while i can smell them. Let that title marinate for a minute. These dudes have been making some amazing music for years now, and much of it for free. In my opinion, they both deserve much more praise than they’ve received, but for now you can give them their flowers in the form of a $15 purchase. If you need reassurance that it’s worth your dollars (it is) you can stream it after the jump.



  • G

    Hopefully, this shuts up all the BTH purists. Of course, they will probably find something about this to hate.. since it’s not BTH.

  • Lo

    umm..once again…not mixed or mastered. Why the hell would I pay $15 for that?!?! Blu, mix your sh*t…and I’ll be happy to pay for it

  • MT

    It ‘s not that it’s not BTH, it’s Blu releasing more unmixed and unfinished work and asking a fair amount for it; a price typically charged for a finished album. I have no prob paying for finished work but I’m not paying for shit where dude is just messing around or never got to mastering the work.

  • Anon

    I just really cannot understand why Blu thinks this unmixed and unmastered shit sounds good. Is he just lazy? Broke? Does he hate the sound of his own voice projecting out of speakers at a relative compact disk quality? I’m not even asking for a top-notch blow my balls off production/engineering/mixing job here, just SOMETHING.

  • Anon

    Oh yeah, aside from that gripe though, shit is dope.

    I’d pay a 5er for it, but no way 15. I barely paid 15 for my copy of Below the Heavens and only 10 for my copy of J&J.

  • this made my finals studying so much better

  • its about time we got something new from these dudes.

  • kidtruth

    mastering is the most expensive part of the production process. I understand why most mixtapes are not mastered, because artists are usually already taking a loss when they spend time and energy to create them. However, if you’re going to charge MORE than full price for something… master it, right? Plus it just sounds so much better.

  • josh.

    hahaha stop complaining. if you don’t want it, don’t take it. I’m sure a mastered version will arrive eventually. fvck y’all acting like you are owed something from dudes.
    dope fvcking album (of the year?)

  • Seems mixed well enough, if not mastered. A lot of people don’t know the diff.

    Big up my big bro Blu tho. Gave me a couple beats for my own tape, you can check a couple out on my bandcamp.

  • Tip

    I like this..it’s muy caliente hot…need more music like it..beats tasty..lyrics on point..

  • Cinq

    Maaaaan! Yall on some Bolshevik! All you jokers talking about “it’s not mixed or mastered” are them same jokers that probably have over a hundred of this guys songs for free. Give him $15 for the pure volume alone or just delete it all. Dag!

  • Anon

    I’m not owed anything from the dude, but if he wants me to support him for more than the money i pay for an average album, then he better give me good reason to. but no, i guess we shouldn’t critique anything, just avoid it if we have any complaints, right? that’s not ignorant at all.

  • s.heroi

    I’ll gladly pay $15 ’cause the record’s dope, I got a job, and that’s only like two beers at a club in the big city I live in, cheap bastards! $upport good mu$ic!

  • wavdot

    read the album title . don’t miss the point .

  • J in A

    Get it started w/ the incomporable Ms. Betty Carter! What better way to start an album? Got that classic, dusty lp feel.

  • i guess 15 isnt that much but i must say this is the closest thing to blu ive wanted..in a while..i tolerated that “everything is ok” stuff (which took me a while to like) then “open” gave me a few tracks that made me go “this is that mixtape blu i missed so much” “I am Jean” and “the only one” are whats up!

  • also i like the mixing!! so fuck off with those comments! they are way better than that jesus jooint he dropped!

  • AOne10

    Take it from me, I’m an audio engineer, and this is great music. It is mixed, but it’s nothing more than some compression and reverb. I can hear him clearly and that’s all I care about when listening to Blu. He keeps it simple and is one of the best lyricists out right now. Since when has the complexity of your mixing determined whether or not something is good or bad? He’s saying something and his basic mixing sounds 100 times better than 90% of the rap albums out now.

    • Waldo

      Most of the mixes are good enough, but honestly, if you really are an audio engineer then I’d think you would’ve noticed all the terrible clipping on “she said its ok”. I ain’t payin 15 bucks for a digital copy that ain’t even fully mixed…It is extremely dope music though, I definitely got the page bookmarked for streaming!

  • AOne10

    And may I add that this is mixed better than anything he put out after J&J.

  • name

    Stop hating that it’s 15 bills, you’d probably spend it on a worse album anyway. Take what they offer, smell the flowers because this is some of Blu’s best

  • All of you who say you’ll pay $15 for a unmastered/mixed album, shut up! or post your ‘bandcamp’ receipt. The most basic cookie cutter mastering plug-ins can be purchased for $200 and will make a world of difference.

    The nerve of blu and exile asking for $15 and then bragging in the credits how the project is unmastered/mixed AND UNFINISHED!!! WTF?!

    This Artist ‘n Fan ish is a RELATIONSHIP! You give us a great product that’s polished and we will buy it. Other than that give it away free!

    The album has a great “under ground” vibe.
    Last time I paid for a album that was $15 it was a ’94 and I really didn’t pay for it… I just thought about paying for it. Probably ended up dubbing it from a friend.

    • The Truth

      Cheap ass

  • Wisco Kid

    Everybody Nose is nice. It tells a story or something – I feel like it belongs in a Wes Anderson film. Thanks gentlemen!



  • Felix

    Wow, this clearly isnt how they’re officially releasing the project. Due to the awesomeness of BTH it’s just a nice thing to have a first look at the next project. Buy it if you see it as something to collect. It says in the description ‘released 25 december 2011’ Official release date maybe? So calm down…

  • jjj

    You could make the argument that it costs too much, but as far as mixing goes, it really doesn’t sound that bad (certainly not like the other mixtapes Blu has released). And the beats are on point, holy shit, Exile killed it.

  • I like it. Perfect and not ‘glossy’.

  • bigjohnson

    this shit is great. everyone complains because they can’t admit when something is dope, and this is fucking dope

  • kidtruth

    I know Blu is dope, but every artist has a limited lifespan of how much good shit they can release. Should make an effort to make everything count, especially his second album with Exile. Blu is an amazing lyricist but if it’s a mixtape, make it free and put it out there. If it’s an album, make it a good album and don’t half-ass it. I’m not buying this expressly because of that, so if you’re listening Blu.. I love your music but I’m not paying album prices for mixtape material. You would probably sell more copies overall and make a bigger impact with your music if you took it that last 10% of the way home.

  • D Cool

    but when Dilla dropped Ruff Draft, and says “its that straight from cassette ish” ya’ll love it…. eat a diznick!


    • ayee

      hell yeah!! wtf else is coming out dope as this in 2011!?? one of best lyricists ever and producer in his prime……….

      mastering is NICE even, slightly different mic styling on some of the tracks that gives a different vibe… ie I Am Jean VS More Out of Life.

      this is not some GodleeBarnesLP fucup.


  • The SoapBox Killer

    I maybe late to te party but is it at all possible that this project is meant to sound this way. If you dont like the “sound” or “feel”, well thats fine and dandy, HOWEVER, a few music fans prefer the “unpolished” sound. I am one of them. Maybe Blu is too.

    Sometimes you have to take a man at his word, mostly when that man lives off his words.

    • ayee

      i’d say go listen NoYork if you want helluh mastered. even 36 chambers sounds like it’s recorded in a broom cupboard

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