He’s one of the most productive, one of the most eclectic, and, according to some, one of the most mysterious emcees. After our 2013 interview, The Find decided it was time to catch up with Blu a.k.a. Her Favorite Color a.k.a. the emcee with many nicknames. The prolific artist from Los Angeles discusses records that feel like trophies, going with what feels right, and the vibes on his upcoming projects. “A lot of dreams happen to come true in the process.”
Though it’s a little late, I’d still like to say: congratulations on the brilliant record with MED and Madlib.
Thank you sir, I love the record to depth. I can’t believe we made it and I also can’t believe it sounds so phenomenal.
How do you look back on creating Bad Neighbor?
The creation was pure joy, and a pleasure creating similar to Good To Be Home. Both of those records feel like trophies to me. The reception was ideal, ‘sweep the underground’ and that’s exactly what we did. I feel Talib Kweli & 9th Wonder’s record was the only other underground record on our level last year! All the love we got from the record directly reflected all the love the collaborating artists, and features, put into the record.
“I might turn out 200 LPs like the great Duke Ellington”
A few years ago, we paid attention to the diversity in your music throughout the years, and you said you believe you have one of the most colourful catalogues in hip hop. You have released quite a few projects since then.
Yes, as of recently we have successfully released 45s with the honorable 45 King (Pocket Full Of Miracles), and the new underground crown, The Alchemist (Cobb and Palisades). We have also released a EP contributing to the Ray West Cafe series titled Crenshaw Jezebel. The next release we have lined up, is the follow up to 2013’s collaborative EP Gods In The Spirit by Nottz and me. It’s titled Titans In The Flesh.
Could you tell us a bit about how your route is evolving as your catalogue expands? And about where you are headed at the moment?
Honestly, we were looking to stop and retire at 10 LPs or by the age of 30. I’m 33 now and I have 4 more albums contracted, which will make 13 LPs. Our process is going with what feels right, it just so happens a lot of dreams come true in the process – working with 45 King, Madlib, Nottz, and so on. So we are going for gusto now. I might turn out over 200 LPs like the great Duke Ellington.
“Boom bap is always the home run”
You’ve released a bunch of old school tracks recently, Pocket Full of Miracles, the songs on Crenshaw Jezebel… What’s it like to work with a sound like this, as opposed to your more experimental projects?
Well, boom bap is our home plate. We can run from base to base, steal bases, but boom bap is always the home run. We love that our fans and supporters respect our traditional hip hop approach. DJ & MC vibes, cuts and scratches, remixes, etcetera. We love the square, it’s an awesome arena but we love to play away games in other folks’ stadiums as well.
But until we start rocking real stadiums we will keep bringing ears back down to the underground, providing the connection to both the original hiphop backbone and the mainstream. So those who are drowning in the mainstream can rinse off with some truth and knowledge, and get back to getting it. We specialize in keeping it real 300%!
“These production teams account for a lot of brand new colors flowing underground”
Cheetah in the City with Union Analogtronics and Open your Optics to Optimism with Fate are coming up. What can we expect from those records?
A nice diversity. Don’t expect to hear the same record twice. The vibes off both of these production teams account for a lot of brand new colors flowing underground, and I am pleased to host them through the next phase.
What kind of music do you listen to nowadays yourself?
I am still listening to old classic bebop, I love jazz. Charlie Parker & Miles, Miles & Coltrane, Monk solo, Mingus & Dolphy, etcetera. I’m also getting my feet wet in the electro game again, Diplo, SBTRKT, DJ Mustard, Major Lazer, and so on. I love that new house dancehall shit, man. I’ma be ‘pon’n de river’ soon! [Laughs] Also, shout out to those keeping the pen game up, Elzhi, Royce, Pusha T, Kendrick Lamar. And a big, big shout out to the new Beyoncé. Lemonade!”
Keep up with Blu and his new releases on Twitter: @HerFavColor