While the buzz around Blu has continued to grow, one aspect of the L.A. rapper’s artistry has been overlooked: he’s also becoming one of hip-hop’s best up-and-coming producers. Since his early work with producers Exile, Ta’Raach, and Mainframe, Blu has turned to creating his own soundscapes, crafting the entire Her Favorite Colo(u)r project, as well as a handful of standout’s on the recently released Jesus. Now, he’s putting his beats on full display, with the production album Open, to be released on September 27th, 2011 through New World Color / Nature Sounds. Originally posted online as a Blu-produced instrumental set, Open has been transformed into a full-fledged production album. Johnson Barnes and his gang of like-minded MCs laid vocals to every track, making this Open a brand new collection.
Featuring a slew of promising up-and-comers on the mic, Open is a perfect showcase for Blu’s hazy, lo-fi production. Along with two show-stopping appearances from Blu himself, the album features buzzed-about MCs like Fresh Daily, ScienZe, and Sene, as well as newer names like Just Lee and Tribe of Levi. All guests were hand-picked by Blu, so Open also showcases his ear for talent, turning hip-hop fans on to the next generation of rhyme-spitters. But in the tradition of classic production albums like In Control Vol. 1 and Soul Survivor, the main focus here is on the beats, which showcase the distinct sound a talented young beat-maker has been creating.