Blu
Good To Be Home


4.0
excellent

Review

by ExplosiveOranges USER (30 Reviews)
August 11th, 2014 | 20 replies


Release Date: 05/20/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A solid addition to an expanding catalog of great indie rappers.

Since the turn of the century, hip hop music has experienced a massive increase in both commercial and critical recognition. Rappers such as Kanye West, Eminem, Drake, and Lil Wayne have become millionaires because of their music, and countless new record labels have risen up due to the success of the genre. But this newfound success has not been without cost. The genre has lyrically declined, with most rappers focusing more on how much money and women they can hold in an expensive car rather than expressing their disgust with society and the countless social injustices they have faced in their lifetimes, leading to what some would consider a more superficial culture around hip hop. New technology has led to mixed results, with some artists opting to use tools such as autotune to fix up otherwise normal vocal hiccups, causing the music to come off as incredibly overproduced and downright dishonest at times. All in all, the genre has been split between two particular groups of artists: Ludicrously rich and famous rappers that dominate the Billboard charts and sales across the globe, and small-time, underground rappers who are more recognized on a local or communal scale. Breaching the gap between the two is incredibly difficult, with few ever managing to hit it big without sacrificing some of their artistic integrity. But not all hope has been lost. Some underground rappers still do manage to pick up some recognition for their work, one of whom is L.A. based rapper Blu. With his seventh solo album, Good To Be Home, Blu has crafted a solid album that is fit to be in his discography, even in spite of some minor flaws.

When it comes to being a rapper, lyrical flow is an essential part of defining the image of an artist, and Blu handles this extremely well. His delivery is fairly mellow, but his lyrics do revolve around more serious themes than most, such as child support and economic turmoil. Blu’s gangsta rap influences blend in surprisingly well with some of the more traditional soul and Christian gospel elements of his music, helping to solidify and further cement his reputation as a calm but brutally honest hip hop artist. There are also plenty of guest appearances by his fellow West Side rappers, including Mitchy Slick, Phil Da Agony, and 2Mex, giving off the impression that although the underground rap community isn’t known for commercial success, the people associated with it work alongside one another frequently and share close personal bonds.

The one aspect of the album that will divide listeners, however, is the production. It has a very raw, lo-fi sound to it, which will most certainly please longtime indie hip hop fans, but might be somewhat off-putting towards some who are less used to or less fond of the style. Also, since Good To Be Home is a double album, meaning that there are twenty tracks in total. Fortunately, most of the songs clock in at below five minutes long, so it never really feels like a drag to listen to. This is definitely one of 2014’s standout hip hop albums, and is worth a listen even for those who aren’t too familiar with the underground rap scene.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
ExplosiveOranges
August 11th 2014


2817 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

http://www.okayplayer.com/news/blu-good-to-be-home-lp-stream.html

Wow, this was overdue. First hip hop review. Go easy on me.

Digging: Electric Wizard - Time to Die

PappyMason
August 11th 2014


893 Comments


Nice man.

I still haven't heard this yet dude. Definitely need to change that.

Digging: Susumu Yokota - Sakura

ExplosiveOranges
August 11th 2014


2817 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good catch! Just fixed it up.

PappyMason
August 11th 2014


893 Comments


Double albums in hip-hop/rap always interest me. For all those that have tried, I don't really think there are any top-top double albums in the genre.

How does this work ('Good to Be Home') as a double album?

ExplosiveOranges
August 11th 2014


2817 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I haven't jammed too many hip hop double albums, but this one definitely didn't feel like a drag.

Muisc4Life26
August 11th 2014


2707 Comments


nice review man

JohnnyOnTheSpot
August 11th 2014


890 Comments


Wow this needed a review badly. Good job man

I felt like the first paragraph was a bit more lengthy than it should have been... I'd try too avoid writing to much about 'hip hop
in the mainstream' because the next time you write a hip hop review, you don't wanna just rehash material from this
review...just my thoughts. Good review though, pos'd

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

ExplosiveOranges
August 11th 2014


2817 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, fellas! Yeah Johnny, I probably did overdo that a bit. I'll avoid going for something like that in the future.

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
August 11th 2014


5985 Comments


ExplosiveOranges reviewing hip hop? Damn I ought to pos out of principle. Seriously though very nice write-up, a pos well earned.

Digging: Aphex Twin - Syro

breakingthefragile
August 11th 2014


2956 Comments


I'm glad this has a review now. The only thing I would change completely about this review is that summary though. It seems a bit redundant to state that he's "an already well-established underground rapper" as it really adds nothing to the review or summarizes anything about it. A summary should be used to make a concise statement about the album, but not one as simple as stating that it's an "excellent" album when you've clearly given it a score that equates to excellence. I know it may seem like I'm making too big of a critique over something as small as a summary, but a really striking summary can be what really compels people to further read your work. Other than that though, the review is solid.

Digging: Cathedrals - Cathedrals EP

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
August 11th 2014


5985 Comments


Please become contributor again breakingthefragile

ExplosiveOranges
August 11th 2014


2817 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, fellas! Yeah, I'll see if I can edit the summary.

Nikkolae
August 11th 2014


4849 Comments


York is alright but i havent heard anything else from him, might give this a shot, nice review man

ExplosiveOranges
August 11th 2014


2817 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, man.

ScuroFantasma
August 12th 2014


1923 Comments


Great review man, flows really nicely.

Digging: Eluveitie - Origins

thelastsignal
August 12th 2014


1370 Comments


Nice review, man. I dig its brevity, because you were still able to give some context regarding hip-hop as a whole (which I wholeheartedly agree with you on, coincidentally). The only thing that I would give as constructive criticism is that as someone who hasn't heard the artist, I like to know what the highlights are specifically. That will allow me as a reader to have an idea of what to check out first and more importantly, an idea of what song best encapsulates what the artist is about. That's obviously a small thing, and just a preference on my part. Awesome review.

ExplosiveOranges
August 12th 2014


2817 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, guys! Yeah Sig, I plan on going into more detail with the music in my next few reviews.

thelastsignal
August 12th 2014


1370 Comments


Nice dude, who are you going to be reviewing?

ExplosiveOranges
August 12th 2014


2817 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A certain dubstep artist, as well as possibly the new Bear In Heaven album.

thelastsignal
August 12th 2014


1370 Comments


Hmm, don't know anything about dubstep or Bear in Heaven lol. Excited to read them though!



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