An Interview with Blu

If you didn't already know, LA duo Blu & Exile are heading our way to embark on a whirlwind Australian tour this week. Contemporary west coast Rap star Blu is riding on the edge of superstardom, with countless releases of solo albums, mixtapes and instrumental compilations that still has him flying under the radar to many people. Check out my interview with the one and only Johnson Barnes aka Blu.

An Interview with Blu

This week, one of my favourite MCs in the game is heading to Australia this week for a whirlwind tour with his creative partner, Exile. Blu had his first breakout in 2007 with producer Exile on their release of “Below The Heavens”. Since then, he has released many EPs and albums, including their latest collaborative effort “Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them”.

I could go on and on about how much I admire him as an artist. Blu has attempted and successfully triumphed every section of the hip-hop industry from rapping, to singing melodies, to producing beats. A few weeks ago, he released his collaboration with MED and Madlib, “The Burgundy EP”, digitally and on vinyl, and most recently, he produced ANTHM’s EP, “Handful of Dust”, under the moniker GODleeBarnes.

Last week, I was lucky enough to grab some time with Blu to discuss all things music, what to expect from his Australian shows, and what the future will be like. Today, his answers are revealed.

1. Introduce yourself.

I am Blu. I rap, and you care because you have ears.

2. You’re heading to Australia in a matter of days with producer Exile. What can we expect from your live shows?

You can expect to see Bob Dylan rapping and Mozart making hip hop beats!!!

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3. What was your state of mind when you were creating, “Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them?”

I was in a tranquil, peaceful place where there were no expectations or pressure. So we created something relaxed and easy listening for the modern youth.

4. What is the difference between the music you create and the music you listen to?

I create music that most contemporary artists avoid due to the pressure to sell and to be successful. Staying true has always helped me, and that’s what has worked so I kept that up.

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5. What do you want people to get out of your creations?

I just like to touch those who relate or listen to be put in a good mood.

6. You once said that you don’t see yourself rhyming after the age of 30. Do you still stand by this statement? Are you still passionate about emceeing, or do you see yourself jumping into other creative outlets?

I would love to continue. I may continue if the people are still gracious to me. But I can almost say I feel accomplished. I am a fan just as much as an artist so I will still have my ear to music, just not sure if I will still have my hands in the pot!

7. What can you tell us about New World Color?

New World Color is the future. We seen it, like a 20 inch zenith.

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8. What is one thing you do everyday that is critical to your success?

I live bro, for experience is the best teacher.

9. If you could create the perfect mixtape for your 5 to 9 life, who would be featured on it?

It would be any album from my catalogue lol.

10. Pay it forward: What’s the best advice you’ve received that you would happily share with others?

Be true. It is worth it to yourself.

Blu & Exile will be playing shows across the country this week.
Head to for further details.

Stay up to date with Blu via twitter.
*Photography provided by Blu.