Formally recognizing and paying tribute to others are not foreign concepts for rapper Blu and producer Exile.
In September 2012, they delivered their “Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them” LP. Now, also courtesy of Dirty Science Records, the tandem will bring us the 20-song album “Miles: From An Interlude Called Life.”
May 20, 2020, the duo released its first single, “Miles Davis,” and it gives us more of what we love from them–methodical rhymes over buttery smooth sampling craftsmanship. Adding another layer to the requiem, the chorus borrows “Miles Davis cuttin’ loose with the band” from rapper 2Pac’s posthumous song “Thugz Mansion.”
The “Miles: From An Interlude Called Life” LP will be available July 17. That’s the same day that Blu & Exile’s debut album “Below The Heavens,” widely regarded as their magnum opus, was released in 2007.
For the new album, the pair enlisted Los Angeles compatriots and past collaborators, Miguel, Aloe Blacc, and Fashawn. There’s some interesting history to this. Aloe Blacc first introduced Blu and Exile to each other, stemming from Aloe Blacc’s days as bandmate with Exile in the group Emanon.
Los Angeles native Aceyalone also joins the albums on “Bright As Stars.” The collaboration follows Blu and Fat Jack’s “Me vs. Aceyalone” from their 2019 album “Underground Makes the World Go Round.”
Blu told Complex magazine, they’re “bringing it back to some of the traditional sounds and grassroots.” He added, “we decided to go and pull from some of the people who helped pioneer our sounds.”
“Miles: From An Interlude Called Life” will also mark 65 years since Miles Davis performed in the second annual 1955 Newport Jazz Festival along with pianist Thelonious Monk, bassist Percy Heath, drummer Connie Kay and Gerry Mulligan. The festival performance lead to Davis signing with Columbia Records and issuing a 52-album catalog with them over the course of his career.
Pre-order the vinyl and/or digital versions of “Miles: From An Interlude Called Life” here. The track list for the album and stream for the “Miles Davis” single are below.
- “When the Gods Meet” feat. Ishe
- “True & Livin”
- “Miles Davis”
- “The Feeling” feat. Jacinto Rhines
- “Music Is My Everything” feat. Choosey & Jimetta Rose
- “Bright As Stars” feat. Aceyalone, Iman Omari & Ishe
- “Blue As I Can Be”
- “You Ain’t Never Been Blue”
- “Miles Away” feat. C.S. Armstrong
- “Troubled Water” feat. Gappy Ranks
- “Roots of Blue” feat. Jacinto Rhines
- “African Dream” feat. Gappy Ranks & Aloe Blacc
- “Requiem of Blue” feat. Fashawn
- “The American Dream” feat. Miguel & The Last Artful, Dodger
- “Dear Lord” feat. Jimetta Rose
- “To the Fall, But Not Forgotten”
- “All the Blues”
- “Spread Sunshine”
- “The End” feat. Dag Savage, CashUs King & ADAD