Blu & Exile, Miles (Dirty Science)
Living up to a debut classic can be the bane of a hip hop artist’s entire career. There’s no guarantee lightning will strike twice, and fickle fans tend toward an entitlement that demands that their favourite acts do the same thing again and again, or else. Blu & Exile have returned only once since their 2007 masterwork Below the Heavens with an admittedly lukewarm collection of odds and ends in 2012’s Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them. And truthfully, BTH was an act of hip hop excellence so pristine that in some ways, it has no business being matched. All that said, Miles (named for jazzman Davis, and ostensibly for the road the pair has travelled, together and apart) gets pretty close to where it all began and brings it to the now. Exile is a nearly untouchable producer with an ear for old-school jazz-era nuance, and Blu is a once-in-a-generation lyricist. Hearing the duo do it again in their 30s is a gift. 8.5/10 Trial Track: “True & Livin’”
For more about Blu & Exile, please visit their website.
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