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. 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.