Blu (rapper)

Birth nameJohnson Barnes III
Born (1983-04-15) April 15, 1983 (age 34)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Origin San Pedro, Los Angeles, California
Genres Hip hop, Alternative hip hop
Occupation(s) Rapper, Recording Artist
Years active2003-present

New World Color, Dirty Science, Fat Beats,

Sound In Color, Nature Sounds, Tres, Sire/Warner Bros
Associated acts Exile, Mainframe, Ta’Raach, MED, Sene, Co$$, Fashawn, Dag Savage, Choosey, Planet Asia, Talib Kweli, The Roots, Pete Rock, Lupe Fiasco, Elzhi, Oh No , Flying Lotus, Evidence , Alchemist, Knxwledge, Pac Div, Frank N Dank, U-God, Prodigy, KRS-One, Gonja Sufi, J*Davey, Andy Allo, Aloe Blacc, Miguel


John Barnes III (created Apr 15, 1983), better known by his stage name Blu, can be an American Western Coastline rapper and saving artist from LA, California. He’s most widely known for his group Blu & Exile and their debut recording “Below The Heavens”. He’s a forefront person in the California-based collective, Dirty Technology. Blu can be co-CEO of ” NEW WORLD ” Color, a label which he’s releasing a lot of his tasks through. He’s identified for his cooperation albums between him and different makers like Exile, Mainframe, Ta’Raach, Bombay, Madlib, Nottz, and Union Analogtronics. He continues to be presented on over 200 tracks which have been officially released, and offers lent his vocals over beats by creation heavyweights such as for example Simply Blaze, Pharrell, The Origins, Pete Rock and roll, Megahertz, J Dilla, Alchemist, Nottz, The 45 Ruler, Diamond D, Huge Teacher, Sa Ra Innovative Partners, Soaring Lotus, L’Orange and many more. He offers collaborated on tracks with KRS One, Talib Kweli, The Origins, Slum Town, Lupe Fiasco, Proof, RBX, World Asia, Inspectah Deck, Homeboy Sandman, Asher Roth, Grouch & Eligh, AM I GOING TO Am, Roc Marciano, Ras Kass, Jurassic 5, MC Eiht, Kool Keith, Statik Selektah, Danny Dark brown, Black Dairy, Masta Ace, SA-RA, Theophilous London, J*Davey, Anderson Paak, Miguel and many more. He in addition has performed about 300 plus displays and offers individually spread his music internationally, with solid followings in locations like London, Tokyo, Paris, Berlin, Toronto, Zurich, Melbourne, Moscow, SOUTH USA and South Africa.

Early life

John Barnes III was created on Apr 15, 1983, in LA, California. He was launched to HIPHOP through his dad, who offered him LL Great J, Fat Kids, Kool Moe Dee, Ice-T, As well Brief, 2 Pac, and Geto Guys tapes as a child. His parents divide when he was 6, and his stepfather was a pastor who limited him from hearing hiphop and secular music. He sang in the cathedral choir as well as the choir in college. His cousin had written his initial rap when he was 13, that they incorporated within their dance routines that they do all around the neighborhoods. In SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL, Blu shifted to San Pedro where he started freestyle rapping in ciphers, producing karaoke mixtapes, and fighting rival crews. He broke his ankle joint in 12th quality and slipped out soon after he noticed he would not really have the ability to play golf ball all of those other season and several of his close friends were wiped out in gang wars. Blu held rapping while preserving odd careers like selling shoes or boots, warehouse function, and doing lighting for movie models.

Musical career

By age 19, Blu was offering out local displays on the Knitting Stock, House Of Blues, and headlining monthly on the Rumba Area on Universal Town Walk. In the past, he documented with several rap groups like the Sick Flava Staff, Infinite Legacy staff, The Untouchable Mob, Glory For THE INDIVIDUALS, The LA Metro Staff as well as the Bridgetown Metal Staff. He was also a contestant over the MTV video game show, “Who Has learned The Music group” and gained. Grammy award-winning manufacturer Megahertz acquired flown Blu out to LA to indication him to his brand-new label after making strikes for Jay-Z, R Kelly, P Diddy, Busta Rhymes, and Nas but ultimately walked from the offer. At age group 20, he previously started negotiating an archive deal with Loss of life Row Information but made a decision to separately discharge his first single album entitled “California Spirit”. It had been made by early collaborators, L’s and Bombay. It highlighted Bridgetown crew associates; Donel Smokes (Dark Spade) and Miguel aswell as after that RRAG Information label partner, RBX.

(2005 - 2008) Below The Heavens, C.R.A.C. and Johnson & Jonson

After performing a feature for group Research Task, Blu was introduced to Aloe Blacc, who was simply also featured over the album. Aloe Blacc stated he heard a whole lot about Blu and stated he should use the DJ/manufacturer of his group Emanon, Dj Exile. Exile arrived to a Blu present, and after asked him to become on his brand-new compilation record titled "Dirty Research" on Sound In Color Information. After hearing Blu on several compositions throughout Exile’s record, Sound In Color agreed upon Blu to a one-album offer and immediately begun to feature him on several produces for the label. After dealing with Oh No, and calling J Dilla and Madlib for creation by himself record, Blu made a decision to possess Exile generate his whole LP for Audio In Color. By enough time the record was performed Blu had finished two other complete measures albums, one with Detroit hiphop rapper/manufacturer Ta’Raach and with Audio In Color/Procedure Unknown manufacturer and CEO, Mainframe.In 2006, Blu pressed in the “Raised” EP and mixtape premiering several productions with Exile and music with J Dilla and KRS-One. While an starting act on the tour with Seattle-based LifeSavas and Dallas-based Unusual Fruit Task, Blu uncovered all three of his unreleased but completely finished full-length albums acquired leaked. The leak grew and crowds currently knew his music as he debuted them at each display for all of those other tour. These three albums begun to build a large hype online and captured the interest of Okayplayer, and also other sites like HipHopDX and Nah Best, who all called him “First year Of The Calendar year” once his record “Below the Heavens” was officially released in 2007. Audio In Color officially released the record but given that they had been almost bankrupt, just 7,000 copies of “Below The Heavens” was pressed on Compact disc, with no vinyl fabric apart from the one for the record, “Narrow Route”, that was also released in 2006. The label proceeded to go bankrupt a couple of months following the discharge.Blu then signed the other two albums that leaked in 2006 to Western world Coast separate rap label, Tres Information. Blu & Ta’Raach released the record entitled “The Piece Discussions” under a C.R.A.C. moniker. It had been completely made by Ta’Raach and highlighted Shawn Jackson, Noni Lomar, and Jazmin Mitchell. Originally marketed on tour in 2005, the Tres discharge included their white label strike, “Bullet Through Me” (Paul Mc Cartney cover) as well as the 12 inch solo, “Buy Me Lunchtime”.Blu’s record with Mainframe premiered beneath the group name, Johnson & Jonson. It had been made by Mainframe and ghost creation by Blu, aswell as features from Gonja Sufi and Miguel. It had been marketed with an instrumental defeat tape known as “Powders & Natural oils” which contains exclusive songs. Most of Johnson & Jonson music contains just two basic components: loops and raps.

(2009 - 2011) Production moniker GODlee Barnes and Her Favorite Colo(u)r

Blu used the creation methods he learned from focusing on albums with Exile, Mainframe, and Ta’Raach and started to make beats. He began focusing on a task titled “GOD is definitely Good” beneath the creation moniker GODlee Barnes. He created an instrumental recording, which was converted into a rap compilation known as, “Open up” with numerous performers who rapped on the instrumental edition of this recording. He also created an entire recording for Brooklyn emcee/acting professional, Sene, known as “A Day Past due & A Buck Short”. Later on, Blu created an album entitled “Her Preferred Colo(u)r” for himself, that was released free of charge download on-line after splitting up with his sweetheart.

(2009 - 2012) Warner Bros, York, Jesus, and Flowers

In '09 2009, Blu agreed upon an artist offer, an unbiased film offer, and a label offer for his company, " NEW WORLD " Color, to Tom Whalley at Warner Sibling Records. Then began focusing on a film and album known as, “No York”. The record would feature creation from LA beat picture heavyweights such as for example Traveling Lotus, SA-RA Innovative Companions, Daedelus, Madlib, Knxwledge, Samiyam, among others. The film was to become compiled by Blu and directed by Khalil Joseph. Ultimately, label mates begun to keep the label and all of the A&R’s begun to get fired. Then your leader, Tom Whalley was terminated and the complete label was bought out. This occurred over a calendar year . 5 and brought comprehensive stagnation to any Warner Bros. produces. Def Jam presidents and A&R’s were hired by Lyor Cohen, and Kyambo Joshua became Blu’s A&R and creative movie director. After a lot stagnation no one getting paid for efforts, Kyambo ultimately helped Blu keep the label and discharge his music separately.Blu then released an album in special event of his self-reliance titled “Jesus”, that was released under his imprint " NEW WORLD " Color, together with Character Sounds Information. This record was documented in two times, made by Blu, and offering creation from Madlib, Alchemist, Knxwledge, Hezekiah and Rome, and a Cameo from Globe Asia & Killer Ben of Du Rag Dynasty.During Blu’s stick with Warner Bros, he was presented with 50 is better than from DJ Exile. Blu didn’t experience the vibe suit his “No York” record but discovered a couple of previous songs he composed that acquired no beats. Blu documented about 25 music in fourteen days towards the Exile beats, that was afterwards released digitally and finally officially released under Dirty Research/Body fat Beats, as the Blu & Exile’s “Provide Me My Blooms While I COULD Still Smell Them”. Produced completely by DJ Exile, with unique features from Fashawn, Dag Savage, and Homeboy Sandman. The record was also released as instrumentals.The demonstration songs for “No York” were released being a dark album titled, “York”, under " NEW WORLD " Color. It had been mixtape design by featuring exceptional and previously released creation from Traveling Lotus, SA-RA Innovative Companions, Daedelus, Madlib, Knxwledge, Dibia$e, Samiyam, and Exile. In addition, it highlighted vocals from U-God (Wu-Tang), Edan, Theophilus London, SA-RA, J*Davey, Andy Also, Pac Div, UNI, Tiron, and Ayomari. It had been recorded in NY and LA. “York” was toured along the Western world Coast using the live music group, Koochie Monsters replaying all of the songs in the album. An organization with Ken Beats, co-producer of “York”, also spawned off under an organization known as, “Neu Ngz”. They performed live but hardly ever released any materials.

(2013 - 2016) Good To Be Home, Bad Neighbor, Nottz & Union Analogtronics

In 2014, Blu released a dual album produced entirely by one of is own first producers, Bombay. It had been titled “Great To Be House” because Blu was hooking up back along with his western world coast root base after touring the globe. It had been released on Character Sound Information and features Prodigy from Mobb Deep, and Western world Coast rappers Globe Asia, Solid Arm Steady, Proof, Alchemist, Chace Infinite, Imani from Pharcyde, LMNO & 2Mex girlfriend or boyfriend in the Visionaries, MED, Oh No, Fashawn, Pac Div, Co$$, Particular Mass and many more.Blu followed up with a cooperation record with MED, produced entirely by Madlib called “Poor Neighbor” with features from Rocks Toss alumni MF Doom, Aloe Blacc, Dam Funk, Anderson Paak, Mayor Hawthorne, Frank Nitt and Oh Zero, as well seeing that Hodgy Beats (Odd Potential), AMG, and Phonte. The record was promoted with a video and one for “Burgundy Whip” with Jimetta Rose back 2009. And implemented up with the one, “The Hype” b/w “Peroxide” offering Dam Funk. The record was also released as instrumentals.In 2013, Blu teamed up with infamous Virginia producer Nottz, for the EP “Gods In The Spirit” which included Homeboy Sandman, Aloe Blacc, Dag Savage, and many more. The EP was implemented up in 2016 with another EP, “Titans In The Flesh” which highlighted Skyzoo, Torae, Bishop Lamont and many more. Both EP’s had been released under Coalmine Information, with programs to re-release both EP’s as an LP entitled, “Gods In The Heart, Titans In The Flesh”. Blu also released EP’s with Ray Western world and Fate, aswell as 45’s with Alchemist as well as the 45 Ruler, and a 12 inches made by Pete Rock.2016, Fat Beats released the international collaboration record between French creation duo, Union Analogtronics and Blu, “Cheetah In The Town”. The record features Dam Funk, Phat Kat, Frank and Dank. The one for “LA Keeping track of” premiered with unique remixes from the melody by Exile, Daz I Que (Bugz N The Attic), Dibia$e and many more.In 2017, Blu & Exile will celebrate the 10th Wedding anniversary of “Below The Heavens” at Regent Movie theater in LA, California performed in its entirety using a live band.

Style and influences

Blu’s style is certainly focused around lyricism and a simple flow. His articles evolves around a self-righteous idea, hunger, the want to make, religion, lifestyle and death, and lots of braggadocio. He says each record is certainly a different time in the life span of Blu. His design and method of music were inspired by KRS One, Glaciers Cube, Common, 2Pac, Saul Williams, Mls Davis, James Dark brown, Bob Dylan, Curtis Mayfield, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Commendable Drew Ali, Malcom X, Abraham Lincoln, Langston Hughes, Eric Dolphy and Jay-Z. His preferred animal may be the cheetah as well as the blue whale.


Studio room Albums “Below The Heavens” (Blu & Exile) 2007 “The Piece Discussions” (Blu & Ta’Raach, as C.R.A.C.) 2008 “Johnson & Jonson” (Blu & Mainframe, as Johnson & Jonson) 2008 “Her Preferred Colo(u)r” (Blu) 2011 “Jesus” (B) 2011 “Provide Me My Blossoms While I COULD Still Smell Them” (Blu & Exile) 2012 “York” (Blu) 2013 “Great To Be House” (Blu & Bombay) 2014 “Poor Neighbor” (MED, Blu and Madlib) 2015 “Gods In The Spirit, Titans In The Flesh” (Blu & Nottz) 2013-2016 “Cheetah In The Town” (Blu & Union Analogtronics) 2016Mixtapes “Spirit Amazing” Volume A single (with DJ Space Monkey) “Spirit Amazing” Quantity Two (with NDJnous) “Spirit Amazing” Volume 3 (with DJ Lowkey) “Spirit Amazing” Volume 4 (with DJ Josh 1) “Spirit Amazing” Quantity Five (with Alchemist) “Spirit Amazing” Volume 6 (with DJ Artistic) “Spirit Amazing” Quantity Seven (with DJ Lowkey LA)EP’s “Crenshaw Jezebel” (Blu & Ray Western) 2016 “Open up Your Optics To Optimism” (Blu & Fate) 2016Production “Open up” compilation (with Various Designer) 2009 “A Day time Past due & A Buck Brief” (Sene) “Rael Blz” (Rael J Wallace) “A COUPLE OF Dirt” (Anthm) “Yes” (Cookbook of LA Symphony) “Homeboy Sandman MAY BE THE Sandman” (Homeboy Sandman)Singles “The Filter Route” 12 “Blu Training collar Employees” 45 “The Only Method” 12 “Moma Always Told Me personally” 12 “Purchase Me Lunch time” 12 “Bullet Through Me personally” White colored Label" 12 “Wed” 45 “Amnesia” 10 “Cell N L’s” 45 “Maybe 1 Day time” 10 “BNG” 45 “The Clean Hands” 12 “The Western” 45 “The Come back” 12 “The Burgundy” 12 “The Hype” 12 “The Switch Up” 12