In an unexpected turn of events, dynamic hip-hop duo, Blu & Exile, have recently regained full ownership of their groundbreaking debut album, Below the Heavens, after 16 years of alleged no royalty payments. This revelation has not only sparked curiosity and anger at the initial deal, but shed light on the significance of a classic 2000s album in the realm of jazz-based hip-hop.
Released in 2007, Below the Heavens was an instant hit, earning immense praise from critics and fans alike. However, the financial aspect of the album remained tangled in obscurity that was unknown for years. On July 17, Exile took to Instagram to announce that they had finally reclaimed full control over their creation from a financial perspective:
The album’s significance lies not only in its exceptional lyricism but also in its organic and well-rounded approach. Blu & Exile seamlessly weave diverse styles and topics, all anchored around the deeper theme of the pursuit of happiness in life. It wasn’t just another compilation of songs; it was a genuine reflection of Blu’s life, upbringing, and experiences. While Blu’s introspective and thought-provoking lyrics captured hearts, Exile’s unmatched production was equally pivotal to the album’s success. Their creative synergy was evident throughout, reflecting a rare connection between artist and producer. Exile’s beats effortlessly complemented Blu’s unique rhyme style, making them a truly symbiotic act, akin to a pairing like DJ Premier and Guru of Gangstarr.
The enduring legacy of Below the Heavens extends beyond its critical acclaim. The album’s organic and honest approach inspired countless aspiring artists, encouraging them to explore their own journeys through music. It was more than a collection of tracks; it was a movement that inspired countless artists to embrace the jazz/boom-bap and lyrically heavy style. As Blu & Exile now celebrate full ownership, the album now serves as a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and artistic vision. Its enduring allure continues to remind us that true artistry should always remain in the hands of its creator.