Revered by underground heads all over the hip hop globe, L.A. rapper-producer duo Blu and Exile specialize in head-nodding music with a message. Returning with another soul-speckled original, Blu and Exile share the lovingly animated “Sold The Soul” video. A charmingly dusty, piano-led boom-bap track, “Sold The Soul” concerns the conflict between commercial appeal and artistic vision. Creatively dramatizing the central battle between Blu and his soul with gothic animation, the “Sold The Soul” video is a cosmic delight, grounded by Blu’s lyrics, which appear onscreen throughout the video. Directed and animated by Justin Herman and premiered by HipHopDX, “Sold The Soul” is the latest release from In The Beginning: Before The Heavens, a new collection of unearthed gems from the sessions of the duo’s cult-classic Below The Heavens album.
Emerging from a fertile Los Angeles underground scene in 2007, Blu and Exile’s Below The Heavens was an instant cult classic, showcasing Blu’s incisive and thoughtful bars over Exile’s dusty-yet-beautiful soul-sampling instrumentals. Premiered with an interview by Billboard, In The Beginning: Before The Heavens is a rare time capsule that sounds just as fresh now as in 2007, providing manna for fans of underground hip-hop on both coasts. Featuring appearances from Aloe Blacc, Co$$, Donel Smokes, Blame One, Dr. Oop, and more, In The Beginning: Before The Heavens arrives via Dirty Science/Fat Beats. In 2017, the duo reunited for the nationwide headlining Below The Heavens 10th Anniversary tour. “We planted the seeds of creativity and grew about 40 plants,” Exile says of In The Beginning: Before The Heavens. “We picked the ones that we thought were the best for an album, but that didn’t mean that the other flowers weren’t beautiful. I’m super happy to re-release [In The Beginning] to people and have it actually get some attention that it definitely deserves. It’s amazing.”