Release Date: May 19, 2014
Record label: Nature Sounds
If you've been paying any attention to the career of West coast MC Blu, you'll know that it's been a bit of a rollercoaster ride. After issuing Below The Heavens as the MCing half of hip-hop duo Blu & Exile, an album that garnered universal love and acclaim throughout the hip-hop underground in 2007, Blu's career feels like it has taken on some erratic and, frankly, head-scratching turns. Various experimental projects that did not harness his lyrical mastery, un-mastered albums popping up on the internet without warning and the rumour that Blu was walking around handing out his unreleased major label debut NoYork! (apparently he was dropped from Warner) didn't exactly stoke hope that he'd release a definitive project channelling his talents.
Blu has tiptoed around the Hip Hop scene throughout his career. Living in the margins of the mainstream on one hand and unfairly beholden to the underground on the other, he hasn’t had the right mix of material and label backing for an appropriate splash. Still, not tracking his process would be standoffish or out-of-touch. Alongside his finer work he’s left behind loose projects that sound both like unpolished gems and unfinished drafts.
Blu has the tendency to frustrate, willingly or otherwise. Many of the people he frustrates, specifically, are folks who latched onto his music back when his magnificent debut, the Exile-produced Below the Heavens, left a permanent dent in their subconscious. Blu's jumped through a succession of sideways evolutions and detours-turned-thoroughfares ever since; even his much-awaited Exile reunion Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them saw a premature, lo-fi release on Bandcamp before seeing a proper release a year later.
Jay Z’s stance on his only double album, The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse, is “too many songs,” and the same applies to Blu’s Good To Be Home. Similar to the title, the record’s first track, “Home,” is telling of a major theme, Blu’s time in Cali and ties to the western state; “I emerge for all my people who ain’t never seen the world like me/Still ain’t forgot where I’m from/Now, we back, like the prodigal son,” the one-time XXL Freshman (Class of 2009) spits to conclude the song’s second verse. Even so, the theme goes off course multiple times.