Last time I talked about the new Blu and Exile album, Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them, I kinda shitted on it slightly, but it was, at the very least, a backhanded compliment. I feel like I should rephrase a thing or two: this is a fuckin’ great rap album. I still play it and enjoy large portions of it, though I do think something special was lost in translation from the demo version to the “official.” But that doesn’t mean the entire project was rendered sterile.
“Growing Pains” is a shining example of the advantages of a properly mixed and mastered product. Every time I would play the original version of this in my car, I’d be straining its worn factory sound system to get the proper propulsion from the energetic Exile beat all four MCs bounce off from. It was always a chore, but this new version bangs very appropriately and is an instance of a song on the project benefiting from the mastering process.
Don’t let semi-jaded people like me deter you from checking out one of the best hip-hop LPs of the year!