A dope summer release you might not have heard of.
On July 15th earlier this year, Blu and Nottz released a collaborative EP on Coalmine Records entitled Titans in the Flesh. It wasn't the first time both artists worked together as it is the follow-up to their critically acclaimed 2013 Gods in the Spirit EP. You can listen to the entire EP on Soundcloud.
The duo made it clear that their 2013 collaboration wouldn't be the last time they worked together, but there was no timeline as to when that would happen. They did not want to rush into anything and three years later they are finally back with Titans in the Flesh.
Blu is a rapper and producer from the San Pedro neighborhood from Los Angeles. He had his breakthrough in 2007 with Below the Heavens a collaborative album he recorded with Exile. Since his beginnings, Blu has had a prolific career and released solo and collaborative records and has shared the spotlight with artists such as Madlib, The Roots, Slum Village, CunninLynguists, Black Milk and Kool Keith just to name a few. Nottz is a producer and rapper from Norfolk, VA. Nottz's first steps as a producer can be dated as early as 1998 on the Rawkus Racords compilation Lyricist Lounge, Volume One. Better known for his production work for some of the biggest names in hip-hop such as Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg, Notorious B.I.G. and J Dilla, Nottz released his first solo album in 2010 where he features as an emcee as well as a producer.
Titans in the Flesh is a 7 track EP lasting almost 27 minutes and containing 6 original tracks along with a remix of one of the tracks. The EP has a number of guests joining Blu and Nottz on the mic including rappers Exile, Bishop Lamont, Torae, Skyzoo and singer Shateish. Nottz produced the beats for Titans in the Flesh and did a marvelous job. He managed to provide a great platform for Blu to unfold his skills as a lyricist. Whether it be over a slow and haunting organ coupled with a crepitating loop and bass line, a spaced out funky beat coupled with strings or a rawer bass line and beat coupled with brass instruments and a guitar, Blu depicts the American landscape as he sees it through political and social commentary with reflective and sincere lyrics while having greek and roman mythology as a central theme. What is worth being noted is that, although the EP has a clear message and is there to provoke thought, it is never preachy or pushy and the artists just want to stimulate the listeners to think critically. If you enjoy lyrically skilled rappers spitting over dope beats, this is definitely something for you.
As of yet no video was released for any of the tracks of the EP, but below you will find the video for the song 'Assassin' produced by Nottz which features raps by Blu and ScienZe.
The Titans in the Flesh EP is available for stream on Spotify and on the iTunes Store. There is also a limited edition of 500 copies of the record that were pressed on “Easter Yellow” colored vinyl which is available over at FatBeats and comes with a couple of extra instrumentals and an acapella version of the track 'The Man'.