The theme for Ground & Water was conceived by Blu’s own vision conceptually, and these ideas were then enhanced musically by the creative mind of producer Damu The Fudgemunk.
A feast of production styles with elements of styles from Prog Rock, Jazz, Country & Western, to Korean, Haitian, Electro, Classical, Brazilian, Israeli, Latin, Indian, and all through vinyl sampling without an extra synth in sight!
The result is one of the most creatively enhancing projects this year within the world of hiphop.
Both artists had debut albums in 2007 that became cult classics. Blu had “Below the Heavens” with producer Exile, and Damu had “Travel at Your Own Pace” with MC Insight. Collaborating at this stage in their careers felt like a full circle, having been previous label mates in the beginning trying to make a name for themselves.
The project contains a very in depth journey lyrically by Blu, proving once again why he is one of the most innovative rappers out there today. This pairs with so many detailed intricacies, and subtle homages to the culture by Damu. He tried to sprinkle those things throughout the record, and it includes samples from Ice T, Kendrick Lamar, People Under the Stairs, Snoop Dogg, NWA, Dilated Peoples, and Jurassic 5 (just to name a few!)
With Blu being from Los Angeles, and Damu from Washington DC, he’s always been a big fan of the colossal amount of artists from LA, he wanted to put the album together in this way.
Alongside the main singles “Share The Love” and “Ground and Water”, other tracks such as “Feet on the Ground”, “Rhymes & Gemstones”, and “Grey Heaven” resonated with Damu on a personal level. Blu also got very personal and introspective with the concepts.
Spirituality, self motivation, faith, guilt, growth, life lessons, mistakes, humbling experiences and survival in a major US city are conversations that they both engage in on a daily basis internally and externally. Those subjects never expire no matter the artist, medium, platform, language or location.
Blu has been very consistent incorporating those conversations and themes in all of his catalog. With Ground & Water he elaborated deeper on these subjects and since they never expire, Damu also embraced them as a listener and also a storyteller.
Like all of his releases most of which are instrumental, Damu wanted the music to tell a story. With Blu being the voice, he set the tone for them to both bring in all to life. I guess you could compare it to the production of a comic where there’s a story writing department, an outline/sketch team, and then a colouring and shading side.
Between Blu and Damu, they unknowingly took on those modular parts to make something cohesive, and for every guest contributor fit right into the story, with stories of their own.
Damu The Fudgemunk said:
“So whether you’re a music nerd, a beat head or a casual listener, I hope your biggest takeaway from my contribution is that I was passionate about the construction these records and enjoyed doing so. If I did that then, my personal goal is accomplished. Blu’s lyrics will go far enough alone.”