How Sound Affects...Below The Heavens


This month's contributor for "How Sound Affects" is music producer Maja7th. Maja7th's production credits include work with artists such as Killah Priest, Freddie Gibbbs and Dominique Larue. Maja7th has spent time living in Indiana, Chicago and Washington DC.

Every once and a while I engage in “Hip Hop” debates and have to listen to at least one soliloquy about how I only like "conscious" music. The IRONY is most of the times I end up in these conversations I’m being told this by people that have children, want them to brought up around positive images and love their kids unconditionally. If I mention that I don’t like a particular “Trap House” song because its regurgitating the same content or its lacking creativity, I’m deemed yet again…"conscious". There is a time and place for everything but are we at the club and shooting people 24/7? 

Blu and Exile’s Below The Heavens, to me, is a classic album and a masterpiece filled with life experiences that expand much further than being conscious. The stories of day to day tribulations and travail are truly incredible. Have we not all been there before?  A cohesive album doesn’t limit itself to content or big names or features. Classic albums just work! The production tells a story. The lyrics coincide with the tracks and the records are placed strategically like the engine in that model corvette you tried to put together with the strong smelling super glue. This can happen in any genre with any subject matter.


I remember living in Chicago and having one my best friends Kenneth “Pete Sayke” Cook call me a say “Dude have you heard Blu”?????? I had no idea who he was. Since my guy was a credible source we sat down and listened to the entire album front to back. I was blown away.

One minute you’re a baby and the next
you’re sexing without protection
and now your holding a baby...
Like damn, I was just in your shoes
now you’re the papa that’s adjusting they shoes.
Teach them to walk straight.
Cause honestly they got a long way to go,
and what you tell ‘em now is all that they know
— Blu from "In Rememberance of Me"

With songs like “In Remembrance” and “Cold Hearted” Blu raps about things in his life that biggest “D-Boy” can relate to.  This album is for the everyday person inside us all. This isn’t about the kid in the suburbs or the kid that grew up in the inner city on 69th and Ashland. This album is about life. The project really changed how I approach music, what I look for in albums that I listen to and the music I make personally. There are albums that alter your perspective and this is one of them. (*plays track 5 and smiles like James Evans Jr saying “IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII KNNNOOOOOOOOWWWWWW**)

- Maja7th