The title of Skyscraper Blu’s new mixtape is “LABI,” which stands for “Living Above Basic Individuals.” For the Rosedale rapper though, that line is not a title, but his philosophy of standing out from the crowd.
“It basically means being better than those who choose to live a life of mediocrity,” he said.
When Blu was younger, he almost fell into the trap of settling for less than his full potential. While he had a strong passion for music, he said he was made to believe that he should follow more practical career options. One YouTube video changed all that though.
“Sometime around my third year in college, I saw this inspiring YouTube video with Will Smith, which was enough to make me believe in my dreams again,” he said. “The video is still up and it’s called ‘Will Smith’s Words of Wisdom.’ I recommend it to everyone.”
Since then, Blu has created his own hip-hop style that has a similar flow to Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole, with an emphasis on strong lyrics. He said his music, which targets high school and college students in the urban community, is inspired by other artists and songs he hears. If a song resonates with him, he tries to take motivation from it, while contributing his own style.
When he writes his lyrics, they are planned out and slowly developed, which each line carefully constructed.
“I often like to plan ahead what I’ll be writing about and then from there I try to think of the most creative and relatable lines relevant to the topic,” he said. “It usually takes me days to write my verses because I’m so meticulous when it comes to my music.”
This thorough method led to the creation of “LABI.” Although it initially started as a mixtape, Blu said that it transformed into something closer to a full album during its production.
“At first, I just wanted to create a body of work exhibiting my talents as both a lyricist and a song writer. But eventually as I got more and more into making it, I began to really put my heart into the music and started treating it more like an album,” he said. “While it still does serve its initial purpose, it’s more than just another mixtape.”
There are a few special guests throughout the 16 tracks on “LABI.” Chanel Nicole, Fred The Godson, Patty Rockmore from Peace Fam, RP from Team Blackout and Karina all contribute their talents to the record, mixing their skills with Skyscraper Blu.
Even as he has grown as an artist and his career has started to achieve lift-off, Blu remains close to his roots in Southeast Queens.
“Queens in general is where I’ve made unforgettable relationships, chased a lot of girls and had wild nights out with my friends,” he said. “They definitely make for some good stories that I think the average kid from Queens can relate to.”
For more information on Skyscraper Blu, visit www.facebook.com/skyscraperblumusic.