Saturday, January 3, 2009

Emanon (Aloe Blacc & Exile)

Emanon (no namE) consists of emcee/producer Aloe Blacc and producer/emcee Eksile (now Exile). The west coast duo's first release, Imaginary Friends, was originally released in 1996 and distributed independently. According to discogs, it was a dual-tape set, with the first being a mix of Exile's blends and instrumentals (sadly I don't have this, if anyone does feel free to post it because I'd really like to hear it).

After releasing a few 12" singles, the group released their Acid Nine EP in 1999. Shortly after came their Dawn's Second Coming album/mix, which like their first release, came with both an Emanon tape and an Exile mix tape.

With numerous 12" singles and a few mix albums now under their belt, Emanon would be exposed to the underground in the new millenium. Ill Boogie Records, home of other hip-hop artists like Mykill Myers, Styles of Beyond, DemiGodz, and more, signed the group and released their first EP, Anon & On, in 2002.

Aloe Blacc released a self-titled solo EP in 2003. Not that it needed to be proven at this point, but the EP showed that Blacc was capable of doing an album on his own.

However, it would not be long before the duo got back in the studio. Now signed to the Shaman Work label, the group returned in 2004 with their 12" single, "Count You Blessings" b/w "The Reasons." This 12" became the lead single for their 2005 release, The Waiting Room. Album reviews credited both artists' respective skills and their undeniably dope chemistry that complemented one another.

In 2006, both artists would invade the industry as solo artists. Stones Throw Records promoted Aloe Blacc with numerous 12" singles that would lead up to his album, Shine Through. While Blacc had continued to grow as an emcee, this album displayed his growth as a producer. Blacc produced the entire album aside from two tracks done by fellow Stones Throwers, Madlib and Oh No. The multi-talented artist did not disappoint.

Shortly after, Exile completed his album, Dirty Science, released on Sound In Color in 2006. With some of his best production to date, the album featured collaborations with Slum Village, Kardinal Offishall, Oh No, and more. Dirty Science also introduced West Coast emcee Blu. Exile's sample-heavy production paved a perfect path for Blu's laid-back, real-life, intelligent flows. The chemistry between the two artists led to arguably the best hip-hop album of the decade, Below the Heavens: In Hell Happy With Your New Imaginary Friend...

I was actually lucky enough to see Blu & Exile together at the Shadow Lounge (aka the place to be in the 'Burgh, fuck what ya heard). One of the illest shows I've ever seen! The power went out shortly after the opening acts were done (Word.), Exile had just came in and began setting up his hardware. Some people left, but at very least 50 real heads stayed and chilled outside. After it seemed like the power as gonna be out for a while, they set-up an amp outside that was running off a car battery (Word.). So Exile started pumping some beats through his car into the amp while Blu spit mic-less outside the lounge. And as if shit couldn't get any more real, Blu called out for the beat-boxers and Gene Jive, Knowledge Build, and I think one other dude started beatboxing while Blu spit (Word.). Yo, the shit was so fucking hype. About 15 minutes into it the power came back on in the lounge and everybody rolled back inside. The whole thing took me back, I wanted it to stay outside on the real!

Emanon - Imaginary Friends
1. Assume Not
2. Emanon (ft. Dru)
3. Whats N A Name (Prod. by Cheapshot)
4. Everylittlething
5. Interlude
6. Deadly Venom
7. The Circle
8. Hideout (ft. Acapella)
9. AmeriKKKan Dreams
10. Interlude
11. Dream Sequence
12. Situations (ft. Takbir, Prod. by Cheapshot)
13. Me vs $ (Prod. by Cheapshot)
14. Cheating

Matter of fact, if anyone knows where I can get the Acid Nine EP or Dawn's Second Coming, your help would be appreciated. I've never heard em so I'll take em in any form. I'll even buy the tapes if I have to.


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