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The Blue – Yard Sale [Review]

Calgary, AB – Calgary’s young stunner, 17-year old Hemen “The Blue” Tor-Agbidyehas just dropped his debut album Yard Sale. This 12-track album puts The Blue ahead of his years— he wrote all of the joints himself and establishes his music as jazzy R&B-tinged, chill out hip-hop. Yard Sale features collaborations with local rappers Transit, Obey The Crooks’ Sam Avant, C4 and Geeze as well as sassy soul singer Becca Janz.

 The Blue – Yard Sale [Review]  -

The album begins with a hungry track, “Hoping for the Best.” The Blue gets things hopping with an earworm hook, “Knock, knock. Let me in. I’m about to get it in.” He’s not cocky, though – he just affirms that he’s here to bring his music to the table. The album leads into the second track, The Blue’s hit collaboration with Transit titled “Loose Laces.” The track blew up earlier on in 2013 after the video was released and helped Blue establish his place in the scene. In fact, The Blue has launched a line of Loose Laces t-shirts that he wears around town. These shirts have earned him recognition from admiring fans on Calgary’s public transit.

“Get Back to This” is the smoothest track on the album and asserts Blue’s love for hip-hop. Although The Blue is too young to get jiggy with the ladies, this track is about as suave as it gets. But The Blue keeps it from entering PG-13 territory with cheeky lyrics like, “Make your heads turn—kind of like rotisserie” and “It’s not about who’s making more dough than the baker.”

The album gets deep for a few reflective tracks, “Do You Remember,” “Thoughts In My Head” and “These Days.” The tracks muse about “fans” who don’t buy tracks and taking music beyond the money as well as the potential of youth, and most importantly— the need to bring more love into the industry.

Yard Sale winds down with a shout-out track, “Time Stands Still.” The Blue takes the time to thank his parents and supportive hip-hop-loving uncle. The last track on Yard Sale is a mellow groover,“Kites.” Listeners are encouraged to do what they do best: “If you’re a dancer, just keep on twirling. And if you’re a model just keep on hurling — I’m joking.” Okay. Bulimic humour isn’t that funny. But The Blue delves into some real talk “I’m not bragging—I’m just happy as can be.” And he should be.

School is out for the summer and The Blue is launching himself, head-first, into his craft. By the time his high school graduation rolls around in 2014, the Blue will be the coolest kid in school.The album is only available in hard copy for the time being. But the digital download will be available on iTunes in July when The Blue drops his video with Geeze for “Get Back to This.” In the meantime, give “Can’t Help It” a listen below.

Twitter: @thebluexo

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Sarah Jay

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Sarah Jay is HipHopCanada's Associate Editor in Chief. Sarah is based in Calgary and works as a freelance journalist and photographer. Sarah is also a former A&R talent scout for the Universal Music Scouting Program, and runs a vintage store during the day. Sarah has juried the JUNO Awards, The Polaris Music Prize, and The Prism Prize. She has been fortunate enough to interview and photograph some of hip-hop's greatest influencers including Future, ScHoolboy Q, Ghostface Killah, Moka Only, Maestro Fresh Wes, Shad, Joey Bada$$, Mac Miller, and more. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @ThisIsSarahJay

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