By Aaron MatthewsL.A. producer Exile made his name on collaborative albums with underground rappers Fashawn and Blu, and experimental instrumental records like 2009's Radio. In a recent interview with Exclaim, the beatmaker revealed that he and Blu have completed the follow-up to their critically acclaimed 2007 album Below the Heavens.
Exile is happy about the album but says he "still wants to do another three new songs for it" before it's ready for release. Exile is also hard at work on a new Emanon album, the duo composed of the producer and now-singer Aloe Blacc.
"Aloe's rapping again," Exile promises. "It's definitely a little darker, a little more mature than the last record [2005's The Waiting Room]."
On top of those projects, he has also begun collaborating with Jay-Z/Common producer and Kanye West mentor No I.D., leading to the oddest revelation of all: Exile and No I.D. recently scored a collaboration between acclaimed underground rap legend Talib Kweli and Cash Money rapper Bow Wow. Yes, the rapper best known for a string of pop hits in the early 2000s as teen rapper Lil Bow Wow, and for a starring role in inspirational basketball flick Like Mike.
The track is still untitled, with release plans uncertain, but Exile claims, "Bow Wow seriously stepped up his bars."