Johnson Barnes (born April 15, 1983 in Inglewood, California), better known by the stage name Blu, is an American rapper signed to the independent Sound in Colour. In 2007 he released his debut album, Below the Heavens, which was produced entirely by Exile, one half of Emanon. Since then he has released two official mixtapes, collaborated with Mainframe under the name Johnson&Jonson, and formed the group C.R.A.C. Knuckles with Ta'raach.
Blu is definitely a leader in the new school of Los Angeles emcees. His presence is undeniable, while his music captivates audiences regardless of race, class, and gender. Although many are still unaware of Blu's work, "Below The Heavens" guarantees to take LA hip hop back to the place where Freestyle Fellowship, Jurassic 5, and The Pharcyde left off.
Blu's first full length LP, "Below The Heavens" pairs Blu with producer Exile on the Sound In Color imprint and was released in August 2007. Village Voice called it "one of the most thoughtful indie-rap releases in some time". His first single, "The Narrow Path" has rocked stages across the world, and fans are beginning to realize the impact of Blu's music. His delivery flows flawlessly, while his content reflects the joy and pain of working class youth everywhere.