Born Johnson Barnes into a pastor's family in San Pedro, California, Blu is an underground rapper with evident Christian influences in his hip-hop. After building his reputation as a promoter and collaborator for various underground Los Angeles acts, Blu was offered a record contract with multiple major labels, but decided to sign with a small local label instead. Releasing multiple EPs and singles as a solo project and with fellow rapper Exile. Blu honed his sound, rife with vintage jazz and soul samples, until he felt ready for a major label record deal and finally signing with Warner Bros. in 2011. Consistently dubbed one the country's up and coming emcees, Blu's fan base only continues to grow with every track he releases.