Exile (producer)

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Exile Photo 2.jpg
Background information
Birth nameAleksander Manfredi
OriginLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active1995–present
Associated acts

Aleksander Manfredi, better known by his stage name Exile,[1] is an American hip hop music producer, disc jockey (DJ) and occasional rapper. Aside from his solo career, Exile is a member of the musical groups, Emanon alongside Aloe Blacc, as well as Blu & Exile.

Musical career[edit]

His first record appearances were as a member of the hip hop duo Emanon with rapper/singer Aloe Blacc. They released music on the b sides of various DJ Exile mix tapes, beginning in 1994 with "Dream Sequence" 1995 “Stretch Marks” But it wasn’t until their 1996 mixtape they really got worldwide recognition off of a cassette tape! You know, the rectangular shaped piece of plastic that actually ha music on the ribbon of the tape? yes those. Moving along they finally pressed vinyl and began getting regular spins on power 106 Friday night flavors in Los Angeles, later releasing Anon & On. After 2002, Exile went on to release one more Emanon album, The Waiting Room (2004), a solo album, Dirty Science (2006),[3] and another collaborative effort with the rapper Blu, Below the Heavens (2007).[ Exile released two more solo albums, Radio in 2009 where he broke ground making an album solely out of radio shows in Los Angeles! From basslines, drums, 808, vocals, the whole album was made from LA radio waves. later- 4TRK Mind in 2011. 2013 saw the release of his instrumental album, Zip Disks & Floppies. In 2007, the same year that Kanye vs. 50 Cent in an album sales battle dominated headlines in the mainstream, Blu and Exile were carving their own path with an instant classic. The rapper born Johnson Barnes and the DJ/producer born Aleksander Manfredi released Below the Heavens: In Hell Happy With Your New Imaginary Friend on July 17. Featuring soul-infused, J. Dilla meets Pete Rock-inspired production with the raw vulnerability of Blu’s rhymes, the album began to receive rave reviews by hip-hop tastemakers and underground enthusiasts. In a review penned by 2DopeBoys’ Shake for HipHopDX, he gave it a 4/5 and noted that Blu is an “an extremely talented lyricist; clever rhymes, technically sound, intensely personal and witty.” Below the Heavens impacted everyone in some way, as it would later end up on many critics’ year-end lists from all over the internet. Compared to Blu, who was a fresh 22-year-old rapper in the L.A. scene making ends meet by being a hypeman, Exile had already established himself with production credits on projects by Jurassic 5, Kardinal Offishall, Mobb Deep, among others. According to Exile, he was introduced to Blu through Aloe Blacc, who was the vocalist behind their group Emanon. “Aloe had actually met him first and Aloe had brought me over to see him perform,” Exile says of seeing Blu perform in L.A. in 2003. “It was just this hungry [MC], happy to be rocking on stage, and he was killing it.” At the time, Exile was working on his Dirty Science compilation album. He wanted to recruit Blu as one of the featured rappers, so he gave him a batch of beats to rhyme over. Blu, who was already a fan of Emanon, liked that Exile’s sound was so sample-driven – a hallmark of hip-hop’s golden era. The pair got into the studio to create “Party of Two” (their first collaboration) “Maintain,” and “The Narrow Path.” Their good chemistry sparked the idea to make a full-length album together. “After that day, we knew we wanted to make an album with each other,” he says. “I remember being in the car after our session and just talking for a long time about the album and what we wanted it to be.” From then on, Below the Heavens slowly earned its reputation as a milestone for West Coast underground hip-hop, delivering a pure and authentic experience for the Okayplayer heads. Although Sound in Color only pressed 3,000 copies back then and Below the Heavens suffered a premature leak online, the rarity of the physical CD added to the mythology of why people needed to cop and listen or face fear of missing out. Blu had a knack for grappling with his everyman struggles and conveying them in relatable detail, using Exile’s instrumentals as a vehicle for his emotions. When he touched on thoughts of hopelessness, frustration, love, or spiritual enlightenment, people certainly adored it because he was being so honest. “People loved those personal stories, all the braggadocio over soul samples, all the sincerity. No one looked at me as if I made a bad decision for making an underground record as opposed to something that could gain commercial success,” Blu said in an interview. “You feel the culture in the record … the nostalgia that makes you reminisce on those classic records. Sample static, drum breaks, raw lyricism and actual content — all for the West Coast.” During subsequent years, Blu would go on to land a spot on the 2009 XXL Freshman Class alongside rappers such as Wale, Kid Cudi, B.o.B, and Charles Hamilton, largely based on the success of Below the Heavens. Blu and Exile would reunite in 2012 for Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them that was also critically acclaimed. Outside of their collaborative work, they have had fruitful solo careers too. Blu would drop countless mixtapes and EPs and continue to make one-producer albums with Bombay, Madlib, and Nottz. Exile recently helmed the majority of production for Fashawn’s The Ecology and released a new Emanon album titled Dystopia. 2017 marks the 10-year anniversary of Below the Heavens. One of the interesting tidbits about the album is Blu and Exile made over 40 songs, with only 15 of them making the final cut. Now, the duo is reuniting for their third release, In the Beginning: Before the Heavens, a collection of the best tracks from the original sessions. “I’m super happy to re-release it to people and have it actually get some attention that it definitely deserves,” Exile says. “It’s amazing.” As well as producing all these albums Exile also founded Dirty Science Records in 2012, and has a slew of projects to release with his crew, from Choosey, Cashus King, Pistol McFly, Blu and Exile an more! From 2019 and beyond! Stay Tuned.

Style and influences[edit]

Exile is known for "coarsely chopped beats" that give off "laid back soulful vibes".[2] He claims his influences to be Dj Pooh, Dj Bobcat, Mr. Mixx and the contemporary producers J Dilla, Jon Brion and Madlib.[3]


Studio albums[edit]

  • Anon and On (with Aloe Blacc as Emanon)(2002)
  • The Waiting Room (with Aloe Blacc as Emanon)(2005)
  • Dirty Science (2006)
  • Below the Heavens (Blu and Exile)(2007)
  • Radio (2009)
  • Radio AM/FM (2010)
  • 4TRK Mind (2011)
  • Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them ( Blu and Exile)(2012)
  • Zip Disks & Floppies (2013)
  • E&J (2014) (with Johaz as Dag Savage)
  • Dystopia (with Aloe Blacc as Emanon)(2016)

Remix albums[edit]

  • Radio Bonus (2010)


  • Radio AM/FM EP (2010)
  • Los Angeles 10/10 (2011) (with Free the Robots)
  • The Dag Savage EP (2013) (with Johaz as Dag Savage)


  • Dream Sequence (1994) (Dj Exile)
  • Stretch Marks (1995) (with Aloe Blacc and Dj Exile as Emanon)
  • Imaginary Friends (1996) (with Aloe Blacc and Dj Exile as Emanon)
  • Gone Postal (1997) (Dj Exile)
  • Dawns Second Coming (1998) (with Aloe Blacc and DJ Exile as Emanon)
  • Salvation (2012) (with Exile and Johaz as Dag Savage)
  • The Warning Tape (2014) (with Exile and Johaz Dag Savage)


  • "Time Has Come" (2005)
  • "Stay Tuned" (2009)

Production credits[edit]


  1. ^ Krimper, Michael (April 13, 2010). "An MPC fiend at work". SF Bay Guardian.
  2. ^ "Exile: Dirty Science Review". CoolHunting.com. Retrieved March 6, 2008.
  3. ^ "Featured Interview: Blu & Exile". IllRoots.com. Retrieved March 6, 2008.

External links[edit]