John Barnes III (born April 15, 1983), better known by his stage name Blu, is an American West Coast rapper from Los Angeles, California. He is best known for his group Blu & Exile and their debut album Below the Heavens. He is a forefront member of the California-based collective, Dirty Science. Blu is also co-CEO of New World Color, a label through which he is releasing many of his projects. He is recognized for his collaboration albums between him and various producers like Exile, Mainframe, Ta'Raach, Bombay, Madlib, Nottz, and Union Analogtronics. He has also performed about 300 plus shows and has independently spread his music internationally, with strong followings in places like London, Tokyo, Paris, Berlin, Toronto, Zurich, Melbourne, Moscow, South America and South Africa.