Friday, February 29, 2008

29 Days of Lupe Fiasco: G.O.A.T.

It's actually quite simple.

No. Given Lupe will finish with three albums, half a dozen mixtapes and a collabo album, in CRS, it's not enough material to claim G.O.A.T. Every detractor will stake this claim. And they're right. Being the greatest means long lasting greatness. Would Lupe so sound ill in five years? Will his Cool schtick run its course and grow stale? I dig the Cool movement, er, the anti-Cool movement BUT could Lupe be tight without the Cool? I think he's so good that he could leave the Cool shit behind and make great music. It's just that he'd actually have to demonstrate that to us. Ice Cube was a beast and was Gangster Rap's Icon in the early 90's. Then he went Hollywood, made kiddie movies and so-so albums in between (I wouldn't know, I never let my ears listen the War & Peace volumes). In '95 there may have been claims of Cube slapping his sticker atop the halls of greatness. Eminem's first three albums were progressively better but his fourth was a clunker that killed his career (and Kim and his mental state etc., etc.). Papoose was supposed to be the next best but he oversaturated his own hustle with those mixtapes (see today). Wackness can strike the best of them, really. Right now I'd doubt it would ever happen to Lupe because he's far superior to each of them. But we never know until time plays out. Since he'll be gone before there's that possibility of sounding wack, I can't give him the spot. As much as Jay Z overuses it, and as much as some of the projects were regular, he did come for 12 straight summers (or however long).

Yes. Those arguments are about the only knocks on Lupe. The lyrical prowess he posesses is--his only competetion is Jay Z. I'll just be simple. It's either him or Jay. Lupe is just about as smooth as Jay is on the delivery. Other than that he's got: content, connection, quality over quantity. I've never heard a weak track from Lupe. Jay still makes goofy club songs and some of the beats he chooses are terrible. Lupe may not need a beat. Sometimes I listen to Jay for the beat ('I'm sorry, what you want me to do?'). Fuck the only three albums shit. He's had top notch mixtapes and features. A great rapper doesn't need to show up 12 summers to be tight. Whatever Lupe was done so far, he's smashed the competetion. The trilogy will be in my stereo 30 years from now. Lupe's down to Earth. Jay can be an asshole, talking about Warhols in his halls ("Ain't I")? Get the fuck outta here. Jay has never spoken to me. While the Cool movement doesn't necessarily pertain to me, I still find a connection to him. He's had a profound impact on my life, on the way I think. Jay... Pahhlease! Very few musicians of any genre have done meant something to me. Tupac is probably the only rapper that has affected me previously. He'll go down as not only the best rapper ever but one of the best musicians ever. Lupe is my ideal vision of a rapper. I'd never thought I'd find it but I did. Thirty years from now, we still won't find another Lupe. His nonchalant attitude, exibited most of the times, is a huge plus; he's been able to carve out a G.O.A.T. spot without the fanfare. My favorite thing about Lupe's music is that it hits on many levels. You want conscious, you got it. Ditto for an MC, personal connections (he's at my level), beats, when I want to sing along or just have background music, in the ride--Lupe is good anytime, anywhere. I could listen to Lupe with a splitting headache. 29 days of Lupe is like giving 29 reasons why Lupe is G.O.A.T. Move over (and tighten up the tie) Jay, you've kept the seat warm long enough. Why do think I spent an hour plus everyday writing about dude? He is, and will be, the Greast of All Time... EVER!

Papoose Build or Destroy

Er, the latter Mr. Mackey. I shouldn't be doing this, I feel like an asshole giving you wack music. Looking at the tracklisting, it's full of old material and terrible tracks. Yeah, "Flatline" is on here! Note to Papoose: Big Ones 5950's are like 2 years old... Destroy of this one quick. This might be the last time I mention dude too, I'm really that done with him.

*Papoose Push*

The Roots 75 Bars (Black's Reconstruciton)

Hmm... sounds like 75 Bars is an extension of Game Theory. No problem with me, I'm just sayin'. Black goes in and I like it for his brashness "I'm the debonair nigga... I'm already internationalable". And ?uestlove on drums... The video stays in line with the song. I take it "Reconstruction" involves burning of The Man. Odd concept, ehh. Given their rep and budget though, I'm glad they continue to deliver. The fire line ending the video was sweet though.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Through the Sieve

joell ortiz novel fighters remix

joell ortiz 90s free agent flow
joell ortiz 90s free agent flow

rick ross jay z maybach music

rick ross weezy* t pain boss remix

wale bun b go mode

common the light 2008 (prod by just blaze)

weezy* its killin me

the camp slaine little story

kid sister switch board

rick ross weezy* jeezy trick daddy luxary tax
rick ross weezy* jeezy trick daddy luxary tax

term snuk hectic nigel hall where you are

crooked i mary jane wk 48

meth redman broken language 08

joe budden roll call remix

krs one nas the real hip hop

bavu blakes wait a minute

shawty lo easily i approach

spark dawg et al pour it on the modelz

uncle murda got beef

bone never been industry

astonish term life aint sweet

roots 75 bars
roots 75 bars

rakim archive live lost and found
rakim archive live lost and found
rakim archive live lost and found

astonish from now until forever ep PASS= Breezilla

fat ray black milk the set up

term dc out of the gate (2005)

mick boogie little brother and justus for all

weezy* the drought is over 5

fab dj drama there is no competetion

kidz in the hall genius' need love too

pac division sealed for freshness blend tape
pac division sealed for freshness blend tape

pac division myspace tracks

akrobatik absolute value
akrobatik absolute value
akrobatik absolute value

pete rock nys finest
pete rock nys finest

mally the letter



29 Days of Lupe Fiasco: Gone, Baby, Gone

The big hoopla over Lupe is that he's retiring prematurely. It's perplexing knowing how great he is. Three albums, that's it!?! I'd remember his mixtape work but damn, that is too early. Then again Lupe is a rogue already so how is his stepping down early any different than the other things he's done while he's been around.

I hate the idea of a great talent giving up the mic with so much more room to grow and deliver. Think of Lupe with a discography of five albums over his career--that would immortalize him right there. Five Lupe albums sitting on my shelf... a wonderful way to waste a Sunday in the future. Lupe is talented. Take away this Cool thing and he'd still be stylin' on folks. It's surprising that he's already made up his mind. Isn't he competitive? He's content with himself on just a paltry three albums? The idea of being done with something before you're actually done with it does not sit well with me. That's not art. Three years after retirement you get might an idea and create again. It's like he's stubborn or thinking he'll be uninterested to make music in the future. Look at Jay Z. I thought his retirement was bull when I heard it and knew it was only a matter of time before the greatest came back. Don't close the door until you actually feel like it. Say your done six months after you release LupEND. Don't broadcast it everywhere. Go in, do you biz and then if you feel disinterested during LupEND, then by all means, hang em up. That 'I'm 85% done' is bullshit. That tells me you want to be done but want attention; Lupe's ill but I ain't going to beg at the lower leg to get you back. You go, you're gone. I can deal with that.

I respect the decision because art is done by artists. If the artist does not want to create anymore or doesn't feel right, then naturally the end result will be garbage, if there is one. Pressure usually kills artists. Only the great are able to perform under that spotlight. Lupe has said he's fed up of the music biz and I can totally understand that. Deal with them greedy fuck holes... no way! He's also said that he's done; he's content with walking away. If he feels like he's said all that he's wanted to, so be it. Remember when "artists" force it, they sound terrible. All they're producing music for his money and/or they've got nothing other to do. Think Celine Dion: it's like leave Vegas bitch!; Rakim: I know you never made the scratch you should've made but go mentor some troubled youth; and Bruce Springsteen: vague blue collar/liberal shouts don't always measure up to good music. Lupe doesn't want fame, Bentleys, Rihanna or a trophy. I really admire that; he's rhyming for the sake of rhyming. Tiki Barber walked away a few years early because of the grind and beatdown of NFL life (plus he's got a gig as an idoit talking head on CBS), wouldn't you? It's like rappers can't leave, why is Bone still trying--don't your kids have kids!?!

As sour as I am about Lupe's retirement, he's doing it on his own terms. And that's all we can ask. 'Put down the mic and walk away' is a phrase I use weekly when I hear all these rappers. Only a true artist would voluntarily give up everything. So there is life outside rap... interesting.

29 Days of Lupe Fiasco: LupEND

The last album from Lupe Fiasco should drop in two to three years, after his CRS project with Ye and Pharrell. It'll finish his supposed trilogy on the Cool. With so much anticipation and uncertainty what can we expect?

It should be just as good as Food & Liquor and The Cool. Noting that he's gotten better, LupEND will hang aroung The Cool and blow by it. His creativity is there; we, and he, knows he can push his mind farther. "Dumb It Down" although an odd fit within the Cool theme is evidence enough he could spew more classics. Lyrically Lupe is the best and hell, he could surprise us and come even harder. The Cool really hit me on all levels so I trust that LupEND will easily deliver and add more facets to Lupe.

The Cool story line gets more time to play out. Will he keep the concept constrained to five tracks or will he expand it? I'd like to see an actual concept album. Go in and kill the Cool, from start to finish. Maybe he doesn't want to do that though considering the Cool theme never goes away, it's a reocurring problem. When I mentioned the Cool's connections to Pink Floyd's The Wall, I reiterated that The Wall was able to let the story play out in full. Parts of The Cool's story line, events are left open to assumption. Does The Cool rob or kill?; The Game have reason or is there ever confrontation between The Cool and The Game?; and The Streets ever have a more documented relationship or does The Cool find out The Streets' purpose? While Lupe has given us plenty material, he hasn't focused on his characters as much as I'd of liked. He never gave The Cool hope. Maybe Cool members reach a point of no return but I don't think that's true. Very few human beings are robots and kill at will. The Cool still has a heart to me. I know what could go on with the characters--we all do--but we look for Lupe to create a new world for them to play out their perilous games.

There's the chance of not fulfilling fans' hopes. The Cool is the second best rap album ever (if you must know, The Blueprint 1 holds the # 1). With that said, if LupEND doesn't surpass The Cool, it could be considered a failure like Ye's Graduation. It'd still be great but not what we wished for. Since it's is last album, there's even more pressure. Will I be content with what he offers? I might not even if it's great.

It's all ridiculous pondering considering he just released an album. Plus he hasn't even started, and shouldn't have, the next project. Lupe has everybody geeked though by announcing his impending retirement so he that's his problem. I won't judge it until I have the physical copy in my hand--hell, I even read somewhere that LupEND is going to be a double disc (and damn if Lupe could pull that off!). I expect the best album of all time but I know I could be let down. It might sting a while too, but then I could turn on LupEND and zone.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

29 Days of Lupe Fiasco: Best Friends

Probably not. Last week I popped in Pink Floyd's The Wall--on vinyl. While I was listening I couldn't help but think The Wall was quite similair to Lupe's Cool movement in many facets. Both are classics, have anti-heroes and deal with our environments. Of course, The Wall was one whole concept album, and therefore much more specific, whereas Lu's Cool movement wasn't necessarily making conclusions--it was forming the pieces to the puzzle.

The Wall was written mostly by lead singer Roger Waters (so what if I wikipedia-ed The Wall, you did too after you heard it for the first time). The main character is Pink. He's English and lost his father in WWII. It's reconstruction, post-war England and shit's rough, there's not much guidance. Pink's mother one ups his father's role and is overly strict. So what's a kid to do? Imagine. Pink builds a wall, in his mind, to sheild himself from others. It's ironic because he's now isolated himself; he might as well be a ghost. He becomes a rock star, obsconds and falls to the pressures of stardom. Delusional, he sees himself a dictator, a ring leader of sorts--the such persons who made Pink an introvert and build his wall. He turns on himself by taking himself to trial. The end result is the wall's destruction.

Michael Young Histroy, The Cool, is very much like Pink. He's lost his father, although we can't assume. We do know he's free to roam with no guidance. It is a modern day ghetto that he rolls through, so of course it's a beaten up society. The chase of the Cool is destruction and propagated by peer pressure. Doesn't Michael build his own wall? Aren't jeans, drug deals and a nine all bricks in the wall? Michael is shutting his door to the world thus he's dead/soul-less. Michael has moments of thinking of his actions and their consequences but it wasn't as definite as Pink's. Since the story may have some songs left on LupEND, it remains to be seen if Michael or any other denizen of the Cool has time enough to revert. Maybe the door for the Cool chasers is irreversible or death comes first.

Pink and Michael are anti-heroes. They're selfish, got blind courage (i.e. reckless) and create their own demise. Pink pulls the blanket over his own eyes to become mental while Michael rises to hood fame with power only to become even more vulnerable and susceptible to the ills of the world. Pink is controlled by his mother and power figures in his society; Michael is a Cool member indirectly controlled by The Game. They're at their makers' will by taking the bait. Inside of them, and we hear it, there is a human there but it's lost and confused. Both have visions of superstardom, grow lustful, over indulge, become weary/paranoid and have down falls.

Part 2
Like I said, The Wall is much more specific than the Cool movement. On first thought I thought it'd be easier to match songs off the albums but it is even hard for me to force it. Some of the details The Wall provides haven't been developed, or said, by Lupe... so here it goes.

P.S. If Lupe was weird to you, then what's Pink Floyd?

*Goes and downloads Pink Floyd's The Wall*

"Mother" reminds me "American Terrorist" and "Instrumental". Pink turns to this mother for advice and help from distancing himself from society. Michael isn't necessarily in these two song but... Michael turns to the TV/media ("Instrumental"), his bad environment for advice and guidance. That clouding eventually removes him from logical thinking; the Cool is the end all. The actual terror is home made by The Game and even Michael ("American Terrorist").

The "Another Brick In The Wall" trio are Pinks reasons for building this enclosure. No song adds another platinum diamond on the watch but it's said throughout all his material. "He Say, She Say" tells of a missing father as does "ABitW 1". Education and further isolation events are brought up too.

I wanted to believe Lupe incorporated a "Thin Ice" but it seems most of the Cool themed songs check Michael after the death. We never see the learning, slips and lumps before the fall. "The Cool" could be "Thin Ice" but he's already grown, dead and unashamed.

"Daydreamin" could be akin to Pink creating the wall. The lack of options leads to an imagination. Pink's is self destructive while "Daydreamin" was more of "watch what I can do" moment by Lupe.

Again Lupe doesn't delve into Michael's acts of debauchery while on the chase. Waters' perfectly lets us into the dirty world of Pink on "Young Lust". Moreso, Micheal never loves or his relationship with The Streets isn't placed in a human perspective rather the actual love affair with the streets.

Although it's mostly Lupe's emotion, "Just Might Be Okay" is the fight left in people. I'd assume this fight still wages in a youthful Cool member before he spirals. It's an opt-out clause for the Cool. Waters' Pink is merely too depressed and there's never a fight (until the end) or an option for Pink. I think Pink was just weak but Michael didn't seem to ever explore options either.

"Hello/Goodbye" seems to be the only song of Michael's downturn. It's rare we see him personally feeling naked and scared. Pink has more feeling, or is just a wuss about it. We see Waters present Pinks depression on "One of My Turns", "Goodbye Blue Sky" and "Empty Spaces".

Pink begins to smell the coffee and tries to reverse his boulder of a wall on "Hey You". Lupe doesn't give Michael a heart when he's a Cool member. But I thought of "Hey You" as a conscious approach at changing. "Hurt Me Soul" is all Lupe--no Michael. It's Lupe describing his own experiences with the Cool life. Lupe was able to fend it off with conscious, proactive thoughts and actions.

"In the Flesh" gives way to the destruction of Pink by an ultimate, devistating delusion: dictating. The Game controls Michael's mind; Cool members are like robots meant to destroy and cause imbalance. "Run Like Hell" is "The Die". It's the cat and mouse game of both the hood and dictator states. The mentality is usually 'It's either you or me.' It's the spread of fear, oppression by means of suppresion, paranoia and eventually death. "Waiting on the Worms" is the peer pressure that's consumed both Pink and Michael. This spread of hate is erroding what's left of Pink's mind. Same can be said of The Game's control measures--they're deluding Cool members by eating what's left of their logical, humane thinking (black on black crime anyone?).

We have yet to hear Lupe's equivilent on Waters' "Trial". Michael dies, reappears, hustles 25/7 and then dies again. There has not been a personal reproach by Michael. It's not pertinent to tear down his wall, the sweets of The Cool. Pink, totally spacey, wants his life back and he orders himself to tear down his wall. I think Michael was too far gone.

"Fighters" isn't Michael's but it could be. It's the hope still left in us. Pink shows this with "Stop" and of course, "Outside the Wall". Yes We Can (no Obama)!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

29 Days of Lupe Fiasco: Gangster

Most of Lupe's rap influences have been gangster rappers: 8ball & MJG, Snoop, Crucial Conflict & UGK. Remember is ATCQ fallout? I find it odd considering what Lupe raps about. Why isn't he a gangster rapper himself? Doesn't the Cool iniative go against a gangster's hustle? Maybe the iniative is not an antidote or a cure but it shines the light in order to expose that gangster lifestyle. They could be considered opposing sides of the spectrum. Lupe has said that Nas' It Was Written was a major influence to start rapping. Nas wasn't a gangster but basked in his mafiaso haze. How could gangster mentalities create such a good, differing rapper? It's as if Nas' mafiosos tales bore a snitch. What did Lupe see in It Was Written?

From re-listening to It Was Written the other day, I was at a loss for what I could take from Sir Nasir Jones. I've always liked the album but I didn't think it was something revolutionary. I'll assume three things Lupe took from It Was Written that he used to build his game up.

Every song on It Was Written is detailed down to the scratch on passenger door on the Lex coup. It's all NY state of mind, mafioso raps. It's the middle road of young hustling without sweating. Nas lets us know the proper ways of doing this and that, and every deal is measured out to the ounce. Very few things are left out: we get the whole story. While Lupe is on a different script, the details are all there. I can't remember somebody that had all his bases covered, content/lyrical wise. Everything he says builds on the previous information. His cool is thoroughly investigated. The scene he paints is so movie like just like Nas.

It's evident seconds in that Nas has a heart behind the fog that his is mafioso tales. Yeah, Nas is there to wax poetic on crime life but there are political undertones. Some are subtle while others are obviously pronounced. It's rising up, not showiness, that's his ultimate goal. Nas knew that he could fly with his everyman's smooth hustle offerings while still tossing some of his own convictions into the pot to spice it up. It makes Nas' flavor that much more rich. And I do remember that about Nas' work, that beneath the usual shinin', he was standing by something meaningful and trying to inject truths. Of course Lupe's cool is mostly about truths and convictions. But Lupe sprinkles personal feelings throughout his cool diatribe. The Cool is exposing g life by describing it in a new, fallible light. He doesn't rag on the lifestyle just to rag on it rather he rags on it to teach and demonstrate why g life is un-cool. He can be the devil's advocate and still come across as heartful.

"I Gave You Power" struck me upon re-listening. It's Nas flexing his creative muscles. It was one of the better tracks besides the singles. Guns don't give people power, people give guns power. Shooting the verse from the the POV of a gun was ill, and true. Here Nas is patronizing his mafiaso clientele and his own afflictions. Creativity may be the best quality Lupe expresses. Hell, the Cool is all creative. Think "Daydreamin", "Instrumental", "Gotta Eat", "Intruder Alert" and "Dumb It Down". He can appease himself with his cool iniative as well as give our minds much needed work.

29 Days of Lupe Fiasco: Fiasco v Murda

Remember that I was a hater until I gave Lu a listen. Okay, so I asked, er, challenged my good friend, Wes, to a trade off: I'd listen to one of his favorite artists and he'd listen to mine. While he had to deal with Lupe, I had dealt with none other than East New York himself, Unlce Murda.

My friend Wes lives by that East Coast grime. To say he injects it daily is an understatement. I was taken aback last summer when he'd been a fan of Uncle Murda before his Papoose beefs and "Bullet, Bullet" dance because he understands what good rap music is when he hears it. You still perplex me Wes! He champions all things D-Block, Mobb Deep and usually be on any Big Mike hangers-on. I think I've pinpointed why he likes this music: he likes that shoot em up, bang bang talk. Simple and plain. I've mentioned Lupe to him before and it's like a brick wall. The complaint I heard most often is--paraphrased, of course--""Kick, Push" is wack. Fuck skateboards and that 'oh, look at me, I'm speaking for my people. Respect me. Bullshit!'" Y'all know me by now so you can tell why I flinched at ever heeding anything Uncle Murda ever says. I've only heard like 3 songs from Murda though. So me and Wes are in the same box: we like what we like and dislike things we may know nothing about.

I equipped Wes with Lupe's The Cool. It was like I met a new person the next time I saw him. I've never seen him talk about anything unless it's gutter. He admitted that Lupe was real good. His lyrical prowess was very much on point. He said he could understand why people like him so much and respect him for his views. The amount of knowledge on the mic was noted and a huge plus. While he said he wouldn't become a Lupe lover tomorrow, or spread Cool pamphlets, he'd be willing to listen to Lupe in the future--on his own. It wasn't like an "I told you so" with me and him but he was glad he finally did listen to Lupe.

He tossed me Uncle Murda's Say Uncle mixtape. He also stated that he felt sorrier for me because I had to "endure" Uncle Murdaisms (which is a paradox--see my bias is already coming through). Yeah, tell me about it, I'm listening to Murda during finals/test out week and I do not recommend it!!! What I knew about Murda: he's all gun talk and killing fools. I found out that my hypothesis was right. All he does is yell "East New York" but me likey. He's sure to jab, stab, stomp the police (and whatever else is in his power) in every verse. His expressions are pathetically elementary. I'm not saying that to be an asshole but it's evident how literal he is and how weak his vocab is. He only has two different weapon and drug names. Ultimately when I look for East Coast grime, I go towards those who can relate actual stories and be somewhat lyrical. I could ride to a few songs on here but some songs definitely give you a headache for real. Why the U.S. doesn't use Uncle Murda music as torture, I don't know. I'd only say 'Aunt'. For as much as I could slam Murda for there are a few tendecies I'll give him. He don't give a fuck (even if he really is just a predicate felon). He strays from using quick metaphors and similies--which every bad rapper over uses. And he plays his part perfectly--I believe him most of the time. But he isn't a gangsta rapper to me at all, he's a murderer rapper. I'm fucking scared of him after listening to this tape. It's not his ruthlessness so much as his unpredictable, if irrational, attitude that strikes fear in me. I can understand why people like him at the same time I still can't. Over 10 Murda songs, don't you go crazy and want to kill someone... ah, maybe that's the point?

The challenge was a learning experience: we can change (no Obama). Most haters have never actually listened to the thing they hate on. It's important not to be vengful against haters. Haters need to be persuaded intrinsically rather than being pressured from outside sources. I know I was looked at with shaking heads when my friends continually told me to listen to Lupe. I didn't and I commenced to hate. It wasn't until I kept hearing it from other places, other people. In fact, two viewers of this blog e-mailed me and told me to give Lupe a listen. If they felt compelled to tell a stranger to listen to Lupe, then there must be something to this dude. Sure enough I was in the wrong. And it wasn't until I decided to hear Lupe out that I saw the light. Challenge yourselves and especially your friends. Be an asshole (you're actually being a good friend--friends don't let best friends listen to Uncle Murda) and always bring up Lupe or any other different, good music for the benefit of humanity.

Monday, February 25, 2008

29 Days of Lupe Fiasco: Fortification

I used to hate Hip-Hop too, Lupe.

Forget women being degraded, I was never that sensitive. There was a time in my life that I didn't want anything to do with rappers. Maybe it was the bling, maybe it wasn't. Like Ye said, "There's a 1000 you's and only one of me", individuals were missing. All I know is I got plain sick of them.

As a freshman in high school, I started to give an open ear for different music. The No Limit era had officially died. Really, I was still waiting on that second 504 Boyz album to drop, with that cruise ship. The new mainstream rap never hit me. What I used to love rap for was gone and this new era wasn't talking about nathin'! More and more, I begin to LimeWire old rock bands, 80s music was my shit and I took note of classics acts such as Dylan and the Beatles. I don't know, Techno had my heart and Bruce Springsteen had my soul. It was an inevitable drift though. I learned of so much more--there is a life outside of rap music.

Hating Hip-Hop also gave me a reason for re-entering rap music. I had to ask myself 'why are you listening to this?' I've always listened to Rap, shit my first cd was Eazy-E's 187 Killum so feelings were blah and based on tradition. Why did I spend my school nights blasting Master P? I was growing up and the shit I was listening to wasn't really saying anything special or progressive. So I left it behind. I missed the whole East Coast mixtape inception and some of the older dudes come ups but eh. And since I've been back into rap back in '04 I've seen my own progression in tastes. It's as if leaving rap for a while, I was able to branch out and explore. Then when I yearned for that raw, passionate and meaningful music, I returned to rap. I fell more in love with rap, knew why I liked it and I might as well cop a PHD for my investment in rap culture/music.

Listening to Lupe makes more sense of this idea. His music is why I listen to Hip-Hop. Yeah, I've got plenty of other rappers I can get with but damn if Lupe didn't make my life. Had he been around seven years ago when I left, I might have never drifted. He's profound, real, lyrical and creative. The songs he pens have the innate ability to hit on different levels; I can listen to it in the ride, take notes or sing along. He's one of a few acts to attain the ideal rapper. Hating everybody else made me love him more. Enough said: Lupe is Hip-Hop.

Through the Sieve

joe budden 4 walls

term ghetto whos the nicest

swizzy candy green

skyzoo necessary evils

crooked i love me no more wk 48

nas what it is (snippet)

alicia keys luda like youll never see me again remix

astonish term life aint sweet

saigon grand puba who cant get busy

ray cash its nothing (pimp c tribute)

pete rock papoose comprehend

naledge dey know flow

naledge ghostface flow

naledge skyzoo breaker one nine

dro all that money

anthony hamilton ghostface do you feel me remix

usher fab i cant win

ya boy stay the night

ya boy rain man

big lou 4 in the morning

bishop lamont i dominate (snippet)

dro house on me

riz gift of the street

sha stimuli pow freestyle

roots 75 bars
roots 75 bars

rakim its nothing
rakim its nothing

skyzoo pow freestyle

sha stimuli million

sha stimuli do what i do

sha stimuli tight ones

sha stimuli hit em up

uncle murda bad ass bitch

talib independent hustle

jojo pelligrino dummy out

jojo pelligrino nothin back

torae crash

flo rida weezy* american gangster

ace gutta rick ross t pain cash flow

rakim hip hop

rick ross 24 hrs to live

mop get rich

trae hurricane chris boss knock ya head

lyfe jennings weezy* ti brand new

e 40 lil jon turf drop

small world t pain bank roll

mop god bless goodnight

usher moving mountains

weezy* miami vice

weezy* you can tell

nyoil 9th wonder 9 wonders

missy busta ciara ching a ling remix

akrobatik little brother 9th wonder be prepared

cory guns my niggaz will murder ya

reks pray for me

vl mike money in here

hustle boyz snoop run the streets

bo jay rock k dot catch a body

smitty im on my job

rocko jim jones just like me

jody breeze umma do breeze

blu my grandmas kitchen

spice 1 carried by 6

joell ortiz novel here the next

snoop dogg mistah fab too short life of da party

trae z ro whos the man
trae z ro whos the man

term ghetto big noyd kilo rap

kidz in the hall genius' need love too

pac division sealed for freshness blend tape
pac division sealed for freshness blend tape

pac division myspace tracks

dro i am legend

crooked i st valentines day bossacre

joe budden mm3 the album

erykah badu new amerykah part one (4th ww)
erykah badu new amerykah part one (4th ww)

prime the transformation perception is deception

akrobatik absolute value
akrobatik absolute value

shawty lo units in da city
shawty lo units in da city
shawty lo units in da city

webbie savage life 2

pete rock nys finest
pete rock nys finest

dj chuck t down south slangin 48
dj chuck t down south slangin 48

dj 31 degreez coolest grads

dj smallz best thing smokin 12

fat bastard tum tum respect it or check it part 1
fat bastard tum tum respect it or check it part 2

lb get back army cd 2 PASS=
lb get back army cd 2 PASS=

az undeniable intervention mixtape

bob hi my name is bob (lrg mixtape)

j love acknowledge the takeover

dj envy purp codiend 15.75

pastor troy attitude adjuster

tupac pink floyd darkside of the block

mally the letter

kaze 9th wonder spirit of 94

black milk popular demand



Sunday, February 24, 2008

29 Days of Lupe Fiasco: No Flicker

The beauty of “Superstar” should be known and noted on different levels. It’s a single that has extreme depth as well as long lasting play. Seeing that 106 & Park got it to #1 this past week, it got me thinking: is Lupe starting to catch on with people?

On the first listen you hear the beat and you immediately begin to bop. It’s ever so subtle, just chilling in the background, as Lupe begins his wizardry. The words are not from left field and with a few listens you can easily understand what Lupe is saying. For the average fan, the lyrics are meaningful—if just for that moment. You’d hear he’s talking about himself, then maybe get lost on verse two but by the third verse he brings it back to something a casual fan can attest to: normalcy. Top 40 listeners can appreciate “Superstar’s” value because of Lupe’s sensibility. He’s not being showy, patronizing or gimmicky. Lupe offers a portrayal of his ascension to stardom and its pitfalls. Enter Matthew Santos. Even if the Mohawk was in a few years ago, his voice is paralyzing. “Superstar” still would’ve been a hit without Santos but it would have never attracted so much luster. I find myself repeating Santos just as much as I do Lupe.

Lupe fans—those who dig deeper than just the hook—know that “Superstar” is deeper than a great single. Most casual fans of “Superstar” think Lupe fans like it for the same reason as they do. It’s true but “Superstar” reaches farther into the heart and soul. “Superstar” becomes legendary with his lyrics and the 106 & Park/TRL crowd could never keep up with dude past the fences. Lupe starts off talking about himself. “Want to believe my own hype but it's too untrue/The world brought me to my knees.” Who would ever issue such honesty, such truth about themselves? That shit takes courage. Would you ever claim to be unschooled and too uncool—on the red carpet? The trail of the spotlight is scary. He travels through it just as fast as a bullet. The spotlight can kill you, hmmm, has Britney ever taken that into consideration? And she still louses around, damn. The verse shifts to a scene out of the “Running Man” with, “Like the governor called/And they told him to wait/Un-strap him from the chair/And put him back in his cage.” The spotlight is a game; it doesn’t want to kill you just yet, it wants to see you writhe and wiggle in pain. Oh, and I also conjure the image of Tookie Williams and The Govenator, except that call never came. Anyway, the audience owns your every move. If they made you, surely they can break you. Lupe ends with a verse sharing a fans’ dilemma, "Cuz I been standing in this line/For like five whole days. "Who hasn’t had that experience? For him to bring it home like that was touching. Seriously, do rappers know what they put fans that pay $30 through? All we ever wanted to do is: “take the stage and start performing for me.”

Realizing that the artist is usually at the whim of the fan isn’t a conceivable idea for most famous people. Yeah, they’ll tell us they “perform for their fans” but c’mon, they could give two fucks about the people that pay them their diamonds and condos. Ultimately though, they are highly scrutinized by their fans. One wrong, different move and they could slammed for it. “Superstar” evokes humbleness (er, that's maybe why dude isn't a Superstar). It’s telling of Lupe’s experience with being famous and his views. He levels with himself as he’s in the spotlight, knowing its ill-effects both personally and towards his fans. If he becomes too big-headed he’ll lose himself and the fans will buy into this new persona and he’ll be trapped, doomed. As much as Ye was lauded for his honesty of fame and money on “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”, “Superstar” adds onto that personal touch and magnifies it. Shouldn’t “Superstar” be everyone’s look in the mirror before they walk out amongst the red carpet’s flashing lights?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Watchin Dem Thangs!

Lil Wil My Dougie
Move over you “Youuu” motherfucker. It will be interesting to see how far this goes, will little kids be doing this? That Donk > Plies’.

Rick Ross T Pain Boss
Rick Ross naked = grossest thing I’ve seen recently. Cingular paid him to stack that money! Not to mention that shameless Ciroc Vodka plug. I Spy Fat Joe. Two singles and videos with no clamor? Damn, Ricky go back to the drawing board!

Wu-Tang Take It Back
I bet they couldn’t get along for a video shoot hence the janky ass concert footage.

Jim Jones Love Me No More

Wiz Khalifa Say Yeah
No and I don’t care if Simon said.

Talib Kweli Hostile Gospel Part 1

Swizzy Candy Green

Flo Rida Elevator

Sheek Good Love

29 Days of Lupe Fiasco: Lethal Injection

This track is so on point it’s crazy, we know that. While most would claim “HHSML” to be a positive, uplifting song, I’ve always thought it was also a diss song to Southern music.

The diss isn’t subliminal at all. Lupe describes a Houston artist. He starts off with “I write what I see (C)” meaning that he only describes what he sees and is not creative. Seeing does not involve any introspection which is usually vacant with Southerners. “Cause everybody in the studio was like that's that heat”, um, yeah too many yes men are present. The hook is straight mocking simplistic hooks; “Stack that cheese” is what 36 Mafia or Lil Wil (“My Doughie”) be doing. Of course he couldn’t think of nothing so “writers block impedes”. Caddys don’t make a great MC. How many “Rappers” have I seen with 1100 friends? Way too many. How many “Wipe Me Down” blends have I heard from unheard of artists trying to get on? Too many. And the fact that the radio played it two times and are about to crown it as the “best” is hilariously true. The last two lines make it all come together, “Man it feels good when it happens like that/Two days from goin back to selling crack, yes sir.” This artist was never talented or even worked on his skills. He took rapping as a hustle and it rarely works that way. It happens, shit see Jeezy etc. but think of all of the unheard of cats from every city in the U.S. that are 29 and that have dabbled in rap and are nowhere. The percentage of making it is slim.

Then of course the track is inspiring. This rapper is trying to uplift himself with music, legality. He can’t wait to buy his girl everything but the mannequin, help his homies with lawyers fees and raise his kid in a decent economic condition/environment. The details Lupe uses shows how this rapper is struggling, grinding and has baggage. He doesn’t have a car or any money for beats and is the open mic champ for two weeks in a row. All he wants to do is chunk a deuce and politic, what’s wrong with that?

“HHSML” depicts the nature of someone trying to make it. There are no positives or negatives—just realities. There are obstacles hindering this rapper’s success. Some of it is his own doing: he can’t rap; and some of it his environment: the family is jailed and mom is slaving away at Minute Maid. He’s trying to make scratch any way he can. He figures that putting together a hot track is all that’s needed. The reality is, is that’s not how it always works. Lupe gives these scrappers hope; Scrappy and Mike Jones are just doing what they know and trying to get their families out the hood. Not everyone makes it. And if you’re spending your time talking guns and cars, sooner or later you’ll morph into that irreversible state. Furthermore, if you do make it, just making 1 million dollars ain’t going to do shit, with all the Bentleys and chains and things (see: "Mo Money, Mo Problems"). There’s no progression, you’ll be stupid and rich and those things don’t jive. Hip-Hop doesn't actually save lives. It does ruin them though and create false hopes.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

29 Days of Lupe Fiasco: Press Record

I felt compelled to run tell that about Lupe’s trajectory rhymes on “Twilight Zone” off FNF Part 1: The Truth is Among Us. Lupe’s done been sick; it’s not as if he just became a beast with his legit albums. What’s so ill about the raps is that he pushes the ball, giving it momentum and it goes here and there enlightening us at every step of the way—every few bars is something different and even tighter.

Get the full lyrics
here (and I’ll get you the links shortly). He starts off so quick with ,“My mindstate rewinds wakes/And fast-forwards bullets makin'a B-line for my face” that I yelp to myself, seeing that bullet in my grill. He pushes forward, taping these actions: “Whats recorded in my dome gets reported when I zone/My mouth is a speaker I'm anchoring the misery.” This line reverses the ideal, “Jesus pieces walk around with niggas hangin from they necks.” If that isn’t an odd yet tight mental picture, I don’t know what is. He twists a lot of things around in this song, or gives them a hilarious, albeit true, ring like an obitchurary of a bullet proof vest. Then he reveals this set of horrible truths by personification concerning Air Forces, rims, jerseys and BET/MTV/CNN/Clear Channel. Jersey’s ethnic cleansing? So those Mitchell & Ness’ are getting their inner Slobodan Milocovich on!?! When Lupe’s instruments take on voices, you picture Hi-Hats snitching (Cuuurrtis!) while the MP3’s are involved over a turf war. Liquors and purses speak too… “But Gucci told Fendi and Fendi turned around and told Henny/And Henny is Moets baby's father.” If this isn’t a diss to all these artists nowadays, “A Hundred dollar bill just signed a record deal/but blew all his money on the Braceletes.” Lupe killed me with his tobacco characters acting like hoodlums—but it’s true in the sense that tobacco creeps and kills. OMG! My last favorite part is when he lets us know the clothing market scene, “I just seen Rocawear rock Sean John to sleep.”

Why didn’t I know Lupe ripped Nas’ beat before he did (sort of being that it's Theif's Theme)? Damn, Lupe’s so smooth on this track. The flawless way he keeps on giving us poignant material is amazing. He gives all these objects life and let them interact with each other. I can’t get all these pictures out of my head! Someone better be sure to press record whenever Lupe twilight zones.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

29 Days of Lupe Fiasco: Coolish Comics

I can see Michael Young History in color right now: going to the Hip-Hop shop to cop some threads; hanging around on the corner watching time fly, straight slangin’; and letting his little cousin play with his nine. Lupe has stated his desire to release a comic book series based on The Cool even if the readers will be well past their early 20s. Let me imagine the ongoing series with Lupe’s street denizens.

The Cool is a youngin hell bent on flying high and as he grows up, he begins to learn the wicked ways of the ascension. There could be so many back stories, prequels, to The Cool before he was gunned down and there could be a life after he re-emerges from the 6 feet. Given that The Cool is an anti-hero, there could plenty of twists of fate. The Street could take many forms but that elusive woman would be so sultry and there’d never be a consummating of the relationship (or it’d be slow to take place) like Peter Parker and Mary Jane. The Game would be a puppet and send his many goons (or fellow Cool members, think grotesque ghetto stereotypes) out to distract Michael Young History yet we’d never see his face like Dr. Claw in Inspector Gadget. There’d be three episodes I’d like to see play out:

A Biohazard: HIV
The Cool would be with his homies, just chilling, drinking etc. Tyrone, one of The Cool’s brethren, knows of this one party that bout to go down so they get ready. They get their E&J and Black & Milds, politic in the parking lot and commence a drive by en route to the party. The Cool, with his right hand all bone, isn’t getting any female takers half way in. While he’s shooting craps he spots this drunken redbone stumbling up the porch. A cock blocker enters his path (Zoinks!). He gives him a Szzzzaaw! courtesy of Batman. He follows her up the stairs and pushes her into a bedroom. He waves his pistol as she becomes even more disorientated. After he pistol whips her he turns her around and shags the unconscious, underage woman. It’s not until months and many episodes (and women) later that The Cool realizes he has HIV. Funny thing is, he’s already dead so it doesn’t affect him. “Oh, oh, oh, oh.”

Burn, Spliff, Burn
Mr. Smith, a Rastafarian bumbo-clot, is a big weed dealer. The Cool, being that his hustle skills aren’t major, still sells dime bags from out his broke down hoodrific ‘94 Acura Legend. See Mr. Smith been invaded homies territory and that ain’t right. The Cool got a lock on e’erythang past 110th, you dig! Plus he runs the under 18 crowd. So without realizing that Mr. Smith is his source, The Cool sets out to talk to him. Mr. Smith, looking all voodoo, laughs at his face. Dejected, The Cool decides to take out Mr. Smith. He assembles his crew and stakes out Mr. Smith’s Dance Hall. While this story would take many episodes to play out, eventually there’d be this shootout. With crews depleted and Pon-de Rivers ready to capture The Cool, he slips out the back to survive. One of his almost dying homies, Malik, whispers they were set up by this dude named The Game and that both The Cool and Mr. Smith were supposed to kill each other in this ordeal. The plot thickens. Will Mr. Smith and The Cool ever patch things up in order to kill a common enemy?

Back To School
The Game sends out his goons to deliver guns and petty drugs to every school aged kid once the beginning of the school year starts. Instead of notebooks, glue and pencils, the kid gets some Jordans (their unequally distributed to create angst), a faulty 6 shooter with 4 bullets and some skittles. The Cool’s little cousin gets this package without his knowing. While The Cool is like one of The Game’s goons, he doesn’t stand for little kids getting twisted, especially his own cousin. One day his cousin gets jacked for his Jordans, Double Mint Wrapper acting as a Grill and Hot Cheetos at the corner store. Instead of just robbing him, the kid gets capped 4 times in the face. The Cool finds out and is heartbroken. Will he change his ways? Will The Cool build a robot? Will that beam of light hit him? Who did this and why!?! He’ll surely avenge this… damn you Game!

Monday, February 18, 2008

29 Days of Lupe Fiasco: Nepotism

Lupe’s FNF crew is a talented bunch that seem to produce only quality music. The one knock I’ve had with Lupe is what if the FNF production team wasn’t better than average? That what if—that possibility—of leaving his music in someone else’s hands is endless.

Pro-Lupe Producers
Kanye West
Should I go on? Ye’s sound just got bigger on Graduation. Add that Ye would look out for Lupe too and you have the feeling that these two are treating themselves unfairly. Why haven’t they hooked up more and why are they depriving us? CRS cannot materialize fast enough.

Three Six Mafia
Maybe anyone could murder a 36 beat, I don’t know. From hearing “Stack that cheese”, Lupe could easily pen a hit amongst 36’s oddly lovable formulaic beats called “I Know Where My Hood Be” (just repeat it to yourself 3 times and you’ll realize it’s Top 40). He’d have to be stern though to let Juciy J know that J needs to ride the bench for this one. Hell, why doesn’t Lupe do that—he’d be #1 in the South for years, win an Oscar…

Cool & Dre
It would work more than your thinking. Cool & Dre mix organs with a heavy bass that equals speaker knocking jams. Cool & Dre could turn Lupe into Christina Milan of all things, shit! Tell Dre to take over for FNF’s Sarah Green and you’ve got a hit. Dre crooning about a ghetto kid lost while Lupe sings The Cool… 100 million dollars.

Blackmilk can go hard on a track. Given his no frills approach, there’d be no difficulty on finding chemistry here. I can never get enough of Blackmilk’s basslines. Just imagine Lupe a bit up tempo, not in poetry mode, and setting his sights on making a “street” anthem with Black’s help?

The Bomb Squad
P.E.’s beat team would give Lupe a perfect balance of a crazy beat that allows enough room for the artist to stand out. Ice Cube was mad at the world with them, so why couldn’t Lupe be?

Just Blaze
The Bleezy is too unpredictable today to rely on. He could make a plopper or a wonderful jam, we just don’t know. Given that he works well with better artists, and usually produces good under pressure, there’d be a glimmer with this collabo.

Anti-Lupe Producers
Dr. Dre
As much as I could see Lupe killing a straight West Coast beat, I think it be overhyped. Dre wouldn’t fit right at all with Lupe and the G-Funk would push Lupe to the curb fast. Lupe’s lyricism would try to crawl out of all that funk and be squashed by the 64 Impala’s tires.

Damn, Timbo is too loud. The club infused tracks can become wish-washy, further muddling its Pop initiative to an unrecognizable form of sound.

DJ Premier
Premier’s breaks and scratches work well with anyone. Yet it cut into Lupe’s lyrical abilities. Lupe would want to continue to push forth but the DJ would intervene and ruin the moment at hand.

I love their beats too but the duo only works with Dipset. Let me rephrase: the duo only works with unskilled song writers who depend on sped up soul and 80’s records. He’d be turned into a bleached blonde too. Again Lupe would be confined to two verses and three hooks in 3:30 mintues.

RZA’s just too dark sometimes. I get the sense that I could might as well be listening to rain drops falling from a leaky pipe. His beats are better used by Wu-Tang members anyways as Lupe would end up getting lost in the beat.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I'm having computer problems related to blown sound card... never buy a cheap PC! 29 days of Lupe will continue though as scheduled, just no uploading. As for daily links, I'm not going to be able to do that. All I can do with this old as cpu I'm at now is type and post (which takes 30 minutes in itself). I'll be back to posting next weekend. I'll recap this coming week and put up lots of back links and let y'all know what's worth hearing. If you need links, peep the links to other blogs on this page. They should keep you up to date. If you want to DIY-it (do it yourself), Google them or register at these forums: RapGodfathers and Realest Niggas. That's where I get most of my links anyways. I know y'all are going to come back so for the time being bare with me.

Can I Borrow a Dollar?

It can't get much more prophetic than that. Yv's "I Gotta Dollar" has soul. He's not throwing rubberbands full of cash at strippers like she's an object as does T.I. on "5000 Ones" or Fat Joe on "Make it Rain". This is his last dollar and he's more than proud to spend it on her. Yv is Thomas the Train: The Little Engine That Could. This song almost makes me want to go make it rain except that damn common sense kicks in! Polow da Don's expert horns and bass combo surley shoot this track with oomph. Here's to hoping that dance doesn't make it out of that studio *Cheers*.

Yv Polow da Don I Gotta Dollar

29 days of Lupe Fiasco: Obsession

I’ve drawn the conclusion that while Lupe may not be a megastar, he’s certainly revered with the fans he does have. And some of these fans may be too into him. It’s like they take The Cool in their lunch box. Obsession goes way beyond dick riding. It may involve liking the ideal rather than the actual thing. It’s as if these obsessed Lupe fans love the fact of his autonomy and his flawless flow more than what Lupe himself. And it’s always positive. I rarely see any slight disagreement with what Lupe does, says or is.

Over at
Lupe the Killa, there’s almost daily news on Lupe. It’s cool at first that someone chronicles Lupe because we never see him on TV or major websites. Dude’s blog may have been created out of that need to fill a void. Everyone wants to read/see something about their favorite star. On closer inspection you realize dude doesn’t say much. Okay, I heard he has videos for “HHSML” and “Paris, Tokyo” too, and from like 10 other sources. Can you say something about it? What you expect? And those YouTube videos, dude, I think I can waste my time typing Lupe Fiasco into the search box as well. Glow in the Dark tour dates info for 4 day in a row? And They Love It, I been known about them. That Cool tour never came around my neck of the woods, so I know that I’ll cop tickets at 10:00:01. LupEND, do I give a fuck if Lupe has the common cold? Lupe Fiasco Blogspot, you think Lupe and a Grammy is a good thing?

While I am adamant in my displeasure of these obsessive blogs I can’t help but think if their goal is to give Lupe press. I mean I’m doing that too. Shit Lupe owns the blogsphere, so at least give him that, right? Lupe fans aren’t idiots, the information will leak. Give us some food for thought instead acting like your Katie Couric. Y’all remind of the crack head from Don’t Be a Menace “Yo, Lupe man I got some Yoji Yammamoto’s man. I’ll suck yo dick.” I mean y’all have measured his dick and know what his farts smell like, right?

I know 29 days of Lupe Fiasco seems obsessive. I just felt like finally giving him proper due. 31 days of Lupe Fiasco—not me! As soon as March hits, I’m spending my time elsewhere with some other fancy. 365 days of Lupe, or anyone, is ridiculous. I’m glad they picked Lupe over Ludacris or Flo-Rida (just think about daily posts about “Low” video stills) but have y’all heard of a chill pill. There’s a life outside Lupe. Don’t get starry eyed for a celebrity. You aren’t best friends and he’d still be irked at your illegally downloaded Food & Liquor joint. There are quite a few good Rappers out today that don’t receive enough mention, how about trying them on for size? Plus is Lupe all that interesting? Not necessarily. I’d give him an ear more than the next uneducated, cake driven Rapper but besides Lupe’s fashion sense and his open mind, he shouldn’t be chronicled every day. I don’t care if Lupe made a surprise appearance for a Kanye West show last night in Oakland. Aren’t you doing what you MTV/E! does and in a sense over saturating our capacity for Lupe? After peeping these blogs, I feel like giving Lupe a rest. Unless you got something to say, can it!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

29 Days of Lupe Fiasco: Cult Status

Lupe is liked by Ray Ray and Craig. And somehow heads overseas nod to his beats in droves. “Paris, Tokyo” shows us he’s a globe trotter, an international star. One word: eclectic. Lupe takes his art form, Hip-Hop, and lets it play in the background. Then he commences to tap dance all over it. One minute he can be creativley attached “Day Dreamin” and the next write an anthem for all “Hip Hop Saved My Life”. The beat is the only reason why this isn’t just spoken word. If Lupe ain’t a poet then… It’s as if Lupe transcends all of Rap’s pigeon-holes. Fans see this, hear this. The first thing I think about when I hear “Lupe” is not: Rapper. It’s: communicator. Achieving a cult status may not equal extra zeros. But it garners critical acclaim and artistic freedom. A happy medium is the perfect decal for an artist. If you didn’t have to make a “Snakes on the Plane” to cop cash wouldn’t you?

Wu-Tang. They got cult status like whoa! The fans they got all live and die 36 Chambers; keep up with U-God’s career; and would love to argue why Wu-Tang is the best thing in Rap ever. I swear it seems like Wu-Tang’s style is extra involved on purpose to act as a filter, to get rid of those folk who don’t care to listen and re-listen. I still throw a fit over what their slang means. Maybe they never could be cohesive for a while longer but they showed the Rap world what collective, in-house collaborations mean. Nine people plus hangers-on providing dutiful rhymes with an insatiable MSG Asian flavor and no ego (until lately)?

I was sort of depressed when I first held Tom Waits. His growl was mean. But its realness was inviting. He was down in the dumps, always. I felt like that too for a time. It didn’t even matter that I’d never heard or seen him before. I’m still back cataloging him. The more I search, the more I love him. His fans have to work to get his shit. So that perseverance equals well informed fans.

The Strokes is its own category of Rock. I couldn’t give it a name but it’s so smooth. It’s the ultimate description of young New Yorkers who get drunk in public, get ticketed and walk it off. There are no short-cuts. It’s both classic and new-age. In a time when Rock is disgusting, they give it some dignity. And I’ve never seen them on MTV!?!

Lupe may never get due respect or pay off. Fine. Recognition is not always real, or, most of the times it doesn’t mean anything; it acts as a reassurance. I know I look good, I don’t need you to notice me and regurgitate that info. Sometimes I’m glad you and a hundred other motherfuckers don’t care about him. It makes it better for me; I get to share him all to myself. I know it was wack when everybody thought that that one chick in 6th grade was the only good looking chick. There’s always something better that never gets that shine. Music we hear is for profit music; had dollars not been clocked, we would have never heard it. Cult artists are usually my favorite. I respect them for their desire to get out their love without a complex. They serve us that piff because they’re not concerned with Ciara or being snapped on Object permanence is so true. We got faith even when we don’t read articles on these people in Rolling Stone. Hell, I’d wait 10 whole hours for the lights to get dim…

Friday, February 15, 2008

29 Days of Lupe: Enter Whitey

White kids are drawn to Lupe's music. Is it the skateboards, the above average content or his unique style? I'd say all three. When I say "white" here I refer to non-blacks, so everybody gets thrown in the mix. I myself am half white, so don't get a sugar rush! Lupe's White audience is a great feat but it may be viewed with scorn and resentment.

There's this misconception that says once an artist plays to a White audience, he's wack. That's true but that White audience is Pop culture and it's the overplaying that mucks up a Jay-Z, Kanye West, Snoop song i.e. it's not necessarily the people rather the music biz to blame. That's not the case with Lupe. Since Lupe attracts a wider audience, some get the feeling that he aims his actions towards pleasing this audience. So all of a sudden Lupe loses his blackness? He must not be 'keeping it real' if White people vibe to his music. It's in everybody's heart to keep traditions alive. You don't intermarry etc. etc., and you definitely don't listen to music that's not made by people who look like you. Hip-Hop is the most inviting forms of music, principally; it speaks about struggle. But in actuality, Rap uses reverse racism in order to attempt to even the score. What, all of a sudden a White person can't rap because he'll just sound like Vanilla Ice? That was Vanilla Ice, he was trying to be black. Of course this thing happens but not as much as you think, especially with real White fans.

There's something to say of an individual who goes outside their comfort zone. White fans of Lupe, and Rap, are going against their grain. Aren't they supposed to be into Panic at the Disco!?! Bruce Springsteen? No, not really. There should be some respect given right there. I rarely see Black people reaching for an R.E.M. record. Going outside the norm can also ostracize someone from their own kind. Parents of Whites might be "up in arms" that their son is into, dare I say, "Nigger music". But c'mon that's the stereotype they're fighting against. The opposite is true too: if a Black kid listens to R.E.M., he's a sell out. There should not be this angst against Lupe's fans; just because White people like him, it doesn't mean you cannot like for the same reason.

What White people, who are avid Rap fans, can do is bring an understanding and a balance to an artist. Struggle is directly related to racism. If a White audience is open to understanding that racism has deep roots that still exist today, how can that be a bad thing? Aren't White people to blame for all of the world's ills? Then why not let them in the door? By being territorial, and close minded, it'll piss off these liberal White people even more. They could counter with the "Oh, I knew it!" So then, back at ground zero.

As for a balance, Lupe can say 'Okay, maybe my message isn't getting out to everybody I wanted it to but I still got some of my people backing me as well as others who are really into my shit.' That approval gives him artistic freedom. We know Lupe was different from the get-go but he's got some leg room. He doesn't have to feel pressured to preach Black Power, or all things Black every second. He can try one thing without hearing that gavel pound. Saigon is an artist who comes to mind as an example. Even though it's his prerogative to tell his story, and that he has the desire to tell it, he falls victim to this pressure. At times he comes off too emotional and too attached, like he cannot secede one inch. And Sai's outcome is muddled. Lupe's able to get his ultimate message without sounding revengeful. He spins his lyrics so that they can have a universal appeal. Lupe doesn't change his style at all because of his White fan basel. It could be his temperment. All of his "universality" is pre-mediated--it's him.

I wanted to stay away from bringing up Barack Obama but it's similiar for my agrument. Barack is appealing to more than just Blacks, he may be striking a chord with people. That's what Lupe's music is doing too. Yet Lupe is different because he's not chanting bullshit rhetoric (and he's not a politician) but giving us his own two cents. I'm sure Lupe is proud. Isn't a good thing that other people different from yourself can understand, feel and share life with you?