Sunday, February 10, 2008

29 Days of Lupe: Connect 4

Lupe works because he makes connections to listeners. There are four particular ways that Lupe distinguishes himself against all these other rappers.

The hip word Swagger really defines Lupe. We know all rappers act like they have this Swagger, but they don't--they just have too many yes men, or sheep, around them. Swagger is all about individuality. It's how you talk, rap, walk, dress--it's everything you do! Being an emcee with brains is it. Words that come out with structure is it. The exuding confidence to push forth amongst the animosity, the misconceptions, the low IQs: that's Swagger. Robots, comic books and skateboards are unique to Lupe. Ditto with the Maharishi's, Tokyo botique bought gear and clean t-shirts with crazy shit on 'em. In-house production. Islam. He's into other music forms. His palette is well rounded, diverse: he sees outside his own little world.

Inherent in every rapper should be the DNA structure of an emcee. If you can't control the mic while delivering verbal intercourse in a hand stand than your not an emcee. Emcees supercede the beat; they are better than a beat. Words are like poetry; we should be able to vibe to an acapella. Creativeness is a must: regular stories need to be spun in a different silk. Everything said makes you think. The intention is to challenge the listener every bar, every song out. Rewinding becomes a part of the listening process. "Damn" is shouted multiple times during successive listens. Emcees sometimes try to do too much to make the rap intellegent rendering the actual song useless. Lupe can make a song deep and lovable in the same breath; I can listen to it and take mental notes or ride around singing along.

The kid's content is not only meaningful but profound. Everything he says is quite relateable. A rapper being honest, sincere and saying things that I completely agree with? There can be discussions, and blogs, about his messages. The amazing thing though about his content is that it's literal and figurative. The stories are spelled out in plain English if you listen. But they're presented in such a manor that leaves it open to interpretation. He doesn't tell you that Brenda had a baby by describing her surroundings; he delves deeper, opening the mind up to an abstract thought: a tree with no leaves. I don't get it either but... Did I mention that he doesn't swear or use "Nigga"? Getting your point across without cursing--blasphemy!

Quality versus quantity, it's always a debate. Do we want artists to Lil' Wayne themselves until they choke on their own tongues from spitting too much? Or do we want it Dre 3k style: 2 songs a year? Lupe, earlier in his career, gave us a half a dozen of mixtapes. I'm slowly getting to them but I have yet to not like his mixtapes, let alone his albums/random songs. Of course though, right? It seems he's been able to release enough material to keep us content while maintaining a high quality. The reason? Content: see above. Has Lupe made a wack song yet? If so, I haven't heard it yet.


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