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)!


At 8:14 AM, Blogger t.r.b said...

i'm digging your 29 days of lupe. since i bought the cool a couple weeks ago i've been consuming it non-stop. i thought i was the only one actually studying it like a thesis;)

At 4:30 PM, Blogger The Major said...

Yeah, thanks, don't I feel like that too. Like something's wrong with me talking about Lupe for a month. But at least Lupe makes you smarter, it's a productive waste of time.

At 10:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try this cool video widget for your blog featuring Pink Floyd: here...


Post a Comment

<< Home