Thursday, February 28, 2008

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.


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