Thursday, February 07, 2008

29 Days of Lupe: Tardy

Hasn't it been like a 2 or 3 years since Lupe hit the scene, so why are you all of a sudden hyping dude? Because I was late to class, a derelict like Bart Simpson. I was the hater and then I pressed play (no Diddy). I soon became convinced I had made a gross error. I seem to be late on quite a few acts, it's like my M.O. And it seems the cats that I'm early on, I eventaully sour on them (or they get exposed). It's interesting when fans begin to have an ear for an artist, like how far into a particular artist's career do they take heed. I hate being late just for the fact that I end up beating myself up for not feeling dude earlier and you can't tell others "What I tell you!" "Uno" is not your word. You cannot speak of their progression either, which is essential in making arguments or pin pointing reasons for your continued support. Plus I always feel overwhelmed to back catalog them, so much so I never listen to their mixtapes, singles etc. I've found that while being late to the show may have it's down sides, it still allows you to know that you can change your tastes. And if you're really inspired, you'll like the artist even more.

I jumped on the Papoose train in the spring of '05 after my friend chirped about him incessently. I finally got a hold of some his mixtape shits and I quickly fell for him. His delivery, consistency and mastery of rap were more than convincing. Oddly enough, the features Papoose did with Jim Jones, Saigon and Paul Wall gave me more reason--a segue--to listen. Pap also helped, er, killed himself with his bi-weekly mixtape offerings; they made me listen more and more and then they blended together. He got into his feud with Uncle Murda and immediately became wack. With so many mixtapes, and my eventual annoyance of his voice, made me never get through any of his previous mixtapes. Although I became a fan just before he became a household name, I wished I had caught him earlier when his schtick was unique and ill, before he oversaturated himself.

Joe Budden is another dude I slept on. That "Pump" shit was not cool to me. Plus I was out of rap at the moment when he was with his fam, doing mixtapes etc. I'd actually never heard of dude after his single and just thought he was a minor one hit wonder. It wasn't until '05 that I'd heard his name again and I was like "That "Pump" dude? He ain't dead!?!" If only I'd done my homework because Joe's been nice for too long. I came to my senses, peeped quite a bit of his older material and I'm now an advocate for the truth that is Joey.

The only reason I'd heard of Little Brother was the endorsement tape from DJ Drama. I held off listening to them for a grip. I enjoyed Minstrel Show and I've heard some of their older works. It's been cool to hear them both get their skills on point, especially Pooh.

When I decided to give Lupe a listen, the most important thing was that I wanted to do it. Yeah, tons of people persuaded me to give him a listen and that influced me. But had I just given him a listen to satisfy the notion that I heard what he had to say, I probably would've turned it off to justify my previous claims of him not surviving his hype. Since my lateness to Lupe, I find it daunting to scour his mixtapes. And he doesn't do mixtapes anymore--that's when you know you're late! There's an added incentive to get on the bandwagon too since he'll be retired in two years time. This concept extends to any form of music too. For some reason I shunned Led Zeppelin and I wondered why the fuck everyone was on their dicks. This past fall I gave them a listen. It took me ten listen throughs of LZ 1 before they'd become one of my favorites. If only I'd rocked them earlier? The "What If" factor still strikes fear in me. It's a funner experience to have an artist to yourself, before they blow up or grow old. You want to catch that initial wave when they're hot before they become commercialized whores. I still bang Kanye but damn was it way tighter when he was barely getting on. Now 12 year olds sing his shit! It would feel terrible, even counter productive, if I just heard the greatness in Tupac, after he's died and his posthumus career has died. How can you miss a revolution? Giving an artist a real listen, even if long overdue is more than fine--it doesn't matter how you get there, it's just that you do get there.


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