Saturday, February 09, 2008

29 Days of Lupe: Where's Wasalu?

Um.. there? Nope. That could be my story. There. Naw, that's everyone's view.

A side that seems to be missing from his music is a personal attachment; we're not hearing the details, the anecdotes. While he completely invests his heart into the rhymes, his creative side flexes more than that personal touch. From hearing his music you know from the start that he's adressing real issues but more often he's offering commentary. It's difficult for me to remember instances/rhymes where he's offering an actual slice of Lupe.

I know the commentaries are his opinion so it's his personal feelings but his concepts/stories are cliched--or for a wider audience. Anybody can say "I grew up in the hood"! I'm fed up with the system too, shit. He may add details here and there, embedded without realizing it, but they're vague. I doubt his rhymes are completely his, they're taken from other lives, other people. How does living in the hood feel to you? What made you start writing? It's as if he writes for everybody else thus his offerings sound generalized.

Details are important to offering a real opening into an artist. Lupe seems like a guarded, private person. He's opinionated but when it comes to knowing more about him he shuts his door. That's cool but I don't think he gives extreme introspection. Has he ever mentioned women, his experiences in dealing with that devil? How'd you get through high school? Did you just magically become an ill MC, where's the trials and tribulations? Oh, I forgot Allah gave you them skills.

Maybe offering personal tidbits isn't his strong point. He's more than able to get by without injecting absolute personal experiences And I'm not mad. He's more concerned with being an MC. He's more concerned with this concept of "The Cool". Spreading the message is his ultimate goal through impersonal, cliched stories. This knock may make him better at reaching more folks because his creativeness in writing is apparent; generalizing things is mass appeal. Sometimes I don't think I really know Lupe. I know what he stands for but who is he? He's up close and not personal. Had he given us "Being Wasalu Jaco" we would've been spit out somewhere around Hoboken (See: Joe Budden).

2 Comments:

At 6:18 PM, Anonymous Richie Rocks said...

Man im commenting like crazy huh? Im a big Lupe fan and being that youre taking a vested interest in him (albeit late although youve covered that already) i just gotta read! haha
I agree, me and a friend were talking about this on a blunt ride ("hydroponic coughing in...all the worlds ills" hypocritical i know) not too long ago...it seems like most Lupe songs begin with him introducing us to a character (intruder alert...hip hop saved my life...he say she say...the cool...kick push....little weapon...the whole conceptual cool crew) and then goes on to give us a look at them approaching each song with different narrative aspects and points of view. It makes for great songs and stories of course, and I do suppose that as with any narrator he puts a little of him into every work and expresses his personal ideals and morals through song (he say she say, american terrorist, gotta eat, hurt me soul) but sometimes you want a little more of a personal touch.
Before I discuss songs with personal touch I just wanna point out that most rappers who talk about the typical hood and "cool" lifestyle are just speaking on what they see but delivering it 1st person anyways so they're really no better, and then at the other end of the spectrum the continually introspective eMCees get really tired and bland, sometimes even forced, after a few listens.
Now as for his personal songs I feel like hes given us a fair insight while remaining somewhat faceless within his own music. We have songs like hurt me soul and american terrorist which are definite commentary but his tone, as is true with most authors, offers the true insight because based on his description of certain characters actions you can tell wether he condones the behavior or not. We have also been blessed, if i may use that term, with a personal song in Fighters where he deals with a few happenings from his past in a very straightforward manner, checking his swag outside the booth giving us a good look into him. I Gotcha was also done in first person however you dont get much of a look at Lu more than the "high self esteem, and low tolerance for them tellin me how to lean", and gold watch is the same thing.

I agree with you in the fact that hes way more worried with being a dope MC and delivering his whole message of the cool chase, the games grasp, and the streets sweets. (yea i just made that up, dope alliteration skills YUP!)

 
At 12:51 PM, Blogger The Major said...

Ha, someone knowing alliteration? I can tell your a Lupe fan.

Glad you're a Lu fan, reading my shit, and commenting... that's why I do it. LUPE FANS UNITE: Tell everybody else why you respect the dude.

Lupe does have personal songs. "Hurt Me Soul", "Amercian Terrorist", "Gold Watch": definitley et al. I think he injects himself into a lot of his songs through opinions and commentary but he rarely gives us the naked Lupe (no homo). He offers his 2 cents but sometimes I want to hear that raw emotion, feelings, that acting before thinking moment that maade you felt stupid, vulnerable.

 

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