On December 14, Lupe Fiasco announced that he would be quitting making music amidst accusations of antisemitism. As a Lupe stan, I mourn his retirement although he will still be releasing “DROGAS Light” on February 10, 2017. At the time of this announcement, it appeared as though we would never hear a new Lupe track again and it made me reflect on his career.
Since 2006––when Food & Liquor was released––Lupe has been dropping knowledge on us. I’d argue that his discography includes three classic albums: “Food & Liquor”, “The Cool”, and “Tetsuo & Youth.” Through these three as well as his other projects, Lupe Fiasco has provided ample criticism of our national and international societies. He has covered topics ranging from street violence to foreign affairs and everything in between. A quick listen to any Lupe track will immediately alert you to his command of lyricism. Being one of the greatest rappers of all time requires much more than great lyricism, and Lupe’s artistry transcends just lyrics.
Lupe Fiasco is one of the most technically sound and skilled rappers to ever grace the mic. Insane wordplay, in-depth allusions, crazy rhyme schemes, and profound metaphors are all pervasive in Lupe’s music. Not only will you find these things in studio tracks, Lupe’s rapping abilities are on full display in his freestyles as well. It is rare to find a rapper that can put together classic albums as well as spit meaningful freestyles off the top. Many of Lupe’s freestyles are better than tracks that took artists months to record.
The final trait of great artistry that Lupe possesses is musicality and curating ability. Lupe is not afraid to push boundaries musically which is something I appreciate in an artist. It’s easy to simply follow whatever sound is trending but Lupe creates his own lane. Aside from Lasers––which was due to label issues and Lupe himself hates––Lupe albums aren’t designed for radio play. His albums are experiences that require and reward relistening. There is no better example of this than “Tetsuo & Youth”; an album that is almost two years old that I still haven’t fully digested. The album follows a seasonal pattern aided by musical interludes. The dopest part of the album is that you can listen to it in reverse order and it will be a completely different yet equally powerful experience. Such a masterpiece is rare and I look forward to see if he can top that performance on DROGAS Light.
This awesome post was written by my great friend Trevor Barrant!
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