The more he actually raps, the better he is.
Lupe Fiasco’s first album Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor really never sat right with me, and I wasn’t really hungry for Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool. It’s not hard to find reason to be perturbed by Lupe, with his self referential album titles for starters. There was the Tribe flub back at the Hip Hop Honors, his desire to sue VIBE, the waaaaay too long monologue-ing on LF’s F&L’s outro, and as I’ve previously blogged, Lu’s shown a fucked Trapper-Keeper-esque taste in album art.
The above video is for “Us Placers,” a track off of Kanye’s pre-Graduation release, the Can’t Tell Me Nothing Mixtape. This track, and the potential of an album of Lupe, Kanye and Pharrell, that’s enough to keep me following.
Instead of having a three minute long bullshit intro like he did on LF’s F&L, it only takes a minute and a half until Lupe gets to a song, and he’s actually rapping. He’s still got that woman doing the spoken word at the start, but I guess he really digs that gal or something.
The first few tracks, especially “Go Go Gadget Flow,” “Superstar featuring Matthew Santos,” are decent, despite being a little too happy for my step. By the time you get to “Gold Watch,” and “Little Weapon,” Lupe’s turned it up and is unstoppable. He even gets nerdier than the nerdiest, when he gets all Street Fighter, explaining that he’s so boring (my words, not his) he can only play with Ryu & Ken and doesn’t like Zangief or Blanka. Despite all of this, he’s still deft with the words.
I havn’t taken a few listens to decode the concept part of this being a concept record. I do hate to admit, though, that the song about the cheeseburger, “Gotta Eat,” doesn’t suck scrot and might actually be good. More thoughts on this later.