Monday, December 03, 2007

In this fast food like pace of acquiring music in the new millennium it’s almost impossible not to overlook some exceptional artists and music. Even though I try to make it my business to give every worthy artists and album a fair and focused listen, I have fallen short on several occasions. One of my weakest areas for listening is definitely in the mixtape category. Even though this has been an effective promotional tool for many years now, most of them still suck! Personally, I don’t like DJ based mixtapes where there’s a lot of unnecessary banter and unreasonable amounts of shout outs throughout project distracting from the music. So, when I do get my hands on a mixtape, I am very apprehensive about listening to it. Case and point, I had both of Lupe Fiasco’s first two mixtapes in my possession back in the 05-06 timeframe. When I saw the name Lupe I immediately thought that he was a Mexican rapper for some reason. Lupe and Pablo sound very similar to me for some odd reason? Basically, I shelved those two underground gems for months on my external hard drive. It wasn’t until I started hearing Lupe’s name more throughout different sites on the internet that I finally started paying attention. I quickly dug those mixtapes out from my archives and I was pleasantly pleased. It was easy to see that this Lupe kat was a true emcee representing Chicago!

When Lupe finally released his Liquor & Food album in 2006 I was hoping that he could bring back some of that fire that had been lost in mainstream type hip-hop over the years. Sadly, it seemed like the suspicious leaking of his album prior to its release got more publicity than the actual album itself. Then there were two versions of the album floating around the internet as well, which didn’t make matters any better. Skeptical fans were on the fence when it came to the quality of this challenging album. Some felt like his concepts were corny and his flow was too complex for the average listener. There was too much lyrical depth and not enough dopeness over mediocre beats. Others felt like Lupe was a breath of fresh air that should be praised for his efforts. An educated emcee/visionary with a true sense of self and the world we live in, breaking down the gimmick like BS that has plagued the mainstream airwaves for years. We need more albums like this! Personally, I appreciated Lupe’s album for the simple fact that it was different. I had to listen to his the album about three times before I could really appreciate it though. It’s strong body of work and I have to give props where they are due. "Kick Push" is still my joint though!

So, now it’s 2007 and Lupe is ready to drop his sophomore album “The Cool” on December 18th and I am actually looking forward to it. I have put my ears on a few tracks on his new joint and I think this might be the album that takes Lupe to that other level? It seems like Lupe took the best qualities from the Food & Liquor album and added a few more tricks to bring his second album to life. The production this time around seems to be on point as well. Production is my number one concern on most albums. If that part of an album lacks then I am normally not interested in the overall project. The Cool seems to have solid prouction, and once I heard the track “Dumb It Down” off of the album I knew then that Lupe was going to be a problem this year! You will hopefully know it too after putting your ears on this joint:
This place is like a cereal box, just full of hidden treasures!

1 comment:

Lenny said...

Lupe - Coolest