Lupe Fiasco burst onto the hip-hop scene through Kanye’s “Touch the Sky”, lending a verse to the insanely catchy Curtis Mayfield-sampled beat. He’s been an ATG maintsay since; a refreshing young artist who has, in my opinion, THE ABSOLUTE BEST FLOW in hip-hop. Disagree if you must, but that’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it. Seriously, I’ve listened to Food & Liquor (which Jay-Z helped Lupe produce even after Lupe turned down a Roc-A-Fella deal) probably a hundred times, and his only LP doesn’t even completely showcase his unrivaled versatility and unique lyrical stylings. His LP gained him national recognition, but his mixtapes (Chi-Town Guevara, Da Exam, etc.) have gained him the all-important respect of the underground hip-hop listeners and artists. Hip-hop heavyweights love him too. Jay-Z called him a “breath of fresh air”, referring to Lupe’s return to the lyrically-driven hip-hop from the early 90’s, and away from the instant hits that feature ultra-over-produced beats (I’m looking at you Timbaland and 50), and lackluster lyrical content.
Some may label Lupe as hip-hop for white people (a label unfairly given to artists such as The Roots and Talib Kweli as well), but I disagree. Just because his music is accessible to hardcore hip-hop fans, mainstream rap lovers, and indie hipsters does not mean it’s white music. It means it’s good music.
Lupe is back on the scene with a leaked single from his newest full-length, Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool (badass). “Superstar” features choruses provided by folk-soul up-and-comer Matthew Santos. The piano-driven beat showcases Lupe’s UNREAL flow, intellectually stimulating lyrics and, as stated by the album title, Lupe’s “cool”. Because Lupe is just that; cool. Not gangster, not thug, just simply cool. Check out “Superstar” and get ready to rethink all of your (mis)conceptions of modern hip-hop.
Still not convinced yet? Then check out Lupe on “Can You Let Me Know”, a dancy, catchy and downright awesome track featuring Sarah Green’s soothing chorus and a verse from Verbal, a new artist with a style and delivery that perfectly complements Lupe’s.