What?? I was under the impression that it was called DROGBAS light until literally earlier today! Wow. That’s a disappointment)
Lupe’s Undervalue is a Fiasco
Listen, I know I don’t ask for your opinion or explanation often- because, let’s face it, the vast gulf in intellect means it’d be like Jesus walking on the water past you and asking you for tips of his backstroke- but can someone please just answer me one thing?
What is the deal with Lupe Fiasco?
I don’t need you to explain who he is, I’ve worked out that much. I don’t need you to explain how he got his name (he was such a shark around the snooker halls in his youth that they used to call him ‘Super Lupe Nuts’). I don’t need you to tell me what he does: I know he raps, like, better than nearly anyone else. I don’t need you to explain his music, because I’ve just told you that’s actually impossible. I don’t need you to explain how he once claimed that “the biggest terrorist is Obama*and the United States of America. I’m trying to fight the terrorism that’s actually causing the other forms of terrorism. You know, the root cause of terrorism is the stuff the U.S. government allows to happen. The foreign policies that we have in place in different countries that inspire people to become terrorists” because, shit, even if you don’t agree with that view you have to understand it, and admire the gall bladder of a guy willing to say it on American television.
The thing I don’t understand about Mr Fiasco is why he isn’t widely regarded as one of the greatest artists working today, and a legitimate genius?
If people were asked to name the greatest rappers today you’d hear very similar answers: you’d hear about your Kendrick Lamarrs, your Jay-Zeds, your Jaden Smiths, your Kanye Wests… Why is Fiasco never considered? He can’t be because he’s, on a fair few occasions, a bit of a silly gobshite, because… well, look at that list again…? One lukewarm review of this album complained that Lupe was ‘too focused on his lyrics’???
It most definitely can’t be because of his music, because he has consistently produced some of the greatest music of any genre over the last few years. His masterpiece was 2015’s ‘Tetsuo and Youth’, which I ranked far higher than Kendrick’s ‘Too Kill A Butterfly’, which I considered far too dense and complex a listen. It’s a decision that, if I ever start to wonder was wrong, I just listen to Deliver to remind myself how right I was.
‘DROGBAS’ doesn’t quite match up to it (few albums do), it’s a little muddled and lacking direction, and reminiscent of Kanye’s similarly unfocused ‘Life of Pablo’, even if it is a far better record than Kanye’s
It doesn’t start this way: it begins with a thrilling and breathtaking sense of purpose. It may be a slightly frontly loaded album- by far the best three songs are tracks 1,2 & 4- but still the first 8 tracks make up an absolutely near perfect experimental hip hop album. To be honest, if Mr Fiasco had the balls to just end the record there and release it as a mini-album it would probably be top 5 this year.
But… then Kill happens. And extremely appropriately kills the album’s previously impeccable flow (the man’s a genius). It kills it fucking slowly as well: Kill is the album’s longest song, and feels at least five times its seven minute length.
After that, the album’s all over the place. It’s bizarre how his is Lupe’s debut on his own label, yet still to close the album out with four radio friendly pop bangers that you would have thought he was attempting to escape the necessity to do. They’re each individually very good songs, but all so obviously designed as big uplifting album closers that Lupe couldn’t choose between so just bunged them all on together.
‘DROGBAS Light’ is probably best appreciated as a near perfect eight track record, with maybe 4 bonus songs that are entertaining if disposable. And one song about how much he loves his mother. And Kill. Seriously, the worst song since London Queen.
Lupe Fiasco losing his focus late on is still an absolutely masterful piece of work, and he remains the most bizarrely underrated rapper working today.
So, what, did he kill a dog or something? What’s wrong with him? WHY WON’T PEOPLE LOVE HIM?!?!
Age: 36 (+4)
Album Number: 12 (+72)
Album Length: 60 minutes (+0)
Slimmed down to 10 tracks. I’ve obviously left the opening 8 songs untouched, and let him have two of the songs from his back of album breakdown, as Not Designed and Wildchild feel like appropriate album enders and don’t clash with each other too much. A work of genius once again, Mr Palmer
Very Good Songs: 2 (+8)
Brilliant Songs: 8 (+80)
AMAZING Songs: 3 (+60)
Just BAD songs: 1 (-5)
% of Album Worthwhile: 92.8571429
‘Guang’, meaning ‘light’. My Chinese has slipped badly…
Previous Entries: 2015 No.9
Meta Critic: 56
??????????????? The fuck is wrong with you people?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
*This was back when slagging off the president wasn’t cool