To start off I want to say I love Lupe Fiasco. He is one of the reasons I started listening to hiphop. Food and Liquor: amazing, The Cool: amazing. Lasers: ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, not so great. In fact, I would argue that Lasers is not just not-so-great but straight up bad.
Now when I say bad I don’t mean bad in the general music industry wide connotation, just compared to his previous material. The Cool set the standard for what it means to release a good rap album. It had both a hit single (Superstar) as well as progressing the idea of a rap concept album. It was also just really really good. If you want proof you can start with this:
After giving his new album a listen I think its safe to say that Lasers doesn’t even compare. The production throughout the album is weaker than his previous efforts and his lyrics match. His songs also seem to have more hooks than before, which when combined with the new production gives Lasers a really pop-y feel to it. The below is from Hurt Me Soul from his first album Food and Liqour:
So through the Grim Reaper sickle sharpening/Macintosh marketing/Oil field augering/Brazilian adolescent disarmament/Israeli occupation/Islamic martyrdom, precise/Yeah, laser guided targeting/Oil for food, water, and terrorist organization harborin/Sand camouflage army men/CCF sponsorin, world conquerin, telephone monitorin/Louis Vuitton modelin, pornographic actress honorin /String theory ponderin, bullimic vomitin/Catholic priest fondlin, pre-emptive bombin and Osama and no bombin them/They breakin in my car again, deforestation and overloggin and /Hennessy and Hypnotic swallowin, hydroponic coughin and
/All the world’s ills, sittin on chrome 24-inch wheels
Compared with Til I Get There from Lasers:
I’m just tryna talk to my homie that’s up in a hole /Now home girl no tryna be a hoe /Even though she on a pole /Now can she get a second chance? No! /Woah, like the opposite of go /That ain’t how it’s supposed to be(bee), or butterfly /Or for the sake of rhyming let’s just say “butterflyee”
After some googling it turns out that Lasers had been plagued with problems since pre-production. Lupe himself has stated that he wasn’t happy with his release, complaining that his record company rushed the production. He stated in an interview “When I think about everything that I went through on this record, I hate this album”. You can check out the full article here.
Compared to all the exciting hiphop coming out recently its sad to see Lupe’s flop so hard. Hopefully his next album will turn out better. Until then sorry Lupe.
In MTL news Kevin and I are still homeless, but sales are steady. If you want one of the new shirts make sure to hollaaaa
PS: This is one of my favourites, swaaaaaaaaaag: