OK let’s preface this rant for a moment; if you were to tell me seven years ago that I would be writing about why Lupe Fiasco, one of my favorite artists, was a waste of time for all of us I probably would have slapped you in the face with a copy of Food & Liquor. I would tell you he’s next up and 100 percent disregarded your lies of a future infuriating Lupe Fiasco.
Alas, here we are in 2013. Some of us have given up, some are on the fence, and a few out there are still part of the Lupe military (maybe a few of you). It’s time that the majority of us join that first group, at least for good while, until Lupe finally quits with his bullshit.
Let’s take a look at the reasons we even gave Lupe this much leeway to begin with. The list is short but convincing. For the span of his rise leading up to The Cool he didn’t miss a step; the formal introduction on “Touch The Sky”, his string of Fahrenheit 1/15th mixtapes, and of course Food & Liquor, all of which serves as examples of why so many struggle with Lupe fandom. There’s no taking those albums away from him, but at this point the story starts to get dicey.
He was going to retire but that eventually fell through and led to Lasers, the album that he hates but doesn’t hate, but we definitely hate. At some point during his rise and a few choice protests he lost all the soul that made his music enjoyable over his preaching. Then he released Friend of the People where, over a slew of electro-trash-rap tracks, he showed us the creative direction of Lasers wasn’t all label bullying. It was his decision-making that led him to spit over Justice and Bassnectar. There were some tracks tucked away, but mostly he just tanked his mission at being a “friend of the people.” He also further alienated his core fanbase. Finally Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1 presented itself, the sermon delivered so high up on Mt. Olympus that it was impossible to hear his message, whatever that convoluted moral actually was.
There’s no problem with politically driven music. At one point Lupe was able to tiptoe the fine line between convoluted discourse and genuinely enjoyable songs. “American Terrorist” succeeds for similar reasons to why “ITAL” completely fails. Nuanced storytelling in the frame of a larger problem succeeds over aimless rambling any day.
Click below to continue reading.