Saturday, August 05, 2006

Buy this album!!!!!!

Remember this date: September 19, 2006. That's the day you go to your local record store and pick up a copy of Lupe Fiasco's "Food and Liquor." Hailing from Chicago, Fiasco sounds a little like Kanye West mixed with Talib Kweli. Like Kweli and West, he focuses more on the introspective and positive, and displays a sensitivity and awareness that is sorely lacking in a lot of today's rappers. He has much more in common with Native Tongue artists like Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul than anything on Cash Money or Swishahouse. On the few tracks I've heard by him, he manages to be provocative without being preachy, political without being too simplistic, and has mad skills to boot. He can rhyme, and so far he's had pretty solid beats to work with. Jay-Z is the executive producer of his album, and hopefully he has the sense to not try and make Fiasco All Things To All People, ie put the track for the ladies, the track for the hoods, the track for the club, the track for the radio, the track for the one-armed hermaphrodites, blah blah blah blah.

Hip hop could definitely use a more positive MC. No offense to the Paul Wall's and T.I.'s of the scene, but I think we have enough rappers talking about money, dealing, and partying, and very few talking about all the fucked up shit that's going on in the world today. Houston is full of New Orleans refugees, and still they are rhyming about getting their lean on and paying a hundred grand for a grill.

I'm really hoping that "Food and Liquor" will provide a viable alternative to all the southern party rap. Fiasco could be like Kanye West, only an actual rapper. Here's hoping that Lupe lives up to his hype, doesn't include too many skits or too much filler on his disc, and doesn't turn out to be the egotistical asshole that Kanye is. I'd love to see him still wearing jeans and a hoodie a few million albums later.

Lupe could also trigger a rise in skateboarding in hip hop, and a further coalescing of the two scenes. With Lupe rapping about skating, and skaters like Berkeley's Wolfpack bringing the culture to the Bay Area, it's just possible that a skate deck will become the newest hip hop accessory. And you know what that means: Spinner rims on their skateboards. Platinum Trucks. P. Diddy bringing out a line of shoes with Airwalk. Saweet.

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