Onto the more important matters - the GRAMMYS are in less than a week!!! NO IDEA how I'm going to get through all of these albums... buutttt, maybe we'll shoot to at least finish the televised albums and make those picks? Yeah!
I remember the first time I heard this dude's name, and assumed he was in reggae for some reason. No idea why, but I was wrong, clearly, considering he's nominated for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for "The Show Goes On."
Some quick background pulled from the Wiki page:
"Lupe Fiasco was originally going to release the album as a tripple album, titled "LupE.N.D." as his third and final record, but his contract with Atlantic Records prevented him from doing so. He then postponed "LupE.N.D." indefinitely and intended on releasing an album tentatively called "The Great American Rap Album" in June 2009. Instead, the album was also postponed and he announced that a new album was in the works, originally titled "We Are Lasers" and then changed to "Lasers". "Lasers" is a backronym for "Love Always Shines Everytime, Remember 2 Smile"."I just found all of that to be pretty interesting, so I had to share. Always cool to hear how an album eventually came to be what it is.
The album itself kicks off with "Letting Go" featuring Sarah Green. Right off the bat this has got a great musical feel. The rap isn't overwhelming and hard to hear, which you know is the case sometime. It's actually a great calm lead-in to an album, sort of easing us into everything, and welcoming us into his perspective on this album, especially given his original intentions and where it wound up going.
The second song is the one you, like I was, may be more familiar with. Here's the video first, for "Words I Never Said" featuring Skylar Grey.
Love the beat immediately for "Till I Get There." It's almost reminiscent of Bruno. It's a lot of working up from nothing to something, and taking care of yourself as need be throughout that. Actually, this is an incredibly uplifting song, both musically and lyrically.
"I Don't Wanna Care Right Now" features MDMA. Probably the first sort of out-of-place song of the album, but that's probably because of the mix and subject. There's more of a party feel on this one, and we were getting comfortable with messages and relatable subjects. Don't get me wrong, this one's fun, but it's for the nighttime, not your everyday.
Trey Songz is featured on the next single, "Out Of My Head."
We'll follow that right up with another video, this time for "The Show Goes On."
Now now, you've heard this one, just as I have. And you'll admit, like I have to, it's incredibly catchy. Nice get up and get it done song, no matter what the circumstances.
MDMA is back for "Beautiful Lasers [2 Ways]." Lots and lots of auto-tune directly on the mic. I know, it's been going on throughout the album, but it's particularly noticeable as this one gets going. It's kind of interesting how freakin' tortured this guys sounds when you get into his lyrics. His self-doubts are so unexpected, but kind of comforting in a way - he's human. You don't get impression from rappers very often.
"Coming Up" features MDMA again. I couldn't totally make out the meaning of this one, if it was about a chick or about his opinions on listening to music. The beat is pretty great though. There's a really old-school hip-hop/disco feel that keeps it grooving different than everything else so far on the album.
With more message on what we're permitted to listen to, we get sELF featured with Lupe on "State Run Radio." We hear the same thing over and over again. I like the song, and get where he's coming from, but sorry, I don't care enough about the message. I know people want to hear new stuff, and different stuff for that matter, on the radio, but personally, I know how I get new music to my ears. The radio's just kind of filler for driving between CDs.
"BREAK THE CHAIN" features Eric Turner and Sway. The hook is pretty great, and the echos amplify the intensity of the message of doing something different. I think the rap beat might be what actually looses me a little bit here. No, not the words... that backing that's overpowering too much has got to be it.
You can't totally expect a little white girl to love the song "All Black Everything." There's a ton of political talk throughout it, which is tough for someone who doesn't listen much to individual news stories. The song's got this interesting take though, about how if blacks had never left Africa and gone into slavery, history would be so completely different. There is a lot of peaceful race realizations though I guess. It's most definitely an interesting song to listen to though.
"Never Forget You" features John Legend, and completely comes out of left field to end the album. It's, musically, a beautiful song, with gorgeous piano basing everything and providing a great backdrop for rapping unlike anything I've heard before. The chorus is sweet and I think what a lot of people out there would just plain enjoy hearing.
Added to My Playlist:
- "Letting Go" - Spotify, YouTube
- "Words I Never Said" - Spotify, YouTube
- "Till I Get There" - Spotify, YouTube
- "Never Forget You" - Spotify, YouTube
I remember I posted a status on Facebook a while back, referring to the Hairspray song, saying "Thank god, You can't stop the beat." Or, something along that line. A friend replied with a Lupe video. Now, I've heard of him before, and dug his music, but that sort of woke me up to what this guy had to say, which is a lot.
Tremendous respect for the rap genre, as these guys almost always entirely write their own songs, be it through lyrics of in choices in mixing and instrumentation. Lupe Fiasco worked on every single song on this album himself, I think making me love it even more. Really, this is such a good album. Can't wait to listen to these track again.