14 March 2011

Review: Lupe Fiasco "Lasers"

Lupe Fiasco is angry. He's upset with the government, he's upset with Atlantic Records, he's upset with the world and its politics. I know this and you will too once if you cop Lasers, his third studio release. The Fiasco doesn't aim for too much for radio friendly banter, instead using 12 tracks to dissect his views on the current state of affairs of the nation and the world at large. For true LF fans, it's nothing new, just more of the same. For those who either aren't big fans or are new to Lupe, this will seem like what it is: a conscious rappers conscious album. I know a lot or artists don't like that title, but I don't know how else to put it. With numerous references to politics, Barack Obama, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Islam, terrorism and the KKK Lupe is out to "edutain" yet again.

I've been a fan of Lupe's since I first heard him on Kanye's "Touch The Sky" and will continue to remain one, but this album is a bit thick for me. None of the references go over my head, I understand the points he is making and I agree with some of his opinions. I disagree with a lot of his delivery, though. For some, it's no new news that Lupe has gone through hell and high water to get this album out with Atlantic and has even had some choice words to say about it since its release. I'm not privy to all of his personal issues but I know that he stated in one interview that he was told to not go as deep on this record. It seems that he did just that, possibly in protest. The skill factor from his last album The Cool has been turned way down, substituted for "sing-songy" rhymes and quickly delivered lyrics. I think he did this on purpose, though.

The lyrics aside, the beats are different and I like them. They're not your typical hip-hop fodder, which I am ok with. The production is new and exciting, also. I'm not familiar with many of the producers but they've got good work on this album. However, I don't think they're all a good look for Lupe's style. Well, they're not a good look for what I am used to concerning Lupe's style. I say that meaning that there is a lot of singing on this album. The majority of the hooks are sung, whether by LF or a guest artist. It doesn't sad bad, per se, it's just an awkward fit for what I'm used to. I don't see this as progression on Lupe's part; instead, more like a sideward movement. One that need not be repeated.

What makes me feel better about this album is that Lupe's is displeased with it. Well, that generally makes two of us, at least. Hopefully, Atlantic will give him more freedom with his next venture as this one was not his usual work. The lead single "The Show Goes On" is a nice touch, but his delivery is slower than usual and sounds kind of boring. Every other track is equally forgettable.

Hopefully, Lupe won't be as angry next go round. I think it interfered a great deal with his creativity. Now, if you'll excuse me I'm off to find my copy of The Cool.

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