I’d like to point out that some of the songs I’ve linked below contain profanity so parental discretion is advised… but then again, it doesn’t matter, parents just don’t understand!
Even though 2012 didn’t mark the end of the world, I still feel like we need to be saved, saved by superheroes. No, I don’t mean the type who touch the sky. I’m talking about those who inspire us to realise and reach our full potential and maybe give us a kick/push too with their cleverly put together words of wisdom and rhythm. I guess what I’m trying to say is that, hip-hop saved my life.
Anyway, enough of that “real talk”. As we’re still alive, I’d like to invite you around my way and share a big part of my life . I listen to a lot of rap music. One of my favourite rappers goes by the name Lupe Fiasco, originally from Chicago, Lupe has released four studio albums so far: Food & Liquor, The Cool, Lasers and Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1 *exhales*.
If the instrumental of one of his songs isn’t enough to get you going, I’m sure Lupe’s lyrics will have you scratching your head (in a good way). Personally, I hate it when artists dumb it down just to get airplay on a state run radio and become a superstar. That’s one of the reasons why I enjoy his music; he doesn’t shy away from discussing unconventional and controversial topics, he has even directly criticised many people in his lyrics and interviews, including President Obama, which is a scary move to make when you’re in the spotlight. Lupe’s social commentary gives him some substance and allows literally the world to relate to his music.
Even after I’ve listened to a certain song a hundred times, I still manage to discover something new, I’m constantly having “eureka!” moments. I’ll listen to a song initially and think that that’s all there is to it, but after a few times I realise there’s more, like another layer. You could say that in the same way ogres have layers – at first they seem like mean, green, terrifying machines but later on you discover their softer side and that all they really want is some a companion, love and a
nice dirty place to live in – Ahem… anyway… what I’m trying to say is that with Lupe’s music there’s more to it than meets the eye (or maybe ear in this case?). Some say Lupe’s style is a facade to make what he’s saying sound more “deeper” and complex then it really is, but I disagree, I feel this “beating around the bush” takes the listener on a journey and sort of through the steps of his thought process, it also allows the listener to come up with a conclusion themselves – I think this is the best way for someone to truly learn something.
Not only are his recordings great but Lupe is also an incredible performer and seems to have the greatest stage presence I’ve ever seen from a rapper, here’s a video.
Before I go, I’d like to set you a challenge. Your challenge is to listen to at least six songs I’ve mentioned over the next six days and comment below to let me know what you think!
P.S. ‘Parents Just Don’t Understand’ was the first rap record ever to receive a Grammy.