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Friday, October 30, 2009


Lupe FiascoWhat makes Chicago's Lupe Fiasco special isn't that he's the most talented rapper of his generation, nor that he has a boyish charisma that jumps off his records and has drawn the attention of Jay Z and Kanye West. Technical acumen is not as important as your favorite indie emcee would have you believe, and charisma can be manufactured. What's special about Lupe is the honesty and clarity of his lyrics. He's a war emcee: he raps about the war on terrorism, the war on drugs and the war on the poor. "This has been brought to you by genocide, sponsored by crack," Lupe declares. Over the course of his debut drug dealers with tears rolling down their eyes man funeral processions. Cops roll by laughing at the misery they've sworn to police. The "game" is the "belly of the beast," the streets a "demon in a dress with dollar signs in her eyes and semen on her breath." There's "blasphemy for prayers," "Hennessey tears" and "hollow tips for teeth." For Lupe, "Righteousness is a father teaching his kids/ That what's better than wealth is respect for yourself."
- Sam Chennault

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