I have been listening to rap since we have all heard about MC Hammer & Vanilla Ice. Only when Eminem came with his Marshall Matters LP that I started to think that rap is a cool kind of music. So I bought the tape and another uncensored one so that I could hear all the explicit words. I love every single song in it. After that I started to listen to every single rap that are famous during those days; Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Redman, etc.
So the days of gangsta rap are over. I've moved to all sorts of other music genres. Rap is still around, but it wasn't my real interest (not trying to say that my real interest is now rap). It's not when I heard of the name Lupe Fiasco by a friend who introduced me to the song "Superstar". It didn't quite impress me, but it is a nice song, hearing it for the first time.
When LASERS came, I started to listen to the album. Just like any other album, you'd listen and love a few of the songs first ... in the end you'll love every single track. I started to learn what rap is about. I found out that rap is a form of poetry, and coming from a literary background I agree to a certain extent that songs can be poetry.
You see, to me (as someone who recently love poetic stuff) poetry is a form art using language. Thus to have it as an art, it requires something to make it beautiful. Just as paintings requires good colours, brushes, creativity,etc, poetry requires the right set of words, sounds, imagery,etc. Thus, the same goes with the lyric of a song.
I'm not saying that Lupe Fiasco's song are like Shakespeare's sonnets because that is too far apart. Shakespeare's sonnets are beautifully crafted. Rap (I'm referring to good rap), to me is beautiful because it usually rhymes and the choice of words used are just great.
While most commercial rappers are talking about dancing, partying, drinking, girls, sex, etc, Lupe being someone who go against establishments, raps about society, war, environments and other forms of awareness. It is really rare to hear a mainstream artist, especially from the US going against the occupation on Palestine by Israel.
After listening to Lupe, I got a whole new perception of rap. I could listen to Lupe singing about Islamic things with other singers; Snoop Dogg, Skylar Grey, Erykah Badu, etc without any issues. It just open up the way I think about something.
This is one of my favourite verse from "Superstar" taken from The Cool:
A fresh cool young Lu
Trying to cash his microphone check 2, 1, 2
Want to believe my own hype but it's too untrue
The world brought me to my knees
What have you brung you?
Did you improve on the design?
Did you do something new?
Well your name ain't on the guest list
Who brung you? You
The more famous person, you come through
And the sexy lady next to you
You come too
And then it hit me
Standing outside of heaven waiting for God to come and get me
I'm too uncouth
Unschooled to the rules
And too gum shoe
Too much of a newcomer
And too uncool
Like Shadow and Lavelle
I battle with it well
Though I need a holiday like lady who sung blue
Go back what ever you did you undo
Heavy is heaven
The devil on me two tonnes too
p/s: Just listen to how well this verse rhymes. ~~