Two years after the release of his fifth studio album, “Tetsuo & Youth,” Lupe Fiasco peeks out of the shadows and gives us a true hip-hop album.
In Fiasco’s latest album “DROGAS Light,” he begins with “Dopamine Lit (Intro)” where Fiasco speaks about his style not fitting into the mainstream and that he’s better off being an outcast on a different route. He also plants the idea that record labels and music corporations are like drug rings with the line “Ayy, this one ain’t for Bilbo, you can stream the album on Silk Road, drug rings for more dough, so they baggin’ like Bilbo”. Once his album becomes available on any site, it creates “traffic” for that website, which is the main term used for drug smuggling.
In the song “Made in the USA,” Fiasco gives us an insight into how most of our nation’s problems are homegrown. With the line “Ku Klux Klan in Indiana brought that s**t from Alabama,” Fiasco highlights the most influential chapter of the organization and how its origin dates back to the emergence of the Ku Klux Klan in the south.
He then goes on to name off numerous types of weaponry that are all manufactured in the U.S. For example, “My Glock came from Smyrna, Georgia, my AR-15 from California,” is the very first thing you hear and is then followed by a chant of “Made in the USA.” It’s a powerful message when people often look to other countries for many of the world’s problems, but Fiasco sheds light on the turmoil here in the United States.
One thing that makes Lupe Fiasco so unique is his ability to incorporate messages into songs that most would claim as “club bangers.” In the song “Jump,” featuring the artist Gizzle on the hook, Fiasco speaks about how the game of “trapping” makes anyone believe they could be a rapper. It’s a shot at the mainstream style we have been seeing progress over the last few years, and Lupe seems to play with that notion a little.
While the album is littered with numerous tracks with broad analogies, Fiasco also includes some songs that listeners can play and vibe out to. The track “Law,” the subtitle of which is “LoveAllWays,” features a very soothing hook from the artist Simon Sayz. One line that really catches one’s ear is “Wanna put my name on it, but don’t wanna end the friendship, Cause that’s a declaration of independence.” It’s a nice play on words as many names were put on the Declaration of Independence, and if he were to end his friendship with the woman in the track he would become independent.
Fiasco then follows that song with “Pick up the Phone,” the first single released off of the album, which gives us the light-hearted version of the rapper reminiscent of his Billboard track “Superstar.” Sebastian Lundberg adds a very nice hook to the upbeat song, and the line “Feeling kinda restless, did you get my message,” can be very relatable to people in rocky relationships.
The last track on the album gives us a peek into the Lupe Fiasco as “More Than My Heart” is a heartwarming ballad to the artist’s mother. “Said I love my mama, more than I love myself,” says it all as the artist praises his own mother throughout the song for the numerous times she has come to his aid.
Although nothing will come close to Fiasco’s “The Cool,” the artist’s second studio album, “DROGAS Light” gives us something in between as many of the tracks reflect Fiasco’s old style with a hint of his album “Lasers” thrown in.
This marks Fiasco’s first album since parting ways with his record label Atlantic Records and looks to be part of a trilogy before the rapper calls it quits for good.