Thursday, March 10, 2011

"Life's Hard And it Feels Like Diamonds"

When @LUPEFIASCO's long awaited album Lasers (Love Always Shines Everytime Remember 2 Smile) finally found it's way onto iTunes this past Tuesday, it was received with a lot of negativity. After a few listens of the album, I feel like the frustration and negativity surrounding the album is mostly justified, but given the circumstances, the expectations shouldn't have been as high as his first two albums. From the dispute with his record label Atlantic that caused the huge delay between albums, to the way Lupe keeps claiming he hates his new album, to the different (heavily electronic) sounds and controversial lyrics, there hasn't been a shortage of opinions on his newest release.

But, if we've learned anything in the past week with @charliesheen, we now know it's abundantly clear that any publicity is good publicity. Case in point, Lupe being on track to sell over 200k in the first week, which will surpass both his previous debuts, which were (presumably) much more coherent and quality releases. Selfishly, I was hoping Lasers would go double glass so that Lupe could be released from Atlantic and get back to guiding his own spaceship and making his brand of original music. Don't get me wrong, I like his two pop anthems on the charts right now as much as the next person, but we've got tons of other artists that fit the radio mold, who are incapable of making music that is as deep as what we heard on Food & Liquor and The Cool.

Unfortunately, barring some unforeseen event that would cause his contract with Atlantic to terminate, Lupe is now probably going to continue to be used as a cash cow for a record company he hates and subsequently forced into making more music that he doesn't personally like, but will sell. If you're a Lupe fan and are expecting storytelling tracks like The Cool (below), then you're going to hate his new album and the 180 he did with his new album's "manufactured" sound. I'm tellin' you, lower your expectations prior to listening to his album, it's best for all involved...
Alright now that you're in the right frame of mind with expectations back in the ballpark, below is my favorite track on the album. This track, All Black Everything and Letting You Go represent the only glimpses of the artistry that I really admired on his past two albums. The sythesizer gives the track a dreamy feel, which meshes well with the harsh, somber lyrics Lupe bleeds on the track. Fitting for the struggle he went through in making the album...
"There’s only two ways, out, of, here,
If you’re too late you’ll be trapped here, forever.
There’s only two ways out of here,
One’s through the door, the other’s through me"
Lasers isn't what you should expect from Lupe, he admitted it himself. Sadly, iTunes and SoundScan don't always reward quality and a few hot singles can salvage just about anything. I hate the trend, but it's the climate we live in now, so take what you want from Lasers, just make sure it's with a grain of salt...

Lupe Fiasco feat MDMA - Beautiful Lasers (2 Ways)


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