Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Thoughts On Lasers

Well now this album has been getting a lot of opinions lately, hasn't it?

Ever since Lupe (one of my favorite MCs of the last few years) released a mixtape called Enemy of the State a while back where he spit over some of the most popular beats out at the time, I have been highly anticipating the release of Lasers.

Now here it is. And, I think my initial Tweet about it pretty much summed up my feelings.

Sean Juan
Any producer's wanna try their hand at remixing ...& without all the goddamn singing?

Lyrically, Lupe does pretty well. He's the kind of MC with the skill to carry an entire album without a need for features. As a listener, your ears are glued to his voice, hanging on every word. He has that kind of power with his flow, wordplay, and subject matter most of the time. Lasers has a lot of powerful content lyrically. "Words I Never Said", "State Run Radio", and "All Black Everything" are the most shining examples.

Lupe has a little bit of trouble walking the line between socially informative lyrics where he expresses his opinions on the worlds and lighter subject matter where he raps about the opposite sex. In my opinion, if the songs are done well and the tracklist is well though out, these opposites can co-exist on a single album.

But, where Lasers falls short - way short - is on the musical selections, and the singing. Oh my god, the singing. Please stop the singing. No, it's not as bad as Eminem's Recovery album. Lupe's not doing much of the singing himself. But, there is literally a sing-songy hook on EVERY track. It's disgusting. And, there is not one boom-bap or any kind of hard hitting Hip Hop track on the whole fucking album. And, sometimes the lyrics are clearly begging for it. So, in short, I don't know what the hell Lupe was thinking while creating this album.

It's up for debate. But, after listening several times, the only thing I can think of is that he wanted to make an album with a sound that would appeal to the widest audience possible while still getting his message across. Because he wanted as many people to hear his message as possible. There's nothing wrong with wanting that. Especially if you're saying something that people should hear.

Unfortunately, music rarely works that way. You're better off just doing you, and whoever catches on, catches on. Artists sometimes make the mistake of trying to tailor their album to fit an audience rather than allowing an audience to come to them. That's the difference between art and commodity though. And, I would have thought Lupe would know that. And he would have fared much better if he used beats like the ones Rick Ross uses to cover up his lack of talent then the soft, electro shit he opted for. I know very few people that would like the sound of "I Don't Wanna Care Right Now" and "Break The Chain". It's fucking horrible.

Ultimately, I think this will go down as the dud of Lupe's career - provided he wakes the fuck up and makes some better songs next time. The saddest thing is, he didn't have to do this. He actually already has a pretty wide fan base. And, I don't think any of his fans pop-oriented or not were looking for this from him. Pop fans like good Hip Hop once in a while too. I mean, a lot of them found Lupe on the first two albums, right?

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