Lupe Fiasco’s Clever Wordplay Gets To The Real Roots Of Street Organizations (Video)

Lupe Fiasco released his latest album, Drogas Wave, approximately one year ago. It is the second album in his Drogas (Spanish for “drugs”) trilogy. The series started with early 2017’s Drogas Light, and Lupe has since stated that it will end with Skulls later this year. The latest collection of songs is part of a high concept narrative that details an alternate history where a group of African slaves that are thrown off of a slave ship. Surviving underwater, the troop dedicates their lives to sinking all vessels doing this inhumane act.

Drogas Wave features a standout track in “Cripple.” Carrera Lu dropped the video for that song. Longtime collaborator Soundtrakk produces the jazzy tune. It features Runere Brooks on upright bass, Anthony Perkin on piano, and Crystal Torres on trumpet. Then, there’s flutist Elena Pinderhughes who has a soothing solo at that ends the nearly five-minute cut.

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Fiasco’s lyrics are layered with meaning, and they demand multiple listens to truly appreciate the writing. The chorus alone is a master class in poetry. He flips back-to-back acronyms that give new meaning to the words “Blood” and “Crip” like so: “Beauty is the Largest / Obstacle to Obsess / Diaspora and Sonnets / Community Resistance In Progress.” And just a little taste of his third verse shows the level this Chicagoan is operating on: “The city: population control, occupation parole / Hope the swayed persuades and this conversation cajoles / Not to be Enron, Alexander Hamilton, or Cassandra’s Agamemnon / The environment is more than just a panda at the wind farm / Looks cool, but it’s bool as cool fusers / And the abusers fuel the duel losers / To make fools of the schools and pool Buellers / The crusade to legislate oxygen / And put it in a box just like Desiree Washington.” There is a lot to unravel here.

The mostly black-and-white visuals are directed by Vann Fulfs, who films the MC born Wasalu Muhammad Jaco strolling around New York kicking his dense verses. From a rooftop to a brownstone stoop, each location seems to recall classic Hip-Hop videos of the past.

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Press photograph provided by Missing Piece Group.