Lupe Fiasco - Drogas Light
Lupe Fiasco has suffered more than a few hits to his career since Food & Liquor burst him on the scene. Almost constant twitter battles and a well known issue with his label Atlantic, this is the first album where Lupe is fully independent something He has wanted from the beginning. What this means is Lupe is finally free to just be Lupe without all the pressure of label interference. The results really are great, he is more relaxed than he ever has been yet still has just as much fire burning in his belly. One of Lupe's best gifts is how He can tell in incredible story, with a complete narrative start to finish. "Jump" is a really great example of this where Lupe tells a tale of a rapper coming from the trap game writing lyrics for someone else and them bringing him along. It's a story that has been told 1,000 times in rap, but never with as much vivid detail. Lupe does not let his bluster become central on any of the songs, instead he is vulnerable at times and always looking for a further truth. Unfortunately this is not the music that is celebrated today, instead people are happy with a powerful trap hook and a few chirps and the occasional bar. You would expect because the album is independent for it to be something completely new or different, but DROGAS Light is almost always about making a track that you can rock loud and proud and not being different for difference's sake.
The record is a great balance of substance and pop appeal with Lupe's words being paramount, but He also wants you to shake your ass to this as well. It is very similar to what Kanye did on The Life of Pablo but with his lyrics rather than with the beats themselves. One great line comes on "Law" where referencing the trap culture Lupe says "Let's move slow/make a million dollars off cough syrup". It is a play on his own album, knowing full well He is taking on the Trap moniker but doing it in a very different and experimental way. What is really clear on this album is that Lupe has to be in the conversation with the best rappers. Sure He can get way to far into his own head, or isolate himself from the entire hip hop community, yet time after time He proves just how great of lyricist and thinker He really is. Drogas Light is not his best album, but it is one where He can establish himself as an independent artist and have it be his own vision from beginning to end. It is funny that this vision has taken him more towards the pop side of things, but we lucky that is the direction He has chosen.
8.0 out of 10