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ThreadBlog Album Review: L@sers

Yes hip-hop heads, your 3 year wait is finally over.  On March 8th, we will FINALLY get a long-awaited release from the one and only Lupe Fiasco. After Lupe gave us his classic (not used lightly) second album “The Cool” in late 2007, it was clear that he was one of the most creative artists out and one of the best lyricists we’ve seen in a long time. The album garnered high praise from both critics and fans alike, and gave him his first smash hit with “Superstar.” Prior to the album’s release, Lupe had already told fans that his next album, at that time titled “LupE.N.D,” would be coming shortly thereafter. After the label refused to set a date for the album, some pushbacks, a few title changes, more label drama,  a valiant fan protest, talk of retirement, a couple of mixtapes, and a few more leaks, Lupe will finally bless us with his 3rd album, now called “L@sers” (pronounced Lasers). The music heads here at #TheThreadBlog have gotten their hands on an advanced copy of the album. The question is, does it live up to the hype?

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Posted by on March 2, 2011 in Music

 

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My Inner Me

On one of his mixtapes prior to his highly praised debut album “Food & Liquor,” Lupe Fiasco spit a lyric that has stuck with me since the first time I heard it;

“My greatest enemy is my inner me”

While this lyric may seem simple on its face, the meaning and sheer force behind it cannot be underestimated. Look, we all know that there are a million reasons that relationships don’t work, and by now we’ve heard them all; lack of attraction, cheating, compatibility issues, distance, etc. As budding novelist Bradford J. Howard so bluntly puts it in his newest novel Book of Lamentationssometimes love isn’t enough.”

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Posted by on January 6, 2011 in Relationships, Uncategorized

 

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The Future of Music: Part II

Dear Readers… as you all are aware, your favorite writer Typo-Critical has recently embarked upon a campaign to assess and project where Rap and R&B music appears to be going as we head into 2011-2020. To get a feel for where I’m going with these predictions, peep the first edition of “The Future of Music.” Now, on to my next one –

Prediction 2: “conscious” rap briefly re-emerges.


“I’m one of the few who’s been accused and abused/of the crime of poisonin’ young minds/but you don’t know shit ’til you been in my shoes!” – Dr. Dre, “100 Miles N Runnin'”

The last decade of the twentieth century (the 90s) witnessed a slight building upon what has been popularly referred to as “conscious rap.” Channeling oratorical masterpieces of poets of the 60s and 70s like Gil Scott-Heron and Amiri Baraka, conscious rap music was classified as any music that incited thought, discussion, or dissection of issues prevalent in a given community. The most distinctive difference between these past poets and conscious rappers of the 90s, is that the former often wrote pieces geared towards Black pride and challenging “the Man”; while the latter talked about the harsh realities that came with being a part of an underclass or underrepresented community.

Following groups such Eric B & Rakim and Public Enemy (when Flavor Flav was a rebel in his own mind instead of about chicken and chickenheads), arguably gangsta rap in its earliest forms could be considered the emergence of conscious rap in the 90s. I could literally dedicate a book to gangsta rap – indeed, it’s already been done – but just for a reference point, the rap group N.W.A. (Niggaz Wit’ Attitudes) was one of the earliest and most well-known gangsta rap groups. *Note: I say this with no disrespect to Boogie Down Productions, whose Criminal Minded album back in the 80s is credited with birthing “gangsta rap” before the group went conscious*. N.W.A. was largely credited with bringing in a very raw, uncut sound to rap music and hence starting a trend that continues to this day (although it has focused less on violence and more so especially on the drug-dealing/”trapping” aspect in the modern). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2010 in Music

 

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