Lupe Fiasco is a legendary MC who has been a prominent figure in music since the mid-2000s. Despite having a rocky 2010s, he finished the decade off on a high note with 2018s “DROGAS WAVE”. He has just released a brand new EP titled “House” with producer Kaelin Ellis. As all Lupe projects go, I’m sure there will be some powerful message to take away, but will he be able to deliver it, properly?
Lupe and his featured guests challenge the listener’s views on this project. Opening up with the record with “HOMME MADE”, listeners get a minute and a half long speech from famous designer Virgil Abloh thrown in their face. He poses some powerful questions like where we are from and what creates our concept of home. Following it up, the cut “DINOSAURS” continues to unravel our thought processes as Lupe preaches about his own beliefs and views towards some of the principles we have always perceived as facts. “SLEDOM” is a mind-boggling track that focuses on the history of models and why it is a corrupt profession today. “SHOES” focuses on the greed individuals have on inanimate objects like designer products. The narrative is perfected as Virgil Abloh, the lead designer of Gucci, says it is ridiculous to put that much effort into something which is not a living being. The moral of the song is maybe if people put as much emphasis on real issues as they do material things, we would be able to accomplish something as a society. The projects finale, “LF95”, is a hard five minute cut of Lupe recollecting on his experiences during the coronavirus pandemic and comparing them to other milestones throughout his life. Overall, Lupe yet again, proves why he is one of the best lyricists ever with his complex rhyme schemes and profound subject matter.
Sonically, Kaelin Ellis gives the perfect soundtrack for the album to play out over. Whether it’s the gloomy backdrop on “HOMME MADE” or the hard-hitting jazz-centric beat on “SHOES” he always knows how to complement each track’s vibe. “SLEDOM” stuck out to me as its vibrant instrumental feels unsettling when knowing what Lupe is talking about. All in all, the production doesn’t blow me away, but it completes its task to the fullest.
In conclusion, “House” shows that Lupe Fiasco is still one of the most skilled MCs in the game. The blend of technical lyricism and relevant subject matter is not matched by many guys in hip hops modern landscape. Behind the boards. Kaelin Ellis holds it down as he provides Lupe with the right instrumentals to go off over. Going forward, I hope this leads up to a full-length release from the 38-year-old mc as I feel he could have another classic in store!