Lupe Fiasco can call his long-delayed, forthcoming album whatever he wants, as long as he keeps the quality music coming. Yes, we have been waiting for Lasers even since Lupe made first mention of it in late 2008, but it’s looking like the wait is going to be more than worth it. New music from Lasers started to drop as early as July 2009, with “Shining Down”, which features frequent collaborator Matthew Santos, who Lupe found success with on his hit single “Superstar” along with other songs on his two previous albums. Then Lupe let loose “I’m Beamin” which was more of what his fans were craving. In Q4 of 2010, the next single from Lasers was released and seemed to have more of a backing than previous singles, and rightfully so. “The Show Goes On” provided fans with amazing production on the beat, a catchy hook, and of course amazing lyrics from Lupe. With “Words I Never Said”, Lupe was going for the grand slam. Four great singles before the albums release would give fans and critics no reason to not pay attention to Lasers. Lucky for Lupe, his latest cut from the album is sounding like the best one yet.
“It’s so loud, inside my head
with words that I should’ve said
as I drown, in my regrets
I can’t take back, the words I never said…”
Skylar Grey’s vocal’s made headlines last year with her features on “Coming Home” and the leaked “I Need A Doctor”. She is becoming the new go-to vocalist for rappers looking for a hit record. Lupe has always had a good ear for strong vocals, and whether it was producer Alex da Kid’s choice or Lupe’s to feature her on the track, she sounds amazing and emotionally invested in the song, as always. The bombastic beat, along with a welcomed interruption from the piano keys, makes for a remarkable intro. The chorus is only the set-up for what is an amazing, controversial lyrical show from Lupe.
“I really think the war on terror is a bunch of bullsh-t/just a poor excuse for you to use up all your bullets/how much money does it take to really make a full clip/9-11 building 7 did they really pull it…/Gaza strip was getting bombed, Obama didn’t say shit/that’s why I aint vote for him, next one either/I’ma part of the problem, my problem is I’m peaceful/and I believe in the people.”
“Words I Never Said” is all about regret, or, avoiding regret. Lupe Fiasco wants to say what is on his mind, and he isn’t afraid of the impending reactions to come from the media and general public. In fact, judging from his pre-release chatter of the song, he is excited to see how the world reacts, and how could he not be. If Lupe wants attention, he is going to get it with this song. The whole concept of the song is very witty, and brings up some very controversial topics along for the ride. Lupe has spoken briefly on the topic of political issues before, but not to this degree. Right away he makes it clear that he is not pro-war, and goes as far to say that our country is just looking for an excuse to fire off our weapons. Then he goes on to attack President Obama’s methods, calling him out for not taking action prior to his inauguration in 2009, regarding the bombing throughout the Gaza strip. Obama’s actions, or lack of actions therefore, just added to the list of reasons why Lupe didn’t cast a vote in the 2008 election. He just wants to take a peaceful stance on the situation.
“…if you don’t become an actor you’ll never be a factor/pills with million side effects, take em’ when the pains felt/wash them down with diet soda, killin’ off your brain cells/crooked banks around the world would gladly give a loan today/so if you ever miss a payment they can take your home away.”
Lupe carries on with the incredible flow and lyrics going into the second verse while providing more conflicting views. There are many crutches in society that people rely on to get by, some of which Lupe addresses. Millions of people take medication in order to survive, they have no other choice, but then there are side effects that take a toll for the worst. Almost as if doctors are trying to kill their patients with the bad, instead of help them with the good. Many people also depend on the banks of our nation to help them live in a financially stable home. Once a loan is made to a family, they have this sort of dark cloud hanging over them. If they become victim to the economy and are not able to pay their bills then their house is taken away as fast as it was given to them. It might be the bank’s evil doings, it might not be. When Lupe raps about the pill popping with the diet soda, you hear a can cracked open and then poured into a glass. It gives the listener a great visual and could signify some sort of downfall.
“I think that all the silence is worse than all the violence/fear is such a weak emotion that’s why I despise it/we scared of almost everything, afraid to even tell the truth/so scared of what you think of me, I’m scared of even telling you…”
When it comes to the music industry, Lupe Fiasco is as real as they come. His past musical projects have shown this, but “Words I Never Said” solidifies his unique persona as a rapper. He has a lot to say and uses his music as a portal for these thoughts. His lyrics come through with powerful meaning that can relate easily to the common people. People have a lot on their minds; a lot of positive and negative views that they are too afraid to say out loud, because of the backlash from people around them. Lupe breaks this trend with his innovative fourth single off of Lasers. The production on the track and vocals from Skylar Grey are enough to write a whole review on, with the lyrics being a completely different beast. The whole package comes together to make what is in my opinion, so far, the best hip-hop/rap song of the year. Lasers drops on March 8, 2011.