Lupe has sat with some pretty lucrative company since West picked him up a couple years ago for the re-work of Mayfield’s “Move on Up” (Da Silva!), most recently having worked with Janelle Monae, B.o.B, and Rivers Cuomo.
Lately, however, Lupe has been in the midst of a rebirth and hopes to resurface with his new album Lasers (2010) as a model of the avant garde: “substance in the place of popularity.”
But as Lupe said in a recent interview, Atlantic Records isn’t so enthused about Lupe’s yearning for artistic autonomy: “The label has got to have records that they can sell and Lupe is not giving them the records they want to sell [my emphasis].” Who determines what the record labels want to sell? We do. The listeners do.
Now that I have heard “Runaway,” a collaboration with the UK’s UNKLE (an experimental electro group who have also worked with Beastie Boys, Kool G. Rap, DJ Shadow and Radiohead), I’ve started thinking Lupe might have actually found a way to make his artistic freedom possible.
If there is any sort of “positive” message in Lupe’s new work it remains unclear: “Physically here/mentally/I’m up there somewhereeaaaa…,” but musically it’s like nothing we’ve heard from him, as he pours out his abstract rhymes like thick syrup, leaving the odd gob of “yeaaaaa” that Tim Goldsworth throws around the track like a hose set on fan. It feels like slowly sinking. It also sounds like he’s having a great time.
“Runaway” is to appear on UNKLE’s upcoming EP, The Answer, in stores September 14th. If you dig it, and think this sort of sound/cause is worth supporting, now is the time to send that message.
01. The Answer (ft. Big In Japan – Baltimore) 02. Separate Half (ft. The Lumerians with Rebecca Coseboom) 03. Country Tune (ft. Gavin Clark) 04. The Runaway: Lupe’s Revenge (Lupe Fiasco vs UNKLE Reconstruction) 05. Follow Me Down (ft. Sleepy Sun) (Tim Goldsworthy Remix) 06. Heavy Drug (Reprise)
[audio:https://thecomeupshow.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/UNKLE-The-Runaway-feat.-Lupe-Fiasco.mp3|titles=UNKLE – The Runaway (feat. Lupe Fiasco)]