Though Lupe Fiasco does occasionally cover disturbing and challenging subject matter, seldom does he dive with such commitment into darker sonic territory. Yet on his classic The Cool, one of the project’s most engaging conceptual tracks also happened to be one of the most haunting in “Put You On Game.” Off the bat, the vibe is completely different than what Lupe generally kicks up, this one fueled by a foreboding arrangement of orchestral strings; it’s the soundscape of battlefield long after the massacre, where the survivors have no choice but the reflect on the carnage.
Seeing as it’s Lu’s 39th birthday today, it feels appropriate to celebrate the ambitious lyricist by highlighting some of his most compelling work. As it happens, he dives headfirst into “Put You On Game,” his narrative prowess in full effect as he embraces the evil within. What makes it so interesting is the cold detachment within his lyricism, almost as if he’s surveying the world as an omniscient and omnipotent narrator. While it’s seldom celebrated as one of his defining works, it’s certainly one of the most immersive, likely to linger long after the fact like a particularly unsettling dream.
Happy birthday Lupe Fiasco — may there be plenty more conceptually-driven highlights still to come.
I taught them better than that
I taught them aim for the head and hope they never come back
I’m glad your daddy’s gone, baby, hope he never comes back
I hope he’s with your mother with my hustlers high in my traps
I hope you die in his trash
I can’t help it, all I hear when you’re crying is laughs
I’m sure somebody find you tied up in this bag
Behind the hospital, little baby crack addicts had