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Clearly not a fan of this err…painting.
It’s not as if I was planning to post on Christmas Eve but then Lupe Fiasco gave me a good reason to. For those of you who don’t want to trudge through Okayplayer’s shitty interface; it seems that Mr. Fiasco is the latest rapper to have taken umbrage to Nas’ claim that Hip-Hop is dead. More specifically, Lupe’s mad at Nas’ accusations that current rappers don’t know their history and are ruining the art form. Considering Lupe admitted to not knowing a single word off Midnight Marauders (much less owning it) in this same post, one can assume that his favorite rapper’s words struck a raw nerve. He later went on to defend his puzzling rejection of having a decent record collection by claiming that Tribe was not “his old school” and that his lack of parental and fraternal exposure to certain records excuses him from being ignorant and closed minded.
Well allow me to retort.
First of all, it’s absolutely impossible to avoid exposure to A Tribe Called Quest’s second and third records. Anyone who’s gone to any Hip hop show in the past 10 years knows that DJs play those joints constantly. I’m 3 years younger than Lupe and it’s not like I grew up on the group but somewhere along the line I heard a dope record and copped the discography. Second of all, in the era of Albumbase and Soulseek, you’d think that rappers would have all of this shit on their I-Pod whether paid for or not. Lupe’s (terrible) excuse is that he was never exposed to Tribe, yet in the same thread he lists Johnny Cash as an old artist he’s bumping. Now I don’t claim to know the man’s family but I’d have to assume that the same people bumping The Geto-Boys and Spice 1 (“his” old school) weren’t the ones who introduced him to the man in black. Combined with his affinity for name dropping yuppie approved acts like Chick Corea and Pink Floyd, it seems that Lupe shockingly has the ability to learn about older music even if he didn’t hear it as a kid! As long as it’s not hip hop anyways, if it is that’s too much for poor Lupe’s mind to grasp I guess. Third of all, the very foundations of Hip Hop have always hinged on young talent flipping old records in new and dynamic ways. If we’ve gotten to a point where emcees don’t even want to bump records they know are considered important and classic because they’re not cool then its time to take Nasir Jones’ quotes at face value and cremate what’s left of this thing.
However, it is Christmas and I’m in a giving mood (not just giving shit either) so I’ve decided to help Lupe get out of Newjack city. Here’s an Amazon wishlist of some records I think Lupe might enjoy listening to. Now as I was saying, I’m pretty young myself and I understand that not EVERY supposed classic really stands the test of time or translates to a new generation. That said, there are a lot of incredibly bumpable rap records out there and it might do Lupe well to hear them before making his next album. Some of you may still be looking for the perfect gift for your favorite Robot-obsessed rapper and Amazon has quick delivery so act now and buy these records for Lupe!
A Tribe Called Quest – Midnight Marauders
First thing’s first. Let’s get Lupe a copy of the Tribe’s most accessible record. The kid seems to have trouble merging what the streets expect of him and real personality: let Tip and Phife show him how it’s done.
De La Soul – De La Soul is dead
The perfect blend of street reporting and geeky humor, this record could have been first one the list considering these guys should be Lupe’s unparalleled role models. Repeat after me Lu: chill on the overdramatic soul beats…
Black Sheep – A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
Hell, why not make it a Native Tongues 3 for 3? These bad boys may be not be the best of role models but they’re clever and would probably give Fiasco a noogie in the hallway.
KMD – Mr Hood
Lupe recently discovered MF Doom and is freaking out, so I figured getting him the man’s first record with his crew KMD might make for a good gift. Here’s to hoping that Lupe gets dropped from his record label, goes insane and comes back as a BAPE rocking Venom or some shit.
Main Source – Breakin Atoms
Just read my review and you’ll know why Lupe needs this in his life. Plus it’s got his favorite rapper Nasty Nas’ first guest appearance threatening to snuff Jesus in a line that’ll probably scare the shit out of our listener.
Gangstarr – Step in the Arena
The pinnacle of rough beats and street smart rhymes; Gang Starr can instruct Lupe on how to “not be a bitch” without demeaning himself or his values.
Biz Markie – Goin Off
You wouldn’t know it from Food and Liquor, but Lupe has a fun side to him. Let Biz show him that it’s ok to show it off on his albums instead of hiding it on mixtapes.
Big Daddy Kane – Long live the Kane
Lupe’s listening to Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly and digs Too $hort so let’s get him the ultimate lyrical pimp record. If anything this’ll show him that he’ll have to do a lot more than he’s doing now if he’s planning on impressing anyone lyrically.
Brand Nubian – One for All
Funky, danceable and militant all at once, the God’s are here to prove to Lupe that if you’re going to elevate black youth, you can’t do it with Linkin Park beats and giant robots.
Boogie Down Productions – Criminal Minded
Finally, KRS-ONE’s debut is proof positive that even the wisest of teachers has to have lived through what he’s talking about to have any authority.
With these records in his stockings, I’m sure Lupe will have a VERY merry Christmas.