Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Lupe Is The Coolest

I can't get enough of Lupe Fiasco's new album, The Cool. I think Lupe has negotiated a fine position for himself with this record, one that lies between his comic-book skater nerd ambitions that landed him on the map and his very intellectual attempts to deal with grave issues like Hurricane Katrina and urban fallout.

This song and its accompanying video are killer

and this track is overwhelming goodness

Lupe Fiasco feat. Matthew Santos - Streets on Fire

It's a kind of dark and sultry walk down an empty street at an obscene hour, where you're waiting for something major to happen, not necessarily bad, but something. The song simmers long enough for you to realize that the four minutes and forty seconds were the main event. It was there all along.

Lupe explains the song a bit in an awesome interview with EW.com that any music lover will approve of

How about ''Streets on Fire,'' where you bring in the character of The Streets?
At the beginning of the song, [singer] Matthew Santos lists all these tragedies, and then it says, ''She's out there smiling.'' It comes from 1984, the book, where there was so much double-talk and double-think in the first few chapters. That's my favorite book. I tried to put that in a record. So it's like, ''Believe/So say the neon signs by the loudspeakers/Repeating that everything is fine.'' You know? ''A subtle silence/To demolish the troubled conscience/Of a populace with no knowledge/And every freedom denied.'' It comes directly influenced by 1984 — using it as a vehicle to introduce one of the characters very abstractly, very subtly.

You get to know Matthew Santos quite a bit on The Cool. You might recognize his slight falsetto from The Cool's first single, "Superstar." I checked out Santos' Myspace page, and he's recently released a solo album called Matters of the Bittersweet. Santos in his own right is actually very folk and jazz, choosing to complement his lovely musings with the clarinet and acoustic guitar instead of a drum track machine. It's amazing how musicians are able to collaborate and produce different tones and sounds for different projects.

I think we'll be hearing a lot more from Santos, and soon.

1 comment:

Hunter Wry said...

A great track!

"A subtle silence/to demolish the troubled conscience/" ---It looks like the double-talk is wrapped around sign language.

Nope, lupe won't dumb down for no one.