Lupe Fiasco- Lasers
1. “Letting Go” (feat. Sarah Green) – King David gets a bulk of the production on this long-awaited album and by no means does he disappoint. The keys here are mesmerizing and the drums hit hard. I’m not crazy about Lupe Fiasco’s decision to distort his voice though. It makes his lyrics difficult to make out sometimes. The chorus’ melody here is beautiful. Sarah Green delivers here as a very strong vocal feature especially during the last hook. Great intro. 4/5.
2. “Words I Never Said” (feat. Skylar Grey) – The transition into this song was very weak. In an album, transitions are important to keeping the flow going. It’s no big deal but I still would prefer something cleaner. Skylar Grey is quickly making herself the go to girl for catchy and strong hooks. Grey is bound to become a star on her own soon but for now, she’ll just give rap songs much-needed radio-friendly choruses. Alex Da Kid is responsible here for the beat and he once again comes through with what he’s known for, and that is delivering a hit. Lupe’s lyrics are insane. First line of the song: “I really think the war on terror is a bunch of bullsh–.” It captures your attention immediately and what follows are very strong statements so keep an ear close when listening to this song. 4/5.
3. “Till I Get There” – This song is a lot smoother as he tones it down in terms of lyrics and delivery. The message on this track is positive with a very soft and upbeat chorus. Fiasco here speaks on overcoming life struggles. Good song. 3/5.
4. “I Don’t Wanna Care Right Now” (feat. MDMA) – Lupe has a goofy flow here but it’s sure to stay in your head after a few listens. While he’s lyrics here are weak at times, his delivery would make you think otherwise. The hook by MDMA makes this song what it is. 3/5.
5. “Out of My Head” (feat. Trey Songz) – A Lupe and Trey Songz collaboration seems a bit off if you know about the two artists and after hearing the song, that’s exactly what it is. It seems like these two had no chemistry when recording the song. Chances are Songz laid his hook down and it got to Lupe’s hands somehow and he took it from there. If an artist has Songz on one of their tracks, it’s to make a hit but this falters greatly at that. 2/5.
6. “The Show Goes On” – This was the album’s leading single and it pretty much does set the tone for the album as a whole. The song has a real positive message and is inspirational which is a great change of pace in comparison to most hip-hop songs these days. This is simply just a feel-good type song. Having a bad day? Pop this in and enjoy. It won’t do big numbers but it’s a very good song and a solid single. 4/5.
7. “Beautiful Lasers (2 Ways)” (feat. MDMA) – Kanye West has writing credit on this song and if I had to guess, I would guess that he is responsible for the hook here. The singing and distortion sends off an “80s and Heartbreak” feel. “My heart’s been broken for a while, yours been the one keeping me alive,” says Lupe on a track to his fans. As some may or may not know, his fans petitioned outside of Lupe’s record label building to release this album. Lupe raps about his feelings on what came about his label pushing his album back so many times. 3/5.
8. “Coming Up” (feat. MDMA) – I’m sure a lot of people are going to like this song but it just doesn’t captivate me much. The hook is not bad but Lupe’s delivery is mediocre. Despite the solid production by King David on this record, his work here is my least favorite. It’s a forgettable track. 2/5.
9. “State Run Radio” (feat. Matt Mahaffey) – I’m not sure if this song is catchy or annoying. Either way, I find myself repeating the hook in my head more often than not. Lupe once again puts a distortion on his voice but it’s a lot less strong than on the album’s intro so it doesn’t bother me much. I love the production on this track with actual drums serving as the song’s backbone. The guitar is amazing during the last hook. 3/5.
10. “Break the Chain” (feat. Eric Turner & Sway) – This is not your typical rap song. However, Lupe is not your typical rapper. Ishi is the man behind this song’s beat and it knocks. It’s very retro but still extremely fresh in its own way. Eric Turner is amazing on the hook. Sway delivers the best verse on the song with the most witty lines on the album (“I’ve got an alibi, I was taking pics of Chicago call me camera ‘chi’) 4/5.
11. “All Black Everything” – I don’t know to describe the production on this song. You’re going to have to listen to this one on your own. The song’s concept is thought provoking as he puts the listener through hypothetical scenarios. I don’t want to give anything way here but just know this is one the strongest tracks on the album. I wish the album consisted of more songs like these. 4/5.
12. “Never Forget You” (feat. John Legend) – No one has a voice quite like John Legend so it’s only right he is on the album’s last track. Legend has something about him that makes it difficult to skip over him. It’s a beautiful song and the perfect way to close an album that sends off a positive outlook throughout. Hip-hop records don’t do that. The project was clearly rushed with only 12 tracks to go with an album that was pushed back for three years. Lupe faced a lot of controversy when making this album and it is a possibility that his label made him scrap a lot of songs he probably truly wanted on this album just to save face. Lupe is known to say things that most people may be afraid to say out loud. If more tracks like “Words I Never Said” were on this album, we may have gotten one of the most controversial albums of all-time. 4/5.
Overall: 3 out of 5 Owls.