Lupe Fiasco knows how to do outros. According to Wikipedia, the ants pants when it comes to musical knowledge, ‘outro’ is a blend or portmanteau as it combines the words “out” and “intro” to create a new word. Thanks very much, Wicked-Encyclopedia. Portmanteau or not, Lupe Fiasco knows how to do em and do em well (as LL Cool J would have it). This song is 12 minutes 13 seconds long. How do I know? Because it is the only song over ten minutes that I listen to with any regularity bar Tchaikovsky’s wicked 1812 Overture. Funnily enough overture is French for opening. The binary oppositions are killing me.
To LUP’s End first up. This song really introduced me to the concept of ‘shouting out’ instead of thanking people. Lupe drops almost as many industry names as I’ve ever heard anyone drop in 12’13″ – spanning continents and taking the Gorillaz, We-Who-Is-Banned, Sway, Fort Minor and Reebok in his thankful stride. This is like the musical embodiment of the ultimate hip hop liner notes. All put to a really sick beat. Lupe gets his way around the undulating pronunciation of ‘Decipher’ to boot. Paying homage has never sounded this good. The best thing about the whole track is that he doesn’t mess around. Lupe isn’t throwing away one-liners. Everybody thanked deserves thanks. He doesn’t indulge in testing out some of the couplets that might have been chopped from tracks. He doesn’t do act out some stupid skit with one of his pre-production homies to fill up space. This is a solid dozen minutes of genuine gratitude and for some reason, it is heaven to listen to. I dare you to listen once and not listen again. I know these personalities off by heart by now. I shout out to ‘Angie’ alongside Lu. I know that Karen Kwan the way her name rolls off his tongue. This is getting too sexual for my liking. Food And Liquor (album #1) such momentous closure. I urge everyone in music to take note.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the industrial revolution, we come to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. Tchai-town what up? Lupe is from Chicago. The comparisons are mindblowingly numerous. Apparently there might be more to the overture than just a backpack rapper thanking his colleagues for ‘holding him down’. Written to commemorate the Russian’s brave defence against Napoleon’s crazy French army at the Battle of Borodino, the overture is still probably better known for the myriad cinematic orgasms it provoked through it’s synchronized-fireworks inclusion in the film adaption of V For Vendetta. Natalie Portman is hot. Evidently, Tchaikovsky was taking a swipe at the French in labeling the piece using a French term. I hope he was. Also of note is the fact that the song has long been linked with American Fourth Of July Independence Day celebrations, even though it has no American connection at all. The yanks are good at doing that. Like Iraq. Veering away sharply from politics, this is a ripper of a track. If I was Lupe Fiasco planning my next outro (the reportedly three-disc!! lupEND), I’d have a look into this for a beat (hint, nudge). It has horns and violins and happy and sad and modulation and canons and chimes and Russians. It’s probably the best thing the Russians have produced since the Romanov dynasty. It certainly sounds better than the Georgian invasion.
All in all, these are my ultimate beginnings and ends to the potential rap/classical crossover album that I am planning in my mind as I write. I will call it OverTro! What would go in the middle? Probably a similar incredible, inspiring fusion of Bloc Party, Lil Wayne, RHCP, NaS, The Smiths and Run DMC. That would be sweet. The first track will be leaked (unofficially) next Thursday. Not really.
I’m out. ro.
Lupe Fiasco – Outro
Tchaikovsky – Overture