Atlantic AT0252T / AT0252CDX: 11th September 2006
1. Daydreamin’ (Album Version / Radio Edit / Instrumental)
“Now come on everybody, let’s make Cocaine cool, we need a few more half naked women up in the pool, and hold this Mac-10 that’s all covered in jewels, and can you please put your titties closer to the 22s, and where’s the Champagne, we need Champagne, now look as hard as you can with this blunt in your hand, and now hold up your chains, slow motion through the flames, now cue the smoke machines and the simulated rain”
2. Theme Music To A Drive-By
“No honour amongst fellows, It’s harder than sittin’ with a blind man an’, tryna describe yellow”
3. Kick, Push (Feat. Pharrell)
“I cooked that up to a crystallised dream, take a puff, don’t that taste like ice-cream?”
‘Daydreamin” is about imagining you were in control of a giant Godzilla sized robot and who or what you’d crush under it’s ample feet. Bent Coppers, The White House and the laughably bad world of Gangsta-Rap videos are some of the things on Lupe’s hit list. It’s packed full of brilliant rhymes like “I had to turn my back on what got you paid, I couldn’t see, I had the hood on me, like Abu Ghraib”. ‘Daydreamin” is built around a sample of the classic 2001 single ‘Daydream In Blue’ by I Monster. It’s testament to Lupe’s skills that he makes a sample that’s so familiar his own after just a couple of listens. It reaches it’s crescendo with the line “But I’d like to thank the streets that drove me crazy, and all the televisions out there that raised me”. After that he leaves it up to Jill Scott to stun the listeners with her passionate performance of the chorus. The sanitised ‘Radio Edit’ is pointless but the instrumental is worth having.
‘Theme Music To A Drive-By’ has Lupe weaving his intricate rhymes over a sample of ‘(Do It Do It) No One Does It Better’ by The Spinners. The sound of the sample and the voices in the background make it reminiscent of ‘What’s Going On’. I’ve always subscribed to the theory that the geekier something is, the cooler it is. So any rapper that references both the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Batman comics gets my vote. The words and images are so densely packed that it’ll probably take me the rest of the year to fully get my head round this one.
‘Kick, Push’ came out as a single a couple of months back and I must have missedit… boy did I miss out. Lupe skilfully tells the tale of a kid growing up and the one constant in his life is his love of Skateboarding “The freedom was better than breathin'”. Not since ‘Back To The Future’ has anything made me want to go out and buy a skateboard more. The bit that really sticks in the mind is when he says “Coast”, he says it like “Coasssss”. For that moment he’s like the Hip-Hop Frank Sinatra, cool as fuck. Another great moment is when he playfully stutters the line “Cu, cu, cu, cu, cu, coo, his name was couldn’t stand it”. The version presented here has Pharrell Williams’ swapping a couple of verses of Lupe’s with a few of his own. His words are fantastic but you should really get the original version since Pharrell’s words interrupt a finely tuned narrative with a touching love story at the center.
Recently Rap has atrophied to such a point that just the simple act of Lupe wearing glasses in his videos seems like a dangerous act of sedition. If the much delayed ‘Food & Liquor’ album is anything like as good as these tunes promise, it will be one of the albums of the year.