If there's anyone out there who reads this blog regularly, it's evident by now that our 'Throwbacks' section be on that CP time. Always late, but worth the wait! (We promise to get our editorial steez together soon, as in, New Year's-soon).
Lupe Fiasco's The Cool (2007):
This first one isn't a Throwback, but it's worth the mention anyway. Lupe is a beast! Gorrilla. Bonafide rhymeslayer. Call him what you want, your boy let loose on his latest release "The Cool".
Following on the heals of the track of the same name on the first album where a hustla comes back from the dead, the new release is carefully crafted around three themes: the streets, the hustla, and the industry and it hits on all levels. Conceptually, the artistry put into this album is unparalleled by anything in hip hop in recent memory.
Ahem. And now allow me to really nerd out:
My favorite track so far is "Little Weapons". Starting with a synthesized riff from his freestyle called "Heat under the babyseat" from the Fahrenheit 1/15 mixtapes, "Little Weapons" manages to sonically echo the albums core antagonisms: individual choice verses systemic opportunity. Lyrically, Lupe questions the moral fortitude of child solders and their paths to violence in breathtaking detail. However, it's the production that gets to the heart of his point. The track's beat opens with a traditional catholic hymn, layered by a brigade of US army drums woven intermittently with another riff that, to the best of my knowledge, is often found in some traditional Arabic music. The song brings the debate out from a US-black-urban-male centric context and poses even deeper questions about the role of organized religion, post-colonial struggle and government-sanctioned violence worldwide.
Or maybe I'm doing too much? You decide:
And here's the original off of Farenheit:
Anyway, back to the Throwbacks.
Player's Club, Rappin 4-Tay (1994):
Had a little childhood nostalgia and brought it back to '94. For me, it's all about summer afternoons, the icy lady and trying to stunt on fools by saying who last saw him drive around Mac Block in his gold drop-top 5.0. F*ckin Classic.
The Color Purple (Book, 1982; Film Adaptation 1984):
This is the prerequisite reading and screening material for Entry into Black Womanhood in North America. Or at least, in my family it is. You know how you read or see critically important shit when you're young and have an "oh, that's nice" moment, but don't really give a fuck and go back on your merry way? That was me and The Color Purple. I had vague memories of it until recently when my aunt and cousins revoked by Black Girl card until I could repeat lines verbatim. The book took my breathe away, one of the few things that's give me a guttural reaction. All my deep pondering of late on sexuality, religion, history...somehow, they made sense. Even if they didn't make sense. The film is probably one of the best film adaptations of a book I've ever seen, with its one major flaw being Spielberg's refusal to show the real depth of Celie and Shug's love affair.