Lupe Fiasco-Piece of Paper/Cup of Jayzus

#latepass. Lupe dropped this one off about 10 days ago, but it appears to have completely bypassed me. Expected to be the first single from the upcoming Tetsuo and Youth album, it’s 7 minutes of straight rapping that should appeal to the hip-hop heads. No hooks, no over-production, no fuss.

The beat is supremely minimal, with the only constant being four repeated piano notes, whilst thudding bass and a little extra percussion works its way in and out where required. There’s a touch of synth and sample here and there too, but it’s very minor, and doesn’t impact the overall stripped-back quality Lupe’s gone for. As for the raps, where do I begin? Analysing even the shortest of Lupe’s tracks is a heavy task, so I’ll make little attempt at taking on the punchlines, couplets and so on here- what I’ll say is that Lupe isn’t getting super ‘weird’ or overly metaphorical. He consistently hits a nice middle ground between matter-of-fact, face-value rap and double entendre-laced lyrics, with his occassionally patronising wit (let’s be honest) tempered here by a more self-confident, slightly arrogant style that works to bring his raps into a more universally absorbable delivery. It’ll take several plays to really catch everything, and at 7 minutes long it can become a bit of a chore, but it’s worth a go for sure.

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