Artist Spotlight – Lupe Fiasco

With these Artist Spotlights, I will be discussing artists that have influenced and inspired me in my own journey both in music and in life. Lupe Fiasco is the next artist I want to talk about because he is my main influence when it comes to writing lyrics, but there’s something more special about him than that.

Lyrical Influence

The way Lupe Fiasco writes and delivers his lyrics is incredible and a level of expertise I try to reach with every verse I write. I know it is nearly impossible for me to effectively use metaphors and triple entendres like he does consistently. He is also one of the greatest storytellers in hip-hop and does so to convey socially conscious messages. Not only that, but his albums are usually conceptual, meaning all the songs tie into a deeper theme or story.

The genius of Lupe’s lyricism can be proven in a single song, “Mural,” in which he raps like nobody has ever rapped before. Here are the lyrics along with an attempt at a breakdown of their meanings: because this song is almost meant to be read as a poem more than listened to for leisure. 


It is no secret that Lupe Fiasco has released some pretty bad music. However, much of that can be attributed to the relationship he had with his record label, Atlantic Records. In fact, Lupe has a history of disagreements and scuffles with the music industry. You can read more about that here:

However, two of his more recent albums, Tetsuo & Youth and DROGAS WAVE, has been some of the highest quality albums of his career. That is including his critically acclaimed first two albums Food & Liquor and Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool. He has never let his obstacles or missteps stop him from making creative, thought-proving albums that are just dense with everything you could ask for in a quality music album.

Personal Reasons

Tetsuo & Youth is my favorite album of all time. Much of has to do with the quality of the music, yes, but part of it is an emotional tie I have to it. Whenever I listen to it, I go back to a simpler time in my life. I had just gotten my driver’s license and would drive around listening to it just to get out of the house. It made me feel free, intelligent, and like an individual. Those are feelings I hadn’t gotten much of up to that point. Here is a link to a review of the album: I disagree with much of the analysis, but, again, I am biased for emotional reasons.

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