It cannot be denied that Lupe Fiasco is an amazing rapper, being able to integrate intellectual discussion within the great beat. However, his recent career choices and musical direction has left many, from critics to company executives to even loyal fans, very dissatisfied. Ever since the critically panned (but mildly commercially successful) L.A.S.E.R.S, everything Lupe has produced has been taken with a grain of salt.
Lupe Fiasco returns with his new single, “Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free),” off his highly anticipated double album, “Food & Liquor 2.” Rapping over the “They Reminisce Over You” (T.R.O.Y) instrumental, this track will be featured on “Food & Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album Part 1″ which will be released on September 26th. The song has stirred up quite the controversy upon release because it samples Pete Rock’s classic hit, “T.R.O.Y”. Pete Rock took to his twitter account today to let it be known that he was not very happy about it. However, the bad blood between Lupe Fiasco and Pete Rock didn’t last very long. After sparring earlier this week over Fiasco’s the two have patched things up and plan to collaborate on new material.
This song has the famous Lupe flow and the old school beat certainly has Lupe’s fans defending the use of the sample as remastering a classic per se. Meanwhile, could this sound perhaps reveal the new direction of Lupe’s work, contrasting to the overly produced L.A.S.E.R.S album?
When Lupe’s double album comes out in September, I am hoping it’s the return to the old Lupe Fiasco with tracks that reach the caliber of old classics like“Kick, Push” and “Daydreamin”. This first single is a step in the right direction. In the meantime, I eagerly await whatever Lupe chooses to give to his fans next. (Sidenote: Anybody remember this beat from NBA street vol. 2?
Read an overview of the tensions between Lupe and Pete Rock here
Download the track via Itunes