It’s been a while since we’ve heard Lupe with some sort of conviction. His skill level is still the crest of his generation, but that delivery and that force of personality has been lacking, perhaps related to the fatigue from LASER lag. The top-flight lyricist even managed to get outshined by a rap verse by Janelle Monae recently and you had to wonder whether the war of art had worn apart a true leader of the new school. Fear not, Lupephiles! His guest spot on on Sarah Green’s “Dirty Rose” is full of oomph and flair.
The guitar-driven track with heavy drums and pacing provide the perfect launching pad for Lupe to roar into action and he just rips it to pieces, with every line feeding into the next building and pushing the metaphors and relationships further until they form a complete tapestry that furthers his argument. He begins:
Specifically designed for you to go very crazy/empero, similar to Rosemary’s baby
Flow is that, took it there, rode it back/temperature polar caps I’m the Autobahn, you a cul de sac
I’m an Autobot, put my money where my motor’s at also put some fire there too, then I roll with that
Opposite as I could get they said I never could I’m an optimist, Optimus speaking from the hood…
As you can see each word building on the last all connected and a joy to tear apart. I wish I could say the same about the rest of the song, but I can’t. Why Lupe comes through, Sarah Green is nothing more than a pedestrian singer and her voice is a bit annoying. She isn’t singing to her strengths and sounds a bit too high in her range. She’s not bad, just not great and the narrative has been done before by better artists. Not a lost cause but due for more seasoning. Welcome back Lupe. Keep pushing Ms. Green. “Dirty Rose.” Enjoy.
Sarah Green Feat Lupe Fiasco-Dirty Rose Sarah Green-Dirty Rose(feat._Lupe_Fiasco)
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