The first time I heard Lupe Fiasco was as the featured emcee on Kanye’s “Touch The Sky”. I wasn’t impressed. I thought his awkward flow kinda screwed up what was and still is a great song. I also thought his name was ridiculous.
Flash forward a few months, “Kick Push” comes out, and I have to re-evaluate my stance on Lupe Fiasco. Shortly after that, the Food & Liquor came out and I became a full-on “yo, you need to hear this album” fan.
“Daydreamin’” is the album’s show-stopper. Built upon a haunting sample from British duo I Monster, and featuring Jilly from Philly at her jazz diva best, Lupe finds himself slipping into a reverie with each verse. He imagines himself at the controls of a robot personification of the hood in the first verse, and then as the director of a hip-hop video in the second. That second verse was certainly not an endorsement, but served as a critique of the 50 Cent-led materialist/violent imagery that surrounded the genre at the time. It’s an incredibly creative song, won Lupe and Jill a Grammy (see, sometimes they get it right!), and stands as the rapper’s finest musical hour.