LasersAlbum | Lupe Fiasco By Chris Payne
Talented MC loses his way.
Since the world met Lupe Fiasco via Kanye West's 2005 single "Touch the Sky," hype has followed the Chicago MC like a shadow. He's had his share of hits: the smooth-soul skateboarding love ballad "Kick Push," the breezy poolside jam "Daydreamin'," the shoot-for-the-skies anthem "Superstar." But hip-hop pundits still want a classic from Lupe: his Doggystyle, his 36 Chambers...heck, even his Late Registration would suffice. The street momentum built by his standout 2009 mixtape Enemy of the State: A Love Story raised the stakes even higher. Unfortunately, the long-delayed Lasers is far from classic. Pushed back since the middle of 2010, Lupe's third album is an awkward cut-and-paste effort that stymies the MC's superior flow through boorish, overblown beats and indiscriminate pop choruses. Sure, sampling Modest Mouse's "Float On" for a lead single sounds like a good idea (and to be fair, "The Show Goes On" is one of Lasers' better tracks) but a gimmicky, fish-out-of-water mentality flat-out dominates the record. "Don't Wanna Care Right Now" sounds like it should be the background of a Jersey Shore montage, "State Run Radio" features sludgy, nu-metal guitars, and the laughably outdated techno beats of "Break the Chain" are just sad. Lupe is still one of his genre's best lyricists (check the refreshing "Till I Get There" for proof), but he's in serious danger of succumbing to the major label blues.
|The Show Goes On|