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  • Writer's pictureMalcolm Williams

Don’t Sleep #2

Lupe Fiasco - Drogas Wave

Here’s an album I’m extremely excited to talk to y’all about. ‘Drogas Wave’ by Lupe Fiasco is a really ambitious and risky album to release in a time simplicity is graded higher than originality and artistry. Lupe is literally the only artist I would think would attempt a double album where the first part is a story about African captives that have been thrown into the sea and became sea spirits to stop other slave vessels.

This album isn‘t as accessible as a lot of albums in recent years. But the reward you receive for getting into it is very much worth it. It’s not the most comfortable adjustment hearing Lupe rap in Spanish but it’s not that bad of a song once you get adjusted. That type of challenge he placed upon himself should be respected.

“Don’t ruin us God said.” is the hook for ‘Manilla’ which a play on the fact that Drogas means D.R.U.G.S. This is one of my favorite songs on the album. Lupe is in rare form when starts talking his shit. And the voiceovers that’s added to the track really makes you wanna enlighten yourself on the history of the slave trades from Africa.

Me coming from an orchestra background, I thoroughly enjoy the ‘Slave Ship (interlude)’. Right after is my absolute favorite song ‘Wav Files’. The beat is kinda hypnotic to me and way Lupe flows through it is pure genius level shit. It’s nice to see him unload the arsenal sometimes. Fast rapping, slow paced, crooning, all that while keeping the same high level diction Lupe is known for.

How many artists can rap about sea life being our comrades? On ‘Down’ Lupe and Nikki Jean create a great dynamic while performing the hook of this record. Lupe does the Lupe thing with the narrative of the sea being our ally in his verses.

There’s so much more to unpack on this album. It’s an album that is very much an adventure. It‘s complex, thought provoking and does not lack depth in any aspect. Through all of that Lupe never sacrifices his abilities to put words together and he managed to make the subject matter interesting to listen to for an hour and forty minutes.

I really want to say thank you to Lupe, who in my head has been like a big brother to me through his music and how he carries himself outside of the lines, for creating this beautiful body of work. Art to this degree should not be missed or overlooked by the masses. I appreciate the perspective.

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