Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Lupe Fiasco - The Cool

As Bob Marley so eloquently stated, "there is so much trouble in the world." A lot of musicians produce great works of art when there is great pain in their life (2Pac - The Greatest).
Lupe, "I'm in a dark, melancholy mood. I'm not a happy camper right now."
Among several loved ones dying this year, Lupe Fiasco's friend, mentor and business partner (who owns the record label 1st & 15th with him) was sentenced to 44 years behind bars after being convicted of drug charges.

Hence, the inspiration for... "The Cool."

"...the basic idea revolves around three previously mentioned characters-- what Lupe calls his "three evil angels"-- depicted in symbol form on the record's cryptogram cover. The first character, the Cool, is a zombie hustler of sorts based on the Food & Liquor song of the same name (click here to listen).

"I expand on the story," Lupe explained. "I introduce two other characters, the Game and the Streets. The Streets is a female. She's like the action personification of the streets, the street life, the call of the streets. The Game is the same way. The Game is the personification of the game. The pimp's game, the hustler's game, the con man's game, whatever."

He continued: "Then they've got supernatural characteristics. Like the Cool, his right hand is rotted away. The only thing that rotted away was his right hand. It represents the rotting away of his righteousness, of his good. And the Streets and the Cool kind of have a love affair going on. So she's represented by this locket. And the locket has a key and it's on fire. And as a gift to the Cool on his rise to fame, she gave him the key. And the key represents the key to the Streets. So she wears a locket around her neck at all times.

"And the way the story goes, she has given that key to tons of people throughout time. Al Capone, Alexander the Great, whatever. She's giving them the key to the Streets. Fame and fortune-- but also the prices.

"The Game, he's represented by a stripped-down skull, a skull with dice in his eyes and smoke coming out of his mouth. The billowing smoke is actually crack smoke."

"It's not a full concept album; it's more spread over like five [tracks], really abstractly."

"On this album, I wanted to talk about five or six things directly," Lupe explained. "I wanted to talk about the environment-- which I didn't really get a chance to do--immigration, rape, drug abuse, and health.

"[Part of] the inspiration for The Cool actually was Cornel West. The guy was like, 'If you really want to effect social change in the world, you have to make those things which are uncool, cool. You have to, in essence, make it hip to be square.' And it's more about how you deliver those things, how you package those things for people to digest them."
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1 comment:

blac.sapphic said...

In my opinion for Gold Watch ...that album was one of the best I've heard in the last 6 mths. least.

Stays in heavy rotation.