Updated: Sep 10, 2020
Lupe Fiasco is back in action, with a new short 5 track EP titled 'HOUSE'. Lupe links up with producer Kaelin Ellis - who I was unfamiliar with until this point so I was curious to see what he could cook up. It's only a short introduction of what's to come next - and it eagerly keeps us both excited and hungry for a new full length LP.
Kaelin Eliss' production on this is amazing with his soulful beats, calming atmosphere and catchy boom bap drums found throughout. 'DINOSAURS' has this soulful beat with an amazing piano and boom bap drums as he literally makes a song about the lifetime of dinosaurs - however it's got a deeper meaning of the older generation of rap. It's lyrically interesting, complex and great as he says things just so unique and poetic. It's an incredibly smooth sounding track with great rapping and production - and it's interesting too. 'LF95' has these gorgeous piano keys and a catchy but relaxed boom bap drum pattern as he talks about being safe during this pandemic and compares this to how 'ill' of a rapper he is. The beat is fire, but what Lupe was saying wasn't overly interesting despite a few moments of slick wordplay, "I guess 'cause it's on the album I gotta give you more // Like Islamic Spain" (back in the day dark skinned Muslims were identified as 'Moors' in Spain). It's still a decent song, just the worst one on here in my opinion.
Lupe Fiasco also did his job perfectly on this album. The way he says things, almost weaving in and out of your brain as he gets his point across so elegantly is genius. An amazing lyricist, who can provide a nice punchline or bit of wordplay whenever he wants. Lupe's flow is also great and so smooth sounding - he can switch it up too with the cadence sometimes being fast, slow, aggressive and relaxed - all within the space of 5 tracks. On 'SLEDOM' Lupe provides some good wordplay, "But you want something that grabs you by the roots // Right? A love quest so when your thoughts is black // An employ you can enjoy and look forward to that // Kinda like how I look forward to rap, something cool" (wordplay with the rap group The Roots and members of the group), as well as lecturing us with his words as he talks on the history of modelling and how modeling isn't all sexualised - you can model in other ways too. The claps in the instrumental make a catchy rhythm and the R&B style beat is relaxed and good, as Crystal Torres and Graham Burris give us a perfect hook for the track and it's yet another amazing song on this album.
Content wise there's no real relation or theme between tracks, but the content Lupe focuses on - while random - is unique and he dives into it with a lot of detail. The intro 'HOMME MADE' is just a speech from Virgil Abloh as he talks on perception, the flaws of humanity and talks on asking ourselves bigger questions - key themes for the small project. It's trippy, yet interesting and a nice opening track. 'SHOES' however is less interesting, and talks about new trainers coming out on the market - and as much detail as he goes in - this kind of story just won't ever be gripping but he does make it a good song it just isn't as interesting as other songs. Virgil's interludes stick to the narrative and Lupe has some complex but good punchlines, "More policed than Justinian's Byzantinian Christian beliefs" (Roman ruler who punished anyone practicing any religion not Christianity)", as well as some good storytelling.
To conclude, this EP is short but very sweet. With great rapping, solid beats and interesting topics it's easily replayable. The songs don't stand out as much as other Lupe songs - but they were all good and it was just a consistently good EP. It really gets us excited for the next Lupe album but gives us enough material to keep us satisfied for the wait.
FAVOURITE TRACKS: DINOSAURS, SLEDOM
LEAST FAVOURITE TRACK: LF95
OVERALL RATING: Solid 8/10