Mad Style: Lupe Fiasco's "High Definition"
Because I'm seeing the Glow in the Dark tour in Austin later this month (which got a stellar review from the Seattle Times this morning--"bringing the idea of a concert to another level, another planet"), I'm trying to catch up on all the artists before the show. N.E.R.D. I know fairly well--or, at least I know plenty about Pharell. But Lupe Fiasco is an artist I have hardly listened to at all. Now I see my mistake.
I'm not 100% down with hardcore rap (that is, rap without commercial hooks), a genre I'm pretty sure most of Lupe Fiasco's The Cool falls into, but there are a decent number of cuts from the album I cannot get over. "High Definition" is my favorite track on the album, and is, in my opinion as an avid music listener, the most well-produced cut as well.
Snoop Dogg appears during the chorus (which breaks through the melody like a shining light), and to great effect. Lupe's rapping is a bit unfocused, but in this track the feelings elicited from listening is all that matters. Unlike most horrid numbers that pass as "rap" nowadays ("Low," "Lollipop," "Party People"--all putrid), "High Definition" combines the best elements of rap, traditional hip-hop, and the shimmery club trimmings necessary for modern radio.