About a year ago, his label, Atlantic Records, delayed the release of his third album, ‘Lasers’, citing political reasons for the delay. Six months later, Fiasco fans all over the world came together to form an online petition to have his album released, recording over 30,000 signatures. This aggressive action culminated when fans in New York City held a rally outside of the Atlantic offices, where even Fiasco himself showed up to support the cause.
Now, ‘Lasers’ finally has an official release date (March 8th), and Fiasco has released his newest single off the album, ‘Words I Never Said’ featuring vocals from singer/songwriter Skylar Grey. It was worth the wait.
The song begins with a heavy synth melody taking turns with an elegant piano behind Grey’s vocals (“It’s so loud, inside my head, with words that I, should have said – as I drown, in my regrets, I cant take back, the words I never said…”), before Fiasco hits the heavy drum beat with harsh lyrics about the war on terror, the 9/11 attacks, the ridiculous American news networks, the financial crisis, and many other political issues among our society.
Lupe jumps from issue to issue, from one verbal attack to the next (‘Glenn Beck is a racist’), making strong enough points to realize why the Atlantic Records execs (who probably eat lunch with the politicians that Fiasco is attacking) were hesitant in releasing his album.
The true genius of the song is that he is able to do this in his typical fashion – extremely intelligent and well spoken – compounded with a drastic difference from other musical revolutionaries (Immortal Technique, etc.): He does it with the “support” of one of the largest labels in the industry.
It seems as if Lupe has reappeared with a heavy chip on his shoulder, no longer content with being an intelligent breath of fresh air in the hip-hop industry, but now intent on using his lyrics to really make a change in this world. Now whether that is feasible, or even practical, is a discussion for a different day, but one thing is certain – he is back, and better than ever.
Written by A.J. Heindel