Sach O‘s background sings, his background sings for the Crossover.

As we speak, Lupe Fiasco is curled up in the fetal position trying to figure out where exactly he went wrong. For my money, he stopped being interesting sometime between changing the track list for Food & Liquor and claiming 8Ball is a better emcee than Q-Tip. Still, one can hope that the spectacular failure of Lasers will serve as a cautionary tale for emcees considering the PM Dawn route to a successful rap career. It’s been disheartening to see rappers succeed with truly awful music and reinforcing the notion that the only way to succeed as a rapper is to not rap. From CuDi to B.O.B to Cee-Lo plus Jay-Z scoring his only #1 with a show tune, it’s safe to say that the past few years of major label music have been abysmally formulaic when the whole point of jettisoning the previous 1-size-fits-all model of gangsta rap should have been to inject some creativity and variety into the scene.

Faced with either selling quality releases to dedicated fans who want to support artists and pushing mindless drivel on the remaining morons too dumb to work bittorent, the majors have obviously gone with the race-to-the-bottom approach. If anyone at all was supporting Lupe, it was because he represented an alternative to that sort of faceless corporate synergy but sadly, Lasers is just as beige and vanilla as any Smeezingtons production and Lupe is no less corny than B.O.B even if he did turn down “Airplanes” (bad move, if you’re gonna sell out at least be successful at it). Who knows, the album may still do well: I’ve got younger cousins who swear by the guy and who look at me like a dinosaur when I say he ain’t got shit on Raekwon. Plus, this type of shit is far from the only problem facing Hip-Hop right now, only the highest-profile. But if a high profile flop by rap’s leading cornball gives a smarmy A&R pause before promoting yet another rapper with tight jeans, a new wave haircut and a bad market-tested sounding pop song as a single, it’ll have all been worth it.

As for Lupe, maybe he can become Waka Flocka Flame’s weed carrier and battle it out with Wale to see who gets to release an album. I’ll be listening to Danny Brown, Gibbs, Tyler, Zilla and Roc Marciano anyways.

MP3: EPMD – Crossover
MP3: Scarface – Sellout

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