• SumoMe

I know that before I’ve lamented on the downfall of music with any substance, but Lupe Fiasco recently released a video this year that is one of the best social commentaries on race, hip hop, and the damage to poorly-raised or unsupervised youth. Fiasco’s song, “Bitch Bad,” is all this and more. While the video and song speak for itself (please listen intently to the lyrics), what is perhaps more interesting is Lupe Fiasco’s background during the age range he critiques in this song.

Lupe Fiasco grew up in a pretty bad surrounding, but he claims his father was “a Renaissance Man,” and his mother was “very intellectual.” He grew up in a house where education protected him, literally, from the gang banging and crack houses of Chicago. As such, he has a very unique perspective on the world, and is one of the best hip hop artists at using his skill with words to convey a message beyond the sophomoric and materialistic. He openly rejects misogyny in the hip hop, and strongly dislikes profanity. However, he uses these concepts as tools to tear down what’s wrong with the genre (and he actually does it, it’s not a front).

Lupe Fiasco is one of the purest members in the conscious hip hop movement, and like his lyrics could be spoken at a poetry slam, or read aloud and still have the same effect. This is an increasing trend, albeit slowly, and I hope music (and hip hop specifically) continues to act as a tool for strengthening society and producing debate, rather than some ridiculousness we endure in social situations.

What do you think of Lupe Fiasco’s track, “Bad Bitch?” What social critiques do you draw from it? Put it all in the comments below.