Earlier this month, I discussed the collaboration between Lupe Fiasco and Kaelin Ellis, “SHOES.” Last week, the duo dropped “SHOES'” parent project, HOUSE. Lupe sounds good on just about any beat he gets one. Here, Ellis gives him The Cool era-like beats to paint his pictures. Jazzy production allows Lupe to delve into a variety of themes. Between talking about dinosaurs and their effect on popular culture to the aforementioned “SHOES,” Lupe goes in in a way only he can. He doesn’t let his words linger, but listeners can still feel their impact.
It’s refreshing to hear him bounce around the way he does on HOUSE. He literally speaks about whatever seems to come to his mind. HOUSE acts as a sort of reprieve from the DROGAS Wave levels of conceptualization. Yes, conceptual Lupe is here–“SLEDOM” features an analysis about modeling in the age of Instagram and OnlyFans–but it’s a lot more free-flowing. It’s also a lot less “this is the way things should be”; Lupe never veers into dangerous “preachy” territory on this one.
Additionally, not being held into one set narrative helps Lupe speak on COVID deftly. He’s as deft on the outro as he is comparing shoe culture to how Black lives (should be) valued as rare and beautiful. Is it a perfect Lupe project? In some ways, yes, as it lets the veteran just jot his thoughts on the beat. It’s short, concise and a great way to tide fans over until he drops a proper album.
Kaelin Ellis is the true star here, though. Not many indie producers can hang with legends through Twitter threads and have it come off so organically. I ran this one back a few times over the past week, so I can give it my (for what it’s worth) speedonthebeat.com stamp of approval. Check out the project on your favorite DSP via the album.link link above and remember to support dope music in all its forms.