Album Review: HOUSE by Lupe Fiasco & Kaelin Ellis

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Lupe Fiasco is a rapper and producer based out of Chicago. Lupe Fiasco teams up with Kaelin Ellis for this EP, who is a producer that focuses on hip-hop and electronic beats. HOUSE marks Lupe Fiasco’s latest project since his amazing 2018 album, DROGAS WAVE. This is also the first time the two have worked together. After someone commented on a Kaelin Ellis beat video, they suggested to give it to Lupe Fiasco. The two eventually found each other and created a quick, 5 track EP.

The first track from the EP is HOMME MADE. There isn’t much going on instrumentally, just a few quiet notes that are played in the background. It’s a spoken word part from Virgil Abloh, who is a designer and DJ. The track talks a lot about what makes a home. Virgil also talks about how a house might mean something different to you than someone halfway across the world, or someone in a different country/continent. In the end, he talks about how man (humans) have flaws, and also desires power.

After the quick introduction, we come to the first track titled DINOSAURS. This is easily my favorite track from the album, with the smooth jazz-like beat from Kaelin Ellis, Lupe Fiasco is able to deliver some great bars on here. This doesn’t have a chorus, it’s just Lupe Fiasco going off over an entire verse. On the track, he talks a lot about dinosaurs and the Mesozoic Era. Lupe also talks about how dinosaurs were wiped from the Earth, which could be a reference to how some of the older rappers just disappear from fame.

SLEDOM features a more long and drawn out beat. While SLEDOM could be a misspelled version of ‘seldom,’ if you spell it backwards, the title of the track reads ‘MODELS.’ Of course, since the backwards version spells ‘MODELS,’ Lupe talks about the career of a model. During the chorus, Crystal Torres talks about how models use their bodies to sell certain items or products. While Lupe talks about how modeling is prestigious and doesn’t always have to include nude modeling, there are agencies out there that are luring people for human trafficking.

SHOES marks the longest track on the album, just over six minutes in length. The beat seems a little more playful and light in feeling. This track also brings back Virgil Abloh in between the different verses. While the first verse generally talks about the opening day or release day of a pair of shoes, the rest of the verses seem to talk about white privilege. He talks about how this white person had head starts his entire life, so Lupe should go in line first. Virgil Abloh also ends the track by talking about the design of the shoe, but connecting it to being strong and having freedom. He also mentions Ahmaud Arbery on this track.

The last track from the EP is LF95. This is also another track that features Virgil Abloh, however, he only appears on a few adlib moments. The track opens with Lupe describing how he was able to make this track. Throughout the duration of this track, he basically makes a lot of references to the current pandemic that is going on now. He talks about some places where people were infected, as well as how you can choose whether you want to be healthy or not during this time.

Overall Rating: 6/10
Favorite Tracks: DINOSAURS, SHOES, LF95

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