The new single from Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco comes under the fitting title Made in the U.S.A. Although the track does not directly link back to the recent election, it would be too much of a coincidence to think that the timing of the release was totally unrelated.
The trap influenced track is a lyrical tour of the state of America from Lupe Fiasco, playing on the familiar sales line in the title. Forget twee merchandise and American pride, the kind of Made in the U.S.A here are gun sales in Georgia, drugs in Arizona and the advent of the KKK across Alabama and Indiana. Making for a hardline litany against hypocrisy and consumerism in the States, there is only a tentative positivity in Fiasco’s final lines; “And I got ?? from every region / And I be speaking starts and stripes /And I be dreaming pledge allegiance”.
Musically, Made in the U.S.A, is as hardline as its lyrical content. Ferocious, but sticking to energetic rather than aggressive, the track rests on the pace of Fiasco’s vocals rather than hectic production. A relatively slow beat sits behind sustained synths and near hymnal melodies. It’s a dramatic backdrop but well suited to the content. Guest vocals from Bianca Sings wind through the middle of the track, rather than building the finale.
The single comes ahead of the release of Lupe Fiasco’s anticipated album, Drogas Light. Expected in early 2017, it was confirmed that a previously promised trilogy of new albums for this year hasn’t been possible due to “clearances and mixing issues”. Fiasco will be touring the States throughout December, ahead of his new record.
Image: Getty Images