Letting Go (featuring Sarah Green): 3.75/5 (shades of Kanye West)
Words I Never Said (featuring Skylar Gray): 4/5
Till I Get There: 4/5 (please note that this is the only track produced by one of Lupe’s original guys, Needlz, and it’s arguably the best track on the album. Coincidence? I think not.)
I Don’t Wanna Care Right Now: 2.75/5 (Lupe’s flow is more on point here than on any other song on the album, but his lyrics are mediocre, and the hook is the beginning of an annoying MDMA filled rest-of-the-album.)
Out Of My Head: 3.75/5 (hated this song at first, but it isn’t too bad once you get over the fact that Trey Songz is on a Lupe album instead of Matthew Santos, this should be a great single.)
The Show Goes On: 3.25/5
Beautiful Lasers (2 Ways) (featuring MDMA): 2.5/5
Coming Up (feat MDMA): 3.75/5 (the most solid track on this album, undeniable. Some mAy fault the preacher-like drawl on “All Black Everything”, some may talk down on the hooks of “Words I Never Said” and “State Run Radio”. Others may say the piano on “Till I Get There” is overkill. This is the only song on the album that I feel is undeniably average-good, nothing less. The beat is nice, hook is nice, Lupe is nice – it doesn’t sound forced like the rest of MDMA tracks on this album)
State Run Radio (feat Matt Mahaffey): 4.5/5
Break The Chain (feat Eric Turner & Sway): 2/5 (Random, terrible guest feature.)
All Black Everything: 4.25/5
Never Forget You (feat John Legend): 3.5/5
The main problem with Lupe Fiasco’s LASERS is Lupe Fiasco. Strange right? Lupe is the cancer to his own album – but not because he’s laying eggs lyrically – because of who he is and what he has established.
On previous Lupe albums, we saw some sort of story that revolved around the album (ala the drug and Michael Young History motifs on The Cool). We saw production from 1st & 15th household names like Soundtrakk and Needlz, with occasional spots by Kanye West and Pharrell and The Neptunes. We also were spoiled by amazing lyricism that has placed Lupe amongst the lyrical greats in all of rap – each line having multiple meanings, extended metaphors, all coupled with an unorthodox, unique, and addicting flow. On Lasershowever, we didn’t receive any of that. There are features by a bunch of unknowns to Lupe’s discography (aside from F&F’s Sarah Green and affiliate John Legend) and the production is pop (which is hated to the highest degree by Lupe’s fanbase, the underground elitists). Features from pop sensations like Trey Songz don’t help the cause either. As a Lupe fan prior to Lasers, it’s easy to play this album and be disgusted by everything you hear simply because it doesn’t fit what Lupe does. It’s also easy to be angered by it because you waited over a year of delays, petition, and protests to get this. By letting those factors weigh in on how you rate this album, you not only cheat the album for getting the praise it deserves (even if it’s minute), but also look like an pretentious jackass in the process.
Yes, the production leans heavily towards pop. No – the production is not bad. The album does have its fair share of mediocrity with production, but it also has its highlights, as seen on “Till I Get There” with its piano ridden loop and All Black Everything with its inspiring melody and infectious synth. The huge problem on this album lies in the hooks (choruses). The hooks are what ultimately give this album the negative stamp. Many label the hook on “The Show Goes On”‘ too corny, “Beautiful Lasers (2 Ways)” has a good vibe with a haunting message, yet the hook destroys nearly any and all value of the track and “Break The Chain“‘s hook sounds like a Daft Punk-knock off. Even the albums beginning tracks can be talked down on because of the overkill of singing throughout. However, this is not enough to label the album terrible. When you view Lasers as a product of music, forget Lupe Fiasco is the artist, imagine that this album was a product of an unknown underground rapper on the come-up with no history and no expectations. Would this album be labeled as terrible or un-listenable to as it is now?
– 3.5/5 (Average-Pretty Good)