Lupe Fiasco’s first independently released record, also feels like his most cohesive effort to date. Two years on from Tetsuo & Youth in 2015, Lupe opens his soul once more in blistering fashion, with Dopamine Lit (Intro) bolting out of the starting blocks and straight into pole position.
Moments during Promise borrow heavily from the British grime scene. The sinister beats wouldn’t sound out of place with Skepta spitting bars. The laid-back swagger of Fiasco exudes a confidence that subtly hints Fiasco is at his most confident.
Sporting a considerable number of featured artists such as Ty Dolla $ign and the legendary Rick Ross, there is a danger of Lupe getting lost in his own album, but thankfully he remains centre stage. Name-checking the Black Panthers, The KKK and police brutality on Made In The USA, Lupe beats his chest in the name of racial equality.
The interlude of High is the Achilles heel of DROGAS Light; faltering slightly when held side by side with other tracks. Thankfully, this is a one-off, and Lupe picks the pace up once more as he races towards the album’s closing moments. The poppy intro of Pick Up The Phone could conquer the airwaves and highlights that Fiasco is a genre-bending genius.
The closing few tracks continue with a more mainstream sound. Wild Child and More Than My Heart work perfectly well, but strike as a last ditched attempt to attract fresh fans.
DROGAS Light is a significantly enjoyable collection, surpassing initial expectation. Lupe Fiasco’s decision to split from a major label may well be the fun injection needed to draw in fans new and old.