Lupe Fiasco - Dumb It Down

Now is the time where any of the people I talk to about hip hop can point and laugh at me, because as opinionated as I am, I'm taking an opinion back. I'm revising it, I'm changing it, its like a remix - better than the original.

Originally when Lupe Fiasco came to the hip hop scene, he was like the latest greatest hip hop wunderkind. I first heard his shit last year when "Kick, Push" dropped. I didn't really feel it, in spite of the fact that I do somewhere on the inside going back to my 80s upbringing think that skateboarding is kinda cool. In fact, if I were less klutzy and retarded, I would probably skateboard myself. Anyway, to me he seemed like an overhyped combination of Kanye and Common. I now know that to be a gross miscalculation on my part. I always sort of vaguely knew that he was different than they were, that he had a lot of potential, but in typical me fashion, I ignored all that because everyone else and they mama was on Lupe's tip.

My roommate the other day put me up on a couple of tracks from Lupe's new album. Of course still retaining my previous feelings on Lupe I kind of just shrugged them off but then decided to make a new mix cd for my car, since the last one I put had on rotation had like 12 of 18 songs with Lil' Wayne on it, and I've already made my feelings on Weezy clear. So I made the disc, threw a bunch of new-ish music on it, and rolled out to work. When "Dumb it Down" started playing, I sat there in my car with my mouth open. I hit repeat and listened to it a few more times. Now I'm sure everyone else in this blog is laughing their asses off at me, being amazed at the cleverness of Lupe's lyrics when there are other deeper and better lyrics out there, I'm sure. But still.

First of all, for anyone who hasn't heard the lyrics or the song, as I'm sure you can infer from the title, the theme is how Lupe's been told to dumb down his lyrics. One of the main reasons I can really appreciate this song is because the topic is one that's near and dear to me. I can't stand the way that the entire entertainment industry has dumbed shit down for all the retards out there. It really does make me sick, and for any smart or intelligent hip hop artist looking to make money...well, they're not going to till they dumb it down. As Jay says on "Moment of Clarity", it's 100% true:

"I dumb down for my audience and double my dollars, they criticize me for it, yet they all yell holla"

There's more of them than us, and that's a fact. It ain't just middle America, either. In a semi-unrelated note, I went to see "Shoot 'Em Up" the other day and I saw this guy who stopped dead in the middle of the theatre JUST to gawk at this poster for Saw 4. He literally said, "AWWWW DAMNNNNN HELLS YEAH!!!!" I wanted to either kill him and his girlfriend on the spot and run off (who'd believe an innocent looking Asian girl did it, right?) or else die on the spot myself so I didn't have to live amongst these kinds of retards.

Back to Lupe's lyrics. He's got so many pop culture and other random references on this track it just shows that he's a very thoughtful dude and has widespread interests. He references the Matrix, the TRUE origin of the elementary school song "Ring Around the Rosie", Star Trek, Greek mythology, Dave Chapelle, The Leegend of Sleepy Hollow, etc, etc. The subject matter is diverse and I can respect that, since I think I'm a pretty diverse chick myself. (Of course it helps that all the stuff he references is shit I like.)

I also like the choruses he's got on the song, its basically 3 different people telling him why he should dumb down. I REALLY feel him here...I mean, after the 12 year plan I finally graduated college last year and it's not seen as a mark of achievement really amongst most people I know. It's really something I don't even talk about because people look at you funny when they know you have a degree. And if I even use ONE 3 syllable word in a conversation its like I committed some sort of crime because people stare at me and roll their eyes, and then they say some shit like, "Oh yeah, Sun thinks she's SO COOL and SO SMART 'cause she graduated from college so she's gotta flaunt that shit. Fuckin' Asians." And then whoever else is around laughs like it's the funniest shit they ever heard. And god forbid I ever tell anyone that I actually READ for pleasure. I'll never hear the end of that. It's a sad sad thing that you actually have to hide that you can speak articulately or that you're educated in any way to avoid ridicule. I ordinarily wouldn't care about that shit, except for the fact that I like to avoid fist fights these days. I'm too old to get arrested for brawling. When people talk shit to me it always results in me talking shit back, and getting pissed, and then wanting to fight.

I'd like to think that if I was ever offered a record deal (in my head I like to secretly think that one of these days at karaoke, some famous producer will see me and offer me a record deal 'cause I'm so awesome) that if I were writing lyrics, I'd stick to my guns like Lupe. His last two lines of the song are:

"Bishop G, they told me I should come down cousin, but I flatly refuse, I ain't dumb down nothin"

In conclusion, just to spite the dumbasses who don't know what a dictionary is, I hope Lupe's new album The Cool sells a huge amount and that he's becomes successful even without dumbing it down. Probably won't happen, but hey, a girl can dream.

And for anyone interested, here's the video: