Lupe Fiasco’s ‘Drogas Wave’ is a towering titan of a record [Review]

Chris Gillett |

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To stand out in the hip hop world, you need a great beat, interesting instrumentals, and an impeccable flow. On Lupe Fiasco’s seventh album, Drogas Wave, the American rapper offers all these things in spades.

With its old school 90s beat, the politically-charged Manilla is a faultless track, while the downtempo, Caribbean-accentuated Gold Vs The Right Things To Do shows off Fiasco’s diverse style.

WAV Files, Down and Haile Selassie merge contemporary trap with electronica soundscapes, with long-time collaborator Nikki Jean giving key hooks in the choruses.

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Like all good hip hop, Drogas Wave lyrically feels like a history lesson, packed with spoken word interludes, with the overarching theme of slavery. In powerful songs like the haunting Jonylah Forever and the piano-led Alan Forever, Fiasco creates alternate realities for individuals who died during the European migration crisis in 2015.

Not every song is killer; Happy Timbuck2 Day and Imagine sound a little basic for Lupe’s abilities, but it’s alarming how much of this 100-minute onslaught is on point.

It’s about time we all started riding the wave of Lupe Fiasco, because this is a rapper on top of his game.

Edited by Charlotte Ames-Ettridge