Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's Dumb It Down....dumbed down.

An in-depth interpretation of Lupe Fiasco's street single off of The Cool, Dumb It Down. I was scouring various hip-hop sites and sources for some interesting, yet-to-be-told Lupe tidbits when I came across this Hip-Hop DX article. I'm surprised this wasn't posted before:

"As many of you (should) know, Lupe Fiasco's The Cool was one of my favorite albums of 2007. In a post on my Blogspot upon the leak of his debut Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor, I briefly touched on why he's so far ahead of his peers, but a revisited in-depth listen to "Dumb It Down" makes me feel obligated to do so again. While speaking to my man Alias on the phone last night, we were chopping it up about how the first verse of the song really breaks down his relevance and existence in the rap game through the song. My blogging homie J Burnett [1] said that when he interviewed Lupe for XXL, that he said that he intentionally made this track as complex as possible, but once you really absorb it, it's crazy. The verse (taken from OHHLA, whattup Flash!), with reference points bolded:

I'm fearless, now hear this, I'm earless (less)
and I'm peerless (less), which means I'm eyeless

which means I'm tearless which means my iris
resides where my ears is, which means I'm blinded
But I'ma find it, I can feel it's nearness
But I'ma veer so I don't come near
Like a chicken or a deer, but I remember
I'm not a listener or a seer so my windshield smear
Here you steer, I really shouldn't be behind this

Clearly cause my blindness; the windshield is min-strel
The whole grill is roadkill, so trill and so sincere
Yeah, I'm both them there
Took both pills, when a bloke in a trench coat
and the locs in the chair had approached him here
And he clear as a ghost, so a biter of the throats in the mirror
The writer of the quotes for the ghosts
who supplier of the notes to the living
Riveting is rosy, pockets full of posies
Given to the mother of the deceased
Awaken at war, 'til I'm restin' in peace

Lupe claims that he's earless and eyeless, which means he's so far off from what's going on around him in the industry, that he's relatively oblivious to it - he can't see or hear it. He also claims that he's peerless, slyly implying that he's ahead of the curve. The car in the song is a metaphor for hip-hop, and where it's going. He says he's going to find "it," meaning the rap industry and his place in it, but that he's also trying to stay away from it, like a chicken or a deer.

Lupe's "not a listener or a seer, so [his] windshield smear(s)" - he's too far off to understand/comply with where hip-hop is going, so his viewpoint is unclear. So, he sarcastically suggests, "Here you steer, I really shouldn't be behind this, clearly cause my blindness": essentially, "Hey, why don't you [place rapper here] go ahead and do this rap shit, because I'm somewhere else." He then basically says that rap's windshield is some minstrel show shit (word to LB), and that it's so misguided itself that the car's whole grill is full of roadkill - also implying that it's run over emcees like him who are a chicken or a deer, and dare to do things differently.

With this struggle between staying away from an industry that seems so offbase from his own beliefs and wanting to find his place, he cleverly alludes to The Matrix, when Neo had to choose between two pills to determine his destiny and that of the other world: Lupe took both. And this struggle will forever haunt him - "Awaken at war, 'till I'm restin' in peace."

Give me a late pass if y'all want, or if this was painstakingly obvious to y'all all along. But with how much I was already amazed at the wordplay, rhyme schemes and delivery in the verse, I'm trippin' even more at how metaphoric that shit is once I break it down. Mr. Editor, sir, have Lupe read this and let me know how accurate/inaccurate my interpretation is to his original intentions, 'cause I wanna know.

Do you guys have any interpretations of the meaning behind the last two verses? Also, any other verses you guys had to revisit much later befofre you really understand what the fuck he/she was saying?

[1] Yes, I linked to both of his blogs. Dude's doing his thing. "

That's pretty heavy and, of course, it makes me like the song even more. I thought he was on another level when I first heard it, but like reading in old book again, you always pick on something you missed the first go-round. Lol, or in my case, the 434234th.


SOURCE: http://www.hiphopdx.com/blogs/ketchums/2008/01/30/lupe-fiasco-dumb-it-down-revisited.html


S-Preme said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

To extend on the Matrix reference, the way I see it...

I see it like, he takes the red pill, he now knows the real of the situation, and he takes the blue pill, so he's surrounded by fake.

In other words, he's the real rapper amongst fakes.

Kvn. said...

that's kinda hot E, i see ya got a little red pill in you too.