Last week, Lupe Fiasco's new album,Lasers
, was released to lots of shrugs and more than a few scathing reviews. The general consensus was that the album sucked and that the rapper should have gone back to the drawing board (or the corner store) for more "food and liquor."
For the past three years or so, Fiasco has engaged in a war of words with any blogger within arm's reach of a questionably obtained track of his. And when he flubbed the words in a live tribute to A Tribe Called Quest early on in his career, he chose to lambaste the music legend's influence rather than simply practicing his lines and turning in a solid performance.
Whatever. Drama makes for good TV, right?
Fiasco inspired a movement of beaming, electro-vibrating, neon-colored fans dubbed the "lasers" (or "losers," depending on what day you run into the anarchist contingency) to do everything short of staging a hunger strike in front of the Atlantic Records office in protest of the album being shelved. But once it arrived, nobody really liked it.
Are we surprised?
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While choosing his handle could be chalked up to cuteness or snarky nerd-core virtues, it might really be a manifested destiny -- or foreshadowing, in the very least. The word "fiasco" is a noun meaning "a complete and ignominious failure." Not to split hairs here, but outside of synonyms like "disaster," "debacle," "flop" and "bomb," you can't yell "self-fulfilling prophecy" any louder than that.
Fiasco knows this. He says the criticism of Lasers has been "crushing," and you can't help but feel sorry for the poor guy. Shuffling in an anachronistic, auto-tuned, conceptually flippant effort, he was caught between a rock, a hard place and a million flashing lights, beams, sonic waves or whatever. Perhaps a name change is in order. Puffy did it after they shot up all those people at Club NY. He needed a new image, you know?
Lupe Fiasco needs something refreshing, and synonymous with success. Unfortunately, "Charlie Sheen" and "winning" are already taken.
A job for the "Lasers," perhaps?