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Examining Lupe Fiasco: beyond the music

UGBC should be commended from choice of an intellectually challenging performer

Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01


In recent years, UGBC has explained its concert headliner selection as one in which artists’  are reviewed for appropriate lyrical content, which has led to performances by generally clean acts, like J. Cole, Wale, and Third Eye Blind. With its selection of Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco, UGBC has finally found an act that suitably combines the appropriate and the intellectually stimulating.
Over the summer, Fiasco released the music video for his song “Bitch Bad” in which he attempts to spark a dialogue with the hip-hop community about the stilted gender norms it has enforced for too long. He takes to task both male rappers who use the derogatory term “bitch” lightly, and women who let it happen by appropriating the title as something worthy of possessing.
“Disclaimer: this rhymer, Lupe, is not usin’ ‘bitch’ as a lesson / But as a psychological weapon / To set in your mind and really mess with your conceptions / Discretions, reflections, it’s clever misdirection”, Fiasco raps in the song, clearly struggling to relate to his listeners the importance of his message.
The Heights would like to commend UGBC for its selection of a rapper brave enough to take on a tricky subject that has long plagued the medium. His ideas aren’t meant to provoke. Rather, they foster an important and often overshadowed conversation among listeners.

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