Lupe Fiasco - Samurai [CD] | RECORD STORE DAY
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DISC: 1

1. Samurai
2. Mumble Rap
3. Cake
4. Palaces
5. Headbanger
6. Big Foot
7. Outside
8. Til Eternity

More Info:

On his new album, Samurai, Lupe retreats inward to give fans one of his most personal albums in his deep catalog. “I sometimes get tagged by my fans as not doing personal records,” Lupe says, “but I always tell people there's me in there if you listen closely enough. This album is one of my more personal records to date. It's not a full biography, but my personal experiences are tied up in all of my music. A lot of the records are me. Some are from the POV of a character. and some are me. The album weaves things from my life as an artist, touching on things other artists go through.” The narrative follows a battle rapper through various moments in his career, starting with how they honed their battle rap skills, following their career through different moments.

Musically, the new album finds Lupe delighting in the simple pleasures of assembling assonant syllables into playful and poignant narratives. The 8-track album is smooth, yet cerebral, brimming with ideas, but always radiating Lupe’s pure love for the art of emceeing and committing himself as a servant of the rap game. The album was produced in full by longtime collaborator and friend, Soundtrakk (“Superstar,” “Kick, Push,” “HipHop Saved My Life”), their second time linking up on a full album after 2022’s DRILL MUSIC IN ZION, and is also the first time Lupe, Trakk, and longtime manager Charles “Chill” Patton were in the studio together since Patton’s release from prison in 2023. “It felt great to be back in the studio again as a family,” Lupe says. It’s the first time they’d worked together in the studio since Lupe’s seminal album, The Cool in 2005.

“The word ‘samurai’ means to serve,” Lupe says on the album’s title. “My relationship to that word has always meant that you need to be at the service of other people, either in the overall community, or in this instance, the rap community at large that I’ve been a part of for years. You have some duty, some purpose to serve. The title alone is very important to me. Before rap even, martial arts was my whole life, and it still plays a huge role in my life. The album is me, but also inspired by a quote I heard from one of my favorite artists. The overall themes of the album speak to the constant fight and the battle one goes through being in the entertainment industry. Some of the things we need to defend.”