September 20, 2011

My Food & Liquor Experience

I’m not embarrassed to admit that it was only a few weeks ago that I finally purchased Food & Liquor along with The Cool, which by then I had already heard nearly every song from each. Prior to my familiarity with F&L, I had listened to a few of Lupe’s mixtape tracks and I loved what I heard. Some time later, I remember flicking back & forth between MTV2 and MTV Jams. Lupe was being interviewed on one of these channels so, I decided to stop and watch. Roughly 5 or 10 minutes in, they played the video for “Kick, Push”… That’s when it began for me.

Now let me say this. My love for skateboarding started very early, I’d say around 8 or 9 years old. I have never been good at it but I’ve always and continue to have an immense respect and appreciation for it. Skateboarding for me is more than a Vans OTW competition or a Dew Tour segment or a portion of the X-Games though I highly respect those aspects as well. Skating is truly a lifestyle thing. It’s an art in my eyes. 

Fast-forward to mid 2006. My lyrical understanding was very novice at this time. I wasn’t too good at comprehending and breaking the lyrics down. With that said, “Kick, Push” was a track I understood from the get go. I’m hearing this music and watching a video that is in direct correlation with something I love. Taking in these words that describe how skateboarding weaved its way into this guys life and how it became this escapism for him. My absolute favorite part of the lyrics are where he says “…just the freedom was better than breathing.” Wow… Every single time I hear that, it sends chills right through me. To draw such a comparison, better yet to have that feeling overshadow your next breath, blew me away and still does. Not just that, it was seeing a black female skater in the video that confirmed for me that I’m not the only one who loves this. I knew I wasn’t but it felt good to really see evidence of that on a larger scale.

Over the past few years, my taste in music has shifted drastically, especially concerning hip hop. Around late 08’ into early 09’, I’d pretty much dismissed a lot of what was out at the time and reverted back to early/mid 1990’s material, along with some things from the early 2000’s. However, throughout the past 7 or 8 months Lupe’s artistry is something I’ve come to respect more and more. Not just with Food & Liquor but, as a whole he presents a product that is incomparable. His way of playing with words, his vocabulary and how seemingly every track makes you double back and think, “What was that, what did he say?” is something I can’t shake.

Without a shadow of a doubt, Food & Liquor has branded in my mind a meaningful and lasting impression that will not be removed. 

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