Lupe Fiasco dropped his long-awaited Friend of the People mixtape on Thanksgiving as a thank you to his long-time fans. Whether you’re a Lupe fan or not, the new mixtape is a solid workout listen if you enjoy electronic beats mixed with clever lyrics and social commentary.
If you thought Lupe’s last release, Lasers, was too poppy, you’ll get down with Friends of the People. The mixtape features tracks like “Joaquin Phoenix Ft. Lil Ronnie” that flow with trippy beats and social-conscious lyrics, as well as songs like the hardcore “SLR” and “Lupe Back,” which were written for stadium-size impact.
Friends of the People also showcases the mellow side of Lupe. “Lightworks,” for example, reworks an Ellie Golding and Bassnectar track, weaving in techno beat and dropping Ellie’s soaring vocals behind hardcore rap and real lyrics. “Life, Death and Love in San Francisco,” with its bluesy instrumentals and super crisp vocals, is great kickback material. There’s a bit of everything on this mixtape.
Lupe is currently working on his LP, Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album. In the meantime, Friend of the People has tracks that work for everything from getting pumped up before a game to chilling in the back of the bus.
Listen to some of the tracks yourself on Earmilk.