The words that rapper Lupe Fiasco says gives his audience a sense of awareness and stimulates their minds in a way where few other rappers have the capability or aspiration to create such a feeling. To explain, one only has to search under the most popular hip-hop songs and see that the majority of those songs talk about the clubs or life in a gang. Although his popularity may not rank other mainstream artists, Lupe Fiasco has sought to tell people about modern social, economic and political problems. A single from his new album Lasers titled “Words I Never Said” is certainly no exception as he attacks world issues and the people and groups behind them. However, if one is to listen to the song, one could question its credibility. More specifically, one could question if Fiasco accurately portrays the lyrics that are in his song. To do this, an analysis of the song, coupled with the events of the time is needed.
“Words I Never Said” was officially released as a single in February 1st, 2011; its album Lasers was released a month later, on March 8th. Although the song has never been ranked on the charts, Lasers has reached number one on Billboard’s Top 200 list of albums and has been in the list for 5 weeks and counting. Accompanying Lupe Fiasco is pop artist Skylar Grey; an up and coming artist, Grey has also contributed to popular songs such as Dr. Dre’s “I Need A Doctor” and Diddy’s “Coming Home.”
In “Words I Never Said”, Lupe addresses many people as they say something or they don’t say something. For example in the song Lupe says: “Limbaugh is a racist, Glen Beck is a racist. Gaza Strip was getting bombed, Obama didn’t say shit.” Fiasco refers to the President to be remaining silent during the attacks from Israel to the Gaza Strip. He also attacks radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh and television and radio host Glen Beck for their comments that been seen by many as racist. Fiasco also talks about a lack of social activism and a desire to be proactive in the community; he says: “Complain about the gloom, but when'd you pick a broom up?” Here, he states that things will stay the same if we don’t do anything about it. It’s arguable that the message of this song is to inform Lupe Fiasco’s audience that the words we don’t say is the reason things are how they are. They also are the reason we have people in power that may have a tendency to say words but they may say more erroneous ones than accurate. A second message may be that Fiasco wants to create awareness of problems that are all around us, as well as to make us see that they affect us, no matter how hard we try to eschew them. In an interview with Complex Magazine, Lupe shares his background on the songs message:
‘Nah, I’m going to talk about world affairs.’ I’ve been talking about [terrorism] since back on Food and Liquor. It’s weird to me that people forget that I had songs called ‘American Terrorist.’ And I’ve been kind of toeing that line whether it be on freestyles or what have...