My Favorite’s of All Time #1: Lupe Fiasco’s “Superstar”

Because Miss Rona (aka COVID-19) is out here in full force, my social-distancing has led to a strong creative urge. So I’m starting another story series on thursday email called “My Favorite’s of All Time.” This series – and the accompanying list that will exist here, once I’m finished setting it up (if you click here, and there’s no link, it isn’t up yet lol) – will be both an opportunity for me to share my favorite songs (and albums) ever, especially those that have lasted the test of time, while also holding myself accountable to one of my goals of 2020: to start a (play)list of all of my favorite songs. I have so many songs and albums that I love, but only a few of them can stick in my head at once, so I’m fixing that by writing them all down! I’m also making one of my other 2020 goals to get something up here more regularly, so there will also be a thursday email story schedule available here (again, if you click here and there’s no link, it’s not up yet). I think, for me, it’s an important thing to make a distinction between songs I love and songs I LOVE (LOVING (vs. loving) usually has some kind of nostalgic or emotional quality to it, you’ll see as we go on in the series). And I decided that it was only fitting to start “M.F.O.A.T” with a Lupe Fiasco song that I’ve loved since fifth grade, in honor of his Brooklyn shows (one of which I bought tickets for in December while on my way back to GA and was VERY EXCITED to attend) being canceled because of Miss Rona.

I was introduced to Lupe’s music in 2005 when I listened to Kanye West’s Late Registration (2005) for the first time. My mom bought me the CD for my birthday, and I was immediately obsessed with it. One of my favorite tracks on that album is “Touch the Sky” featuring Lupe. And it only took one listen for me to become a fan of his. However, I was still quite young and didn’t know how to find music like that yet – despite my mom working at Circuit City, so I was definitely running up and down the CD aisles – so I wouldn’t really listen to Lu again until The Cool (2007) came out and I was introduced to “Superstar.” I started carrying the lyrics to it (I got them off of azlyrics.com, remember that????) around in the plastic cover of my homework binder. I have absolutely no idea why lol.

I got these off azlyrics.com instead of Genius for old time’s sake! That purple background is iconic!!

There’s really a lot to love about this song. Lupe has been (and still is) an amazing lyricist, and anyone who says otherwise can fight me lol. And “Superstar” is no exception. His flow, the bars, everything Lupe says is phenomenal, and it had just enough food for thought to make it accessible to my 11 year old brain, while giving me things to hold on to as I got older. His commentary on the highs and lows of fame and celebrity are spot-on. Similar to J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive (2014) and Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly (2015) – and many many other songs and projects, that’s just the one that’s the most salient in my mind – the journey on “Superstar” starts with the lust for fame and fortune (and doing anything to get it), the realization that it isn’t as wonderful as it seems, and the need to return back home and to the familiarity of family and friends. Of course, I wasn’t getting all of that at 11, and I didn’t have as many musical frames of reference as I have now, but maturing and hearing more of those connections as I get older is such a wholesome experience for me. And I appreciate having those moments.

And I think that’s what makes this song stick with me, as it has for the past 12 years. It’s always something new to discover in Lupe’s music, and that endless discovery creates for endless listening. It’s impossible to get tired of it because there’s always something new to hear.

So even though I won’t be seeing Lu on Friday (a moment of silence for me, please), he remains forever one of my favorite artists, and I owe a lot of the way I hear and listen to music to him.

And that’s what makes “Superstar” one of my favorites of all time!


here’s something else you might like:

Top 5 from the Week #2 (ft. Gal Costa, Hot Chocolate, YG, Latrell James, and Lupe Fiasco)

Another week of some really good music. Some old faves, plus some new ones. I also have GOT to listen to that new Denzel Curry and Kenny Beats project that came out a couple days ago. I’m ready for bars and production being ATE. For now, here’s what this week sounded like: “Que Pena” – … Continue reading Top 5 from the Week #2 (ft. Gal Costa, Hot Chocolate, YG, Latrell James, and Lupe Fiasco)

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