For anyone who is familiar with this site, or my take on a few things then you should already be aware that Lupe Fiasco’s third album left a sour taste in my mouth. However, as often as I’ve clashed with him musically and with some of his political takes, watching him break down on MTV’s RapFix yesterday brushed all of those sentiments away for a moment.
There’s a larger section of the country who may not even know who Lupe Fiasco is but to the city of Chicago, he’s seen as a brother, a son, someone who’s been in those same ghettos on the Northside, the Westside and the Southside which have now turned into proverbial war zones. Outsiders hear of the large number of murderers with “x number of people murdered within an x time span” and mourn, briefly. Living there, the stigma that comes with a problem that seems to be unsolved is another matter all together.
Fiasco broke down on MTV yesterday, citing the people Sway showed him in a 2006 interview were either dead or in jail. “Ghosts”, he called them. The stories of those people will never grow past their death date, their memories sitting on a plane somewhere where they can’t be added on. A seven year old, only out in the streets selling candy and goods, learning how to make a dollar was struck in the back by a stray bullet. More and more, death seems to creep around the corner faster in the Chi, with no one available to give an answer to solve it.
David D. of The Smoking Section labeled Chicago a third world city within the United States when discussing Chief Keef, a by product of such an area where gun violence and the “get it how you live” mentality has sustained for almost a generation now. It’s the same in New Orleans, in Flint and other areas of the country where black violence shows up on the nightly news across the country only in statistics, never by specific name.
The murder rate in the Chi has skyrocketed by leaps and bounds. 50 Cent said, “In the hood summer time is the killing season/It’s hot out this b*tch, that’s a good enough reason”. For this moment, I ride with Fiasco and others who want the days of Chicago been seen as a bloodless society of murder drawn down and its history as a metropolitan wonder rise again.