Lupe Fiasco ‘Drogas Wave’ Album: 20 of the Best Lyrics
You can't discuss hip-hop's elite wordsmiths without mentioning Lupe Fiasco, a man who Soulja Boy once used as an adjective ("super-Lupe-Fiasco-lyrical"). The man behind "Murals" and "Dumb It Down" and "Failure." Since making his major label debut in 2006 with Food & Liquor, Lupe has been one of the more highly regarded MCs in the game, wowing listeners with his spellbinding rhyme spills and expanding his reach with a bevy of crossover hits ("Superstar," "The Show Goes On"). However, after experiencing a meteoric rise during the mid- to late-aughts, the Chicago native has spent the better part of this decade grappling with his record label, remaining lyrically thoughtful in the age of SoundCloud rap and navigating an increasingly politically correct cultural landscape.
On Friday (Sept. 21) Lupe Fiasco dropped Drogas Wave, his seventh studio album and the follow-up to his 2017 LP, Drogas Light. It's a conceptual LP based on the transatlantic slave trade.
"It’s about a group of slaves on a slave ship on their way to Africa to the West Indies and they are thrown off the boat—but they didn’t die," Lupe told Billboard. "They stayed alive and they lived under the sea. And they dedicated their lives to sinking slave ships – so they became this super, underwater force against slavery."
Although light on rap features, Drogas Wave boasts guest appearances from Damian Marley, Nikki Jean, Crystal "Røvél" Torres, Simon Sayz, Elena Pinderhughes and Bishop Edgar Jackson. Production is handled by a stable of boardsmen including Cardiak, DJ Dahi, Oren Yoel, Simon Sayz, Soundtrakk, and S1.
After giving Lupe Fiasco's latest project a few focused spins, XXL dives deep into the album to handpick 20 of the best lyrics from Drogas Wave.
"Life's work, overseeing the Five Classics/You can accomplish anything if you survive blackness/Sober living, Kosher kitchen, and co-defendants/Soda sippin', the soakin' rhythms and global vision/Fear no verdict, but I feel allergic to local prisons/My new resurgence, a due return into socialism/Youth moves pay dividends as an old man/Snake-headed Mayan goddess body with gold hands" —Lupe Fiasco
"Some men wanna live like a banker/Fill up the ship then pull up the anchor/Pay the mandem to run come and take ya/Rassclot chain in a brainwash nature/Joggin' in y'all clothes to the tailor/Drop leg to the rhythm of the maker/Mash up the bowl to the fussy hole sailor/No rain'll fall 'pon Babylon acre/Zinc fence but me mind is a mansion/They must suffer, I will still have a mash mon/Hit me with a cross but I'm still here dancin'/Everything coco curry like a champion" —Lupe Fiasco
"Wade with us/Baptize and convert to the waves with us/I tuned into what the future holds/I could never be a slave, niggas, they gon' have to pay me/Navy, downloaded by the tidals like Jay-Z/That's a roll offshore like an A.P./Davy, Jones' locker on top of those hoppers off the side of the ship/Suicide, didn't die from the dip/Submarine, man, keep your eyes on the blips/Sonar, echo, location, and where we are facin'/Get back to our nation" —Lupe Fiasco
"Man's limitation, transfiguration/Haka dance done at the welcome to the demo/Modern man comes to the weddin' in the limo/Mixin' doves with the rice rain/Uncle Ben's off the rails on the night train/And that storm took us to the platform, pushas/Back to the bachelor's backdoor, unhook us/Hope this track take you back to where the fat girl pushed us" —Lupe Fiasco
"To the limit/The limit in the Methadone clinic/Ridin' with the pack like a Peloton/Flyin' with the sack in the trap like the pregnant/As it breaks in the backs from the cracks that we step upon/If I triple my worth will it cripple my mom?/If I simple my search will it mental my calm?/Will it hurt if I give you my palm?" —Lupe Fiasco
"Said I tried but the old me blew it/Exactly how you knew I'd do it/All my brothers, I would love to paint 'em Jewish/Reinfiltrate the movement and assassinate the music/Exaggerate the ass and face then masturbate to it/The constituency brilliant but the candidates are stupid/I'm too rude to ask for nudes/But way too ruthless not to pursue it" —Lupe Fiasco
"Chorus to the horses, made her body porous/Absorbing up the pork, made 'em enormous/Fear of rape, made 'em informant/Fully shroomed in the motel room waging the torment/Never trust a dope fiend with your hopes and dreams/Let 'em play in museums with the dead bodies and broken things/What happens when the sugar barons meet the coca kings/And they beam it into space" —Lupe Fiasco
"Bad trippin' through the tenderloin/Slimmer than a slot to enter coins to let a nigga join/A figure skater like Michelle Kwan/Aluminum illuminated to a hail bomb ice/Then hold onto it like the Elron device, then pass the audition/To the poor hands sided in Maelstrom's position/Street sales in comparison pale to the Scottsdale bail bonds commission" —Lupe Fiasco
"That's the vodka and the vomit/Why you playing soccer with the sonics/That's a iPod to the Amish/You should get involved with the honest/Where everything's honored like Elijah Muhammad/Mixed with a pint of Hooked on Phonics/Let’s be liars/That's not chronic, condone Islamic, and it's haunted" —Lupe Fiasco
"Sun god Sam and the California drug deals/Rain drop Wayne and the bank cock love bills/She knows that I'm crooked like Owen/But still goin' like a paradox/Parasite, know it ain't right/Where the fan, now she knows that I'm horny like Triceratops/Together, but separated like a pair of socks, wow/Like pot, using both hands/And his head is the oath" —Lupe Fiasco
"The surge, tsunamis down advantages, knocking down establishments/Washing out the catalyst of fate, weight filling the room, moon, the moon and the wanderlust stuck in downtown Los Angeles/(Report!) A billion similar souls signaling hoping to be a synonym for now/Put in a pill again when it drowns/When the night comes around/And the sky opens up and the light comes down" —Lupe Fiasco
"At 6, you started reading whole books/At 7, you knew how a brain looked/And could roughly describe, all the different regions/Could tell when we was sick and even knew the reason/The world wasn't at peace, gunfire every weekend/But you were hardly there, cause you was always leaving/Field museum planetarium aquarium/You saw something special in that tank you were starin' in" —Lupe Fiasco
"But the coolest thing is when they offered you that high-paying slot/You replied: "They need me in the hood" and that's where you reside/Free clinic, nobody denied/And that's where you heard the shots and quickly ran outside/And saw a man and a van and a bleeding baby in his hands/Fading fast, but you knew she could survive/Did everything you could to keep this girl alive/Stabilized until the ambulance arrived/And in that moment, where you gave your help/I bet you didn't know that you saved yourself" —Lupe Fiasco
"Half sleep from being overpreached, the other half sleep 'cause the Xan good/A chief would take his hand like a thief, and make him stand like a man would/In the face of an ambush, to the back and they attack/Front of they frontline, out the plane, with no parachutes and they backpacks/Choppin’ weed, and droppin' seeds, them flowers grow where they land at/Properties on top of these to make power flow from they handclaps" —Lupe Fiasco
"Well if man was meant to fly, Jah woulda made us all with wings/Well he made us all with crowns, that means that every man a king/Your mind it is your castle, mind can govern all you think/The ghetto is a kingdom, you're not goin' to go extinct/No one can change my mind, no I am thoroughly convinced/My woman is a queen, we bring forth more princess and prince/And if you add up the equation it must mean I'm royal, since/Everyone in my surroundings is of royal heritage" —Damian Marley
"My mind's like five mics, rhyme tight, fuck it/Limelight, shine bright, life shore, love it/This feeling with experiences/Balls in my hand like the grand prize game, aiming for pocket sixes/Throw back, saw that/You know when I say, back in the day, you know exactly where I got at/Expanding my vocabulary/Rapping every word off the magazine covers down at Walgreens" —Lupe Fiasco
"Tryna get the tour bus with the studio/It ain't no bus, just bootyholes/Can't be out here looking like dookie when you're trying to start a movement that could mop on a movie role/Everything's polished, I ain't go to college/I was at the conference chopping with the DJs/Trying to give my single on replay and shit up on the game like colonics" —Lupe Fiasco
"Flippers who feat feets riff contortionists hips and grease slippers/Tweezers release slithers from lines with deep splinters, paws for sweet skippers/Another key figures of East River's who eat liver and drink liquor/And root for bird due to an unconscious urge to beat niggas/Who prefer sweet, steep sleep and to pour holes with the ease of police triggers/Sikhs at the hair show, Arabs at the airport/Caucasians in the projects, niggas anywhere though" —Lupe Fiasco
"Ghetto mythologies colonize my mind constantly/I shine sonically in the Chi, divine comedy/I vibe consciously to override suicide/Inside, honestly 'cause they don't wanna honor me and honesty/Black king poetic with Nat King's aesthetic/Half dream, half machine with a black queen's get naked for a dollar from a scholar like me/Not at all bothered by what a sodom might see" —Lupe Fiasco
"See when loves comes from the center, I'ma tumble to my members/I heard you heard that I was fly so I'm Dumbo to my listeners/Gimmie them inches I make miles out them, bitches/Bru, listen, you couldn't do a mile in trial while in my intertube, Tour de Force/Tied so I am not the daddy/Had to move the club all by myself 'cause I ain't had no Caddy, gladly/Then I was had that cake 'cause I always had a patty/Or at least a homegirl like Aesha from Cincinnati" —Lupe Fiasco