Lupe Fiasco's career trajectory has been an interesting one. When he initially dropped Food & Liquor and The Cool back to back, many felt his potential was limitless; unfortunately, label politics (among other factors) played a role in derailing the lyricist, turning him jaded beyond his years. What followed was a string of inconsistent releases, and while his fanbase remained loyal throughout, many nursed hopes he would one day return to his glorious prime. Now, with Drogas Wave upon us, Lupe seems to have divided his fanbase; granted, the time is still early, but first impressions seem overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of music.
That's not to say Lupe's pen game has lost a step. "Manilla" is a testament to such a fact, as Lupe delves deep into his creativity, showcasing his deft penchant for worldbuilding. Few can juxtapose socially conscious bars with avid video-gaming, yet Lupe somehow finds a way. "Preparations, reparations from segregation," he raps, in the track's opening stanza, "Genius at Genesis, master system SEGAs." On that note, he may occasionally hog the controller, but his gamer-sense is undeniably impressive.
Level layers, several shades of grey, submission for it
MILF lover under silk covers who kiss her horses
Pilates central to preservin’ the body temple
Jazz classics combatin' the fattest ass, status
Quotient; my potions soakin' like boats in oceans