St. Paul, Minnesota singer Nikki Jean is no stranger to the work of Lupe Fiasco, having earned her big look on his 2007 drop "Hip-Hop Saved My Life." Now, the duo have once again joined forces for "Mr. Clean," enlisting the capable Jake One to handle production. For the backdrop, Uno provides a smooth, soulful tapestry, driven by a cinematic brass loop. Vocally, Jean slides over the instrumental with an obvious confidence, taking aim at those who have wronged her in life and love.
The singer hit up Sway In The Morning to break down the track's inspiration. "I’ve met the same man with different faces, many many times,” explains Jean. "“This song is dedicated to him. The one that would leave me fucked up and crying if I gave him half a chance. And we don’t give him chances no more.” Clearly it's the end of an era. "Mr. Clean" is an appropriate signal for the winds of change.
Admittedly, this might not be Lupe as we're accustomed to seeing him. Still, his presence is welcome, even if he's not operating at his most lyrically dexterous; nevertheless, the Child Rebel Soldier provides an added layer of intimacy to the already loaded back and forth.
I was fightin' cases
Buyin' chocolates, might chime a waitress
Knock the fucker down to get off that waitlist
And get first in line, I be jumping places