Hustlaz – [Lupe Fiasco]

It’s abundantly obvious that the current state of hip-hop is one hundred percent different than what it used to be even just 5 years ago, and that spectrum of differences only continues to widen as you look further and further back. Clearly, nothing today really sounds like it did back in the mid-2000s, and even if certain artists take this era of music as inspiration, there are still more differences than similarities in most songs you’d turn on today.

If you know the first thing about Chicago music history, you’d know that the culture here would be not even a sliver of what it is now without the impact that Lupe Fiasco has made, and even though he is definitely an OG, there’s no denying the fact that he is still as important to the city today as he was even ten or fifteen years ago. That’s why, it is seriously impossible to ignore a new release from the legendary emcee, especially when it comes out as amazingly as his latest single “Hustlaz” did.

What makes this song even better than ever is the fact that it wasn’t recorded within the past month, year, or even decade, but it was an extremely early cut that he spat way back before he even released his debut album Food & Liquor. That means that it contains the timeless horn melodies and pitched-up vocal samples that were popularized back in the day, but it almost sounds even better now that we are able to sit back and reminisce on the style that truly brought innovation into the world of rap.

Whether Lupe is spitting as a tenured veteran or as a fresh-faced newcomer, his skills are never anything less than flawless, and that has been one of the most prominent things about his music throughout the years. I seriously think that so many more icons need to take a page out of Lupe’s book and drop some of their previously recorded classics that never made it into the world for one reason or another because it lets us relive those unforgettable moments all over again, making “Hustlaz” as captivating as it gets, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about this concept that the celebrated Windy City OG has brought to life.