Lupe Fiasco, born Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, has proven himself a clever wordsmith. Born in Chicago, Illinois, the 40-year-old rapper has been making hits since the early 2000s. Given his expertise and ability to rhyme, the artist was asked to teach a rap course at MIT, and he accepted, but that task did not hinder him from dropping unearthed records.
On September 16, the new 1st & 15th compilation EP Chill’s Spotlight 3 was released. Two of the five records were from Lupe’s extensive archive. “The Pen and the Needlz” and “Ohh Oh” came from the rapper’s 2005 mixtape Fahrenheit 1/15. At 23, the artist produced both records, proving that he was destined for the music industry. The mellow beats and clever wordplay provided by the tracks showed beyond doubt that Lupe was ahead of his time.
“The Pen and the Needlz” told the story of what it was like to live in unwanted conditions. He started the song by saying, “Grew up in Chicago, West side, gang lifestyle, the drug scene, the whole.. it’s like one whole universe of insanity.” In “Ohh Oh,” the rapper talked about many topics while showing off his double entendres.
Stream both records below.
I got a bezel from embezzling—good heavens!
And they said I lost it in ninety-seven
About to start using Mexicans—not ’cause they better-than
Just ’cause I get, “Sí, señor,” not, “I need more” (Uh-uh)