Lupe Fiasco “Lamborghini Angels,” “ITAL (Roses),” “Audubon Ballroom” AKA #1234
Lupe's latest video is a bottle rocket of social, political, and racial commentary. More of a short film, the visuals are accompanied by three songs off last year's Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1.
Keeping the holiday spirit going, Lupe drops a triple feature for three tracks off his Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1. Directed by Alex Nazari (“Same Damn Time” Remix), the visuals for “Lamborghini Angels,” “ITAL (Roses),” and “Audubon Ballroom” all run consecutively, each expanding upon the narrative of the last, by zooming outward on the imagery that young black Americans are exposed to.
The first third of the near 13-minute video riffs on cliche video and media subjects like girls, guns, sneakers, chains, and money. The opening credits promise just that, as well as subliminal messages, which come in four quickly shown statements; “You know you’re going to die right?,” “Be a motherfucking man,” “I’m watching you too,” and “Real niggaz do real thingz.” The material depictions are sexed up even more with spiraling camera shots and kaleidoscope dream effects luring the viewer, who we will learn is a young black boy, even closer to them.
As the audio changes, the lens pulls back to reveal that young boy, fixated on a television screen airing the visuals we just finished watching. Images are projected onto him (society classifying him based on the very images they expose to him) and a police officer eventually enters the frame, only to walk the boy off in handcuffs a few moments later. A white boy replaces him and watches a very different set of rotating images.
For the third and final portion of the video, the scope widens even further, as a boardroom of figures watches the boy as he watches the television screen. There are eight personalities, half well-intentioned, half not, arguing over what they are watching. Of the eight, “The Goon” is the only non-white. The two sides alternate celebration and despair, and in the end, the dancing KKK member shown between shots of the board, lifts his veil to reveal himself to be Lupe, making his first appearance in the entire clip.
Overall, it’s a pretty arresting video, and completely in line with the politically, socially, and racially charged material we’re used to hearing and seeing from Lupe. But the macro thematics here make it a great discussion piece and one of the more potent and distilled pieces in Lupe’s canon.
What does everybody else take away from the video? Considering the length, more stills than usual included below.