Five Spot: Step Up or Step Off With Lupe Fiasco at TSU

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Welcome back to Five Spot. Every Friday, we'll examine a bit of a recent bit of news and, albeit sometimes awkwardly, somehow tie it to Houston rap. It's occasional cussing and five videos. Lupe Fiasco is in town this weekend performing as part of the Sprite Step Off competition at TSU. Doors open at 6 p.m. at HP&E Arena; click here to get $5 off tickets. This is what we in the world of professional journalism refer to as "fuckin' bad ass, yo."

Ingredient Number 1: Step Competition Within the black fraternity/sorority world, stepping is a big, big deal. It is an integral part of the culture, practiced in one form or another by just about every black fraternity in the country. White fraternities have a tradition like this that punctuates their existence too; I believe they call it "date rape." If you have no idea what stepping is, go rent School Daze. Better yet, rent Stomp the Yard. (That's the one that has stepping in it that Spike Lee didn't direct, which means it makes you feel way less guilty about being non-black.) Fast-forward to the end - that's a step competition. The real life ones operate the same way, except there are way less B-list movie stars and way more fistfights. Ingredient Number 2: Lupe Fiasco Lupe is one of a handful of MCs from out of town that we would willfully pay to go watch. His Food and Liquor album from 2006 is a classic. 2007's The Cool was super fly. And his forthcoming stuff looks like it's going to follow suit. And what's more, Lupe has shown a clear appreciation for Houston and its rappers. "Hip Hop Saved My Life" is the song that endeared Lupe to Houston hip-hop heads. Story goes that, while in Houston for a show, Lupe got to feeling a little overwhelmed by Houston's expanse. Being the ambassador that he is, Bun scooped him up and took him on a tour of the city. This song, though patterned after Slim Thug's* upbringing, was dedicated to Bun as his repayment. Click through and watch the video. It is well worth it. Bun, Slim, Willie, Paul and even K-Rino and a few SPC dudes make cameos. *Best Subliminal Slim Thug Line: "[He] reps Northside, so he rocks them braids."

"Swang On Em":

Lupe may be a bit out of his element on this track, but he shows up admirably, even getting into a little of the meta-Houston stuff at the end of his verse. Sadly, anytime we hear a tuba on a track Petey Pablo comes to mind. Remember that song he did? Blecch.

"Colorful Clothes":

There were about 255 remixes of this song. This one ties Lupe and Trae together, that's why we picked it. That's pretty much the only reason. It's fairly inconsequential, which is probably why Trae nixed Lupe's verse when he included this track on

Tha Incredible Truth

. If someone had uploaded that "A Milli" remix with Lupe and Cham on it, we would've picked that one over this. We once saw a video of a guy crying into the camera for eight minutes. How are there ever songs not uploaded on YouTube?

"Sittin' Sidewayz Remix":

We take a lot of shots at Paul Wall, but this remix would've been about twenty times better if he was on it. He was built for stuff like this. We'd go ahead and plug him instead of that recycled Jay-Z verse.

"Daydreamin' Remix":

Ah, the bygone days of the Mixtape Messiah series. This type of track, a cut up of Lupe's stellar "Daydreamin'" from Food and Liquor, is precisely why so many people were sad to hear that Cham was only going to be rapping over new beats on his Major Pain, his forthcoming mixtape series. Thanks for your support. Have a... hold on... wait... here it comes... Fiasco of a weekend. Boom! Pun all in your face, son.

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