Lupe Fiasco | Photo by Reid Rolls
Updated: September 30, 2012 6:07AM
Oh my, how interesting life becomes when multiple forces from various — and often opposing — sources converge onto one point: Ramadan, Chicago’s perpetually skyrocketing murder rate, album promotion, vintage cars, the constant company of wise men of Asia, a funeral for one of the best of us and a plethora of etcetera, all delicately balanced in the summer months of July and August. All these things mingling about in my head in the rigid order of a court waltz to the tune of ritual starvation, and at other times, there’s a frantic chaos set to clumsy jazz where the wallflowers are wise to remain obscure.
Exotically accented tales of thousand-year-old musicians and much more antiquated men of God and angels are attentively filtered in the air-conditioned stillness of the Spartan mosque, lit only by fast-fading late noon sun. The engine voice of the British-built luxury coupe 40 years past its proverbial heyday — and clinging desperately to some former aesthetic glory as best it can — is meticulously analyzed by my layman’s ear to detect signs of mechanical cancer.
The sound of low prayers and clumps of earth striking the coffin of a convert who died on the holiest day in the holiest month, and whose compassion for humanity of all calibers brought the congregation of mourning admirers not only to tears, but to poetry. The numbing effect of helplessness as a disfigured generation ruthlessly euthanizes itself in the name of nothing. Borderline insipid and grossly redundant public interrogations via corporate lackeys of why I question the culture of devaluation and destruction they admittedly and actively promote and foster. The happy debate between Africans and Frenchmen over whether the best soccer player ever is Zidane or Pele or Ronaldo or yet another, all over a dinner served by a Bengali, prepared by a Pakistani, and critiqued in Urdu by an Indian living in Southern California.
Such is life. Quite the thing isn’t it? But what does all this mean? This random blend is similar to the hard-fought earnings of a prolific and well-traveled trick-or-treater, heavily laden on Halloween’s night end, with face-paint smudged and costume disheveled. It’s something profound in there somewhere, I suspect, but until I find it I guess it’s simply just more ink for the printer’s press.
Lupe Fiasco donated his fee for writing this column to the Lupe Fiasco Foundation.