6. Lupe Fiasco "Kick, Push" (2006)
Album: Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor
Label: 1st & 15th, Atlantic
After Lu's big debut on Kanye West's "Touch the Sky", the general public wasn't sure what to expect from the new kid from Chicago, but they patiently awaited his first single. When it finally sprung a leak in late 2005, the risky yet refreshing ode to skateboarding was non-traditional in every sense of the word. It wasn't a club banger.
There were no major features or producers involved. No vixens in the video. No talk of cars or jewelry. Just a dope record about skateboarding and love. This single was an expression of who Lupe was at the time, and not something you're likely to see on a major label release in this day and age.
"Kick, Push" was a testament to just how big Lupe's buzz was at the time and how much the staff at Atlantic believed in him. The lyricism and production was rock-solid, so it was hard to deny its appeal, even though it catered to such a niche audience.—Andrew Barber