Lupe Fiasco has teamed-up with rising Orlando producer Kaelin Ellis for a collaborative EP, and the first single features Virgil Abloh.
To coincide with the announcement of the HOUSE EP, the pair teased what fans can expect with the track "Shoes." Lupe first linked with Kaelin for the EP closer to the start of the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, stumbling across his beats on Twitter. Over a smooth beat, Lupe opens the track with a reflective verse that later gives way to a spoken word appearance from Virgil. He's also set to appear on another track on the EP when it drops later this month.
"So, on today's to-do list is to design a pair of running shoes," Virgil says on the song, later addressing the killing of Ahmaud Arbery. "Starts with a sole. Not a sole, but soul, you know, what touches you to earth. That's floating in nowhere, the soul. ... What does that sole look like. It's soft to run on. But tough enough to withstand the reality of the ground. Or the reality of the context we're living in. That's the soul. Let's just call it Black."
He directly names Ahmaud in the closing moments of the track. "But this shoe, these Air Ahmauds or these Air Arberys, are starting to take shape now, you know? They connect man and earth, they allow you to run. That running is freedom," he continues on the song.
Listen to "Shoes" above, and look out for the HOUSE EP when it drops July 24 via 1st & 15th and Thirty Tigers.