Premiere: Lupe Fiasco Delivers a Powerful Geography Lesson on "Made in the USA"

Lupe Fiasco tells us all of the things—good, bad, and ugly—that are "made in the USA" on his new single.

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Complex Original

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After exploring technology on his last release "Pick Up the Phone,"Lupe Fiasco is back with a driving new single from his upcoming album Drogas Light. "Made in the USA," produced by Streetrunner, takes a long, hard, but ultimately hopeful look at what this country creates. 

The tune uses a trap-style beat and relatively simple cadences to deceptively complex ends. It begins by complicating the titular phrase, pointing out that it applies not only to T-shirts, but also to weapons and drugs. "My Glock came from Smyrna, Georgia/My F-15 from California/My cocaine came from Arizona," Fiasco raps. "But it's made in the USA."

Later on, the rapper reveals other things that are homegrown: rap music and resistance. "'Fuck the Police' was Ruthless Records," he remembers. "Black Panthers was moving breakfast/This United States of mind got me shooting reckless."

Fiasco's message, while not shying away from the darker sides of things "made in the USA," ultimately ends on a hopeful note. He enumerates the polyglot nature of his heritage and influences, and says that makes him who he is: "And I got slang from every region/I speak in stars and stripes, and I be dreaming pledge allegiance."

Drogas Light will be released at the top of 2017 via 1st & 15th/Thirty Tigers. Lupe is on tour in the U.S. through mid-December. You can find the dates at his website, and you can listen to "Made in the USA" below via SoundCloud.

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