The Bottom Line
The melodic hook of Lupe Fiasco's "Superstar," the first single from his sophomore album The Cool, is laid down immediately by keyboards. It is then echoed in haunting vocals from fellow Chicago native Matthew Santos that borrow heavily from the style of Coldplay's Chris Martin. The juxtaposition of this opening with Lupe's raps is supremely engaging instead of jarring. Coldplay are one of Lupe Fiasco's favorite bands, and he knows the way to meld this anthemic British rock with hip hop making the presence of "Superstar" a unique one on top 40 radio.
- Lupe Fiasco's dense lyrical meditation on life in the spotlight
- Matthew Santos' haunting vocals
- Immediate setup of the melodic hook
- Almost too close to the sound of Coldplay
- Released by 1st & 15th / Atlantic September 2007.
- Written by Lupe Fiasco / Soundtrakk
- Produced by Soundtrakk
Guide Review - Lupe Fiasco featuring Matthew Santos - Superstar
Lupe Fiasco's pop breakthrough gives off strong echoes of major influences. Lupe's sense of melody in his raps is highly reminiscent of mentor Kanye West. The guest vocals by Chicagoan Matthew Santos are a dead ringer for lead vocalist Chris Martin of one of Lupe Fiasco's favorite bands Coldplay. However, the juxtaposition of the two styles is purely Lupe's own creation...and it works.
Lupe Fiasco is known for his lyrical complexity. "Superstar" is a dense meditation on living in the glare of a spotlight and the subsequent longing for "Home where the mood is mellow...and the lightbulbs around my mirror don't flicker..." However, Matthew Santos' refrain promises that "If you are what you say you are," there's nothing to fear.
"Superstar" is simultaneously one of the top pop and top hip hop singles of a young year. It is likely to move Lupe Fiasco from status of a critical darling to a top pop star. Perhaps if he is what he says is, Lupe will be at the top for a long stay.