Now here’s something new: a hip hop song that tells a story. The best story songs usually come from country music (see last post for details), and rap is not necessarily the best avenue for meaningful lyrics. Ah, but Lupe Fiasco is no ordinary rapper, and his first major single, “Kick Push,” still remains a favorite of mine.
The song follows a misfit young man finding a way to belong through his skateboard. He begins completely unskilled in the ways of the kickflip (“The first time he stood on it he slipped...and busted his lip; for a week he had to talk with a lisp”), but he sticks with it, and learns to love the sensation of freedom he gets while skating. Later, he grows up a bit, and meets a group of other skaters, including his ladyfriend, all “looking for a place to be.” Banding together, they’re able to find freedom, and a way to escape what troubles them.
I first heard “Kick Push” during opening weeks of my freshman college year; the album it comes from , Lupe Fiasco’s Food and Liquor, was one of the first CDs I purchased after coming to college. One of my friends skated at the time, so I formed a little attachment to this song, as well as the rest of the album. I have very specific memories of sitting on a dryer and doing laundry, studying for my Speech class, and listening to “Kick Push,” and it’s still fairly evocative of early September 2006.