Lupe Fiasco has always had the right intentions: In the years since Food & Liquor, his brilliant debut album, he’s solidified his place as one of the most socially conscious, intellectual voices in hip-hop. His recent efforts, though, have been criticized for their pedantic tone—some gripe that the rapper’s nuanced social critique tends to mutate into preachy, heavy-handed commentary. His new song, “Mission,” certainly isn’t subtle: an explicit ode to those who have survived or are fighting cancer, the song’s first two minutes comprise various cancer survivors sharing their story.
Lupe then enters with a couple of rapid-fire verses concerning the disease. It’s a powerful and sincere track, void of Fiasco’s usual barbs. That’s to be expected: the song is off his forthcoming album, Tetsuo & Youth, which he’s stated will eschew all political overtones.