Dolobeats released visuals to one of the stand-out tracks on Lupe Fiasco’s Friend of The People mixtape: ‘Double Burger with Cheese’. The unofficial video streams a montage of clips from popular 90s films, such as Juice, Menace II Society, Boyz N The Hood, New Jersey Drive, Poetic Justice, Dead Presidents, South Central, Sugar Hill, New Jack City, in adition to Color (88) and Paid in Full (02), all of which are referenced by Lupe Fiasco in his lyrics.

The video opens with an hoovering aerial view of a burning 1965 Watts, followed by documentary images of the riots and brutal police beatings. It then cuts to another lingering overhead shot of Watts in 1993, and proceeds to show spliced clips of these 90s films as they relate to the lyrics. The opening if very reminiscent of Mathieu Kassovitz’s introduction to the film Hate (La Haine) which also starts with a montage of violence and riot images. Although ‘Double Burger With Cheese’ functions as a visual for the lyrics, it also, and perhaps unintentionally, charts socioracial tensions that date back to 1965, and which are addressed in these films.

The Watts Riots by John Malmin, Los Angeles Times August 13, 1965

This video is a powerful reminder of the sociocultural issues that predominantly black inner-city neighborhoods faced then, and continue to encounter today, such as racism, poverty, and socio-spatial segregation. And while the visuals are geographically fixed, they are also de-territorialized insofar as people from the global majority can relate to the featured sociocultural dilemmas of urban youth life.* This imagery and the cultural references allow us to relate and visit a not-so-distant past that pushes us to consider the future, which I argue is the point of Lupe Fiasco’s mixtape.

Download Lupe Fiasco’s Friend of the People.

* I am currently writing on the impact that La Haine has had since its release. Parts of this article entry were taken from my paper, which I’m currently finalizing. Email: claudia@gozamos.com for more information.

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