Artist: Quadir Lateef
Album: Fool’s Gold
I can’t go any longer without talking about this album. Quadir Lateef’s, Fools Gold, is an indictment of all that is going on in the hip hop culture. He is fierce and fearless when making his observations. Everything from the songs to the skits has a purpose, and that’s to put this hip hop culture on blast. As a Muslim, Lateef, has a problem with his surroundings and instead of sitting idly by and giving the perpetrators a pass, he vehemently goes after these individuals within the confines of this music.
Freedom Scat is an awesome song. The beat just slinks along with the muffled tones of singer, Drea D’Nur in the background. It’s very haunting but also packs a little bit of a bite, especially when coupled with Lateef’s verses.
I ain’t waiting for no label / Ain’t got to hustle ‘caine / Cuz I’m able / That ‘caine is the reason why we labelled / As a ni*#ga , as a killer, as a smoker, as a a fiend / See I heard my father talking in my dreams / Voice echo / Can’t let go / UFO / That .45 make them tough guys sing…falsetto / All man, half ghetto / Unsettle / Red dot on his cheek…small freckle….
Ghetto Fiction addresses the reality of what happens on the streets without embracing the lies that most rappers these days put in their bars. Throughout the song you can hear the frustration that Lateef has for how life in the ghetto is being made all together too glamorous and not at all a mirror image of what is actually taking place.
He died with a daughter and son / A wife all alone / Trying to answer all these questions, “When daddy coming home?” / They say the good die young, but that ain’t really true / How many n*%#as got to die to make a better life for you?
No Discussion is simply a banger where Quadir Lateef and Alkebulaun each take a turn just ripping verses. It’s probably the one track from Fools Gold that isn’t explicitly built upon message. It’s designed simply to knock and impress. The production is similar to a horror movie when the darkness is creeping and the doom is inevitable. Something you can assuredly turn up in the system and effectively nod that head.
The album finishes up with the tracks, Systematic, Hotel Kalifornia, The World, and The Enemy. These are all very dope songs in their own right but when you consider them as part of the collective I think they make even a deeper impact on the hip hop listener. He refuses to glorify the violence that he sees and other artists embrace. Systematic in particular is a song that speaks on how people have been “programmed” to accept drugs and violence as their only recourse on how to live. The cut is actually two-thirds Drea D’Nur singing and one-third of Lateef actually spitting bars, but the song is so well done, that you just find yourself contemplating what’s actually being said. That’s what they call…’effective’.
Quadir Lateef is not just putting arbitrary bars together in his rhymes. He is putting his entire belief system into the music without pulling any punches. When you listen to Fools Gold, you will hear a man long on conviction and short on excuses. He does not care what the industry or it’s lackeys think because, in short, they represent a corrupt indoctrination for the masses. But Lateef is not just the blunt instrument of truth, he is also a very skillful artisan, and that should not elude you. He, not unlike many we feature here on HHD, is a master of his craft. However, his distinction lies in his words’ meaning and potency.