HE SAY SHE SAY
"He Say She Say": Lupe Fiasco (ft. Gemini & Sarah Green)
Album: Lupe Fiasco’s Food and Liquor
It’s funny what a change in one pronoun does to a song. It’s easy to miss but have a listen to Lupe Fiasco’s 'He Say She Say' and you’ll notice that there is only one thing that separates the first and second verse subtly hinted in the song title. The track narrates the story of a child struggling through school and home life coping with the shadow of a dead beat dad with the first verse being his mother’s testimony,
‘You know what his problem is?/ He don’t know where his papa is/ no positive male role model/ to play football and build railroad models.’
In the second verse Lupe simply switches every ‘he’ in the first verse for an ‘I’ and the mother is no longer speaking but instead we are listening to the plea of the child. It is a simple switch and yet it completely changes the power dynamic of the song. Suddenly the emotional register is changed, it is even more accusatory and the listener is made to feel like the father. It’s really cool. Lupe at his best.