GRAMMY-win­ning rap­per Lupe Fiasco and Orlando pro­du­cer Kaelin Ellis released their col­lab­or­at­ive EP HOUSE via 1st & 15th / Thirty Tigers. The EP came togeth­er by chance — on May 5th, Lupe was tagged on Twit­ter in the replies of a Tweet from Kaelin Ellis, a rising pro­du­cer who had been post­ing clips of him­self cre­at­ing beats in lock­down. Read­ing “Get this to @LupeFiasco some­how,” Lupe listened, liked the beat, screen recor­ded Kaelin’s video, dropped it in Gar­age­Band, free­styled over the beat, expor­ted it in Quick­time, then Tweeted the song just a few hours after he first saw the men­tion.

The two then began inter­act­ing over Twit­ter, Kaelin send­ing beats to Lupe, who rapped over the tracks he liked. A few weeks later they had a 5 song EP titled HOUSE, ref­er­en­cing that the two had cre­ated the col­lab­or­at­ive EP locked down in their respect­ive houses.

For the album art, Lupe and Kaelin were inspired by icon­ic Columbia Records jazz album cov­ers like Dave Brubeck­’s Time Out and Charles Min­gus’ Min­gus Ah Um. The art on HOUSE fea­tures a paint­ing of “The Glass House” painted by Peter Gel­latly, the fath­er of Lupe’s friend Sky. Peter recently died of COV­ID-19 — in the album’s liner notes, Sky Gel­latly eulo­gizes his fath­er, and includes a story about how Peter was a Mer­chant Mar­ine who once sold a boat to the gov­ern­ment of Nicaragua, then rode a motor­cycle through Cent­ral Amer­ica back to the US, return­ing with the money he’d use to build Sky’s child­hood home.

For the EP’s first track “HOMME MADE,” Lupe had his friend Vir­gil Abloh speak about the concept of a house — Vir­gil has a Mas­ter of Archi­tec­ture, and Lupe wanted to present an architect’s per­spect­ive. Abloh is also fea­tured on the song “SHOES,” where he describes hypo­thet­ic­ally design­ing the shoes that Ahmaud Arbery was wear­ing when he was murdered. The song “DINO­SAURS” is about how we could be on the brink of anoth­er mass extinc­tion, and “SLE­DOM” (“mod­els” spelled back­wards) is a cri­tique of the mod­el­ing industry. The final song “LF95” is the ori­gin­al track Lupe recor­ded that set this pro­ject into motion.

Fol­low Kaelin Ellis:

Twit­ter — Ins­tagram — Sound­cloud — Spo­ti­fy

Fol­low Lupe Fiasco:

Twit­ter — Ins­tagram — Face­book — Spo­ti­fy

The fol­low­ing two tabs change con­tent below.
Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rishma Dhali­w­al has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal
Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.