GRAMMY-winning rapper Lupe Fiasco and Orlando producer Kaelin Ellis share the lead single “Shoes” off their upcoming collaborative project HOUSE, which is scheduled for a July 24th release day. “Shoes” is a solemn track rife with snappy drums and a nostalgic texture that allows Lupe to kick a tale about waiting in line for a new pair of sneakers dropping early at the store.
Lupe takes us back with his vivid imagery and reflective emotions as a young kid anxiously waiting to get the pair of shoes. Famed designer Virgil Abloh is also featured on the track where he describes hypothetically designing the shoes that Ahmaud Arbery was wearing when he was murdered.
The HOUSE EP came together by chance — on May 5th, Lupe was tagged on Twitter in the replies of a Tweet from Kaelin Ellis, a young 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.
Stream or Embed “‘SHOES (ft. Virgil Abloh)” on all DSPs here.
About Kaelin Ellis:
With over 10+ years of performance and hands-on creative experience under his belt, Kaelin Ellis is a multi-platinum music producer that has established himself among the top class of producers in the modern electronic / hip-hop beat scene. Formerly known as mr.mockwell, he was originally part of an online crew, dubbed “lofalab,” where he came in contact with fellow musicians and later collaborative-partners, Kaytranada, Sango and many more. Kaelin also has many production credits with other artists such as Waldo, Deffie, and K-pop supergroup Exo on their song “Jekyll.” Since the beginning of his musical journey, he’s managed to upkeep a discography that sonically keeps up to many of his heroes.
1. HOMME MADE
4. SHOES (ft. Virgil Abloh)