As the music world (apparently) waits with bated breath for the debut solo album from Fall Out Boy frontman and Chicago native son Patrick Stump, he's given fans a teaser of his new sound: a single featuring fellow Chicagoan Lupe Fiasco, "This City."
The song's a dance-pop paean of sorts to Chicago -- "This city's my city and I love it," Stump wails on the hook. But it's not exactly the triumphant love song to the city that Kanye's "Homecoming" was, nor the wistful pining of a classic like "Sweet Home Chicago."
Actually, it's kind of depressing.
Stump's chorus gripes about the weather ("Whether it's warm, or stormin' / Or down right stupid hot") and asks us to ignore some of the city's most notorious problems ("Forget all the drugs and gangs, Corruption and pollution").
Then there's Lupe, who's no stranger to getting political. His verse is predominantly about the phenomenon of "hypersegregation," a sociological term invented to describe the living conditions in Chicago:
Parts of my city certain colours can't step / And sadly I'm talkin' about the colour of your skin / Sorry my brother can't let you in. / 'Cause our property value might go down / To a level that's / Economically unacceptable / And socially taboo for us / To live around you.
He closes with a sort of tacked-on last line in an attempt to turn the verse positive: "Despite all the above, I love this city."
Then again, maybe that makes this the most Chicago song of all. For all the obvious problems that we can't help but rail against -- the racial discrimination, the endemic corruption, the insufferable weather -- we somehow still love the place.