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“Hi, Judah. It’s Lupita. So I hear you’re doing your next instrumentals album and I’m the inspiration behind it.”
So why is Lupita the inspiration for Judah’s new album? “I wanted someone different, someone fresh,” he says of the Academy Award-winning actress. “I wanted someone beautiful, and she was a good muse for me to put this together. I had her on the brain after I saw 12 Years A Slave.” But don’t expect a series of head-nodding trap beats; for Lupita, Judah opts for classic soul and orchestral arrangements to illustrate the actress’ sophisticated beauty. “She’s classy with it,” Judah says. “She’s trendy and fashion-forward.”
Throughout the swanky album, Judah samples familiar voices to help the narrative: A meditative John Lennon precedes the wistful “Unformat the Format,” and Amy Winehouse appears on “You Didn’t Leave in Vain,” a song first heard on Judah’s 2012 album, P.U.S.S.Y. (For that matter, P.U.S.S.Y.‘s “Sad Lament” resurfaces on Lupita as “The Heart Breaking Kinda Love.”)
Ultimately, The Lupita Nyong’o Instrumentals work best in the background as you’re cruising through town. Like the actress, it’s upstanding, refined, and moves gracefully. Even the fictitious Lupita digs the project: “So glad to’ve been a part of it,” she says on “I WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!” “But I’m curious to know, who’s your inspiration behind the next one?”