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Lupe Fiasco - Food and Liquor

2006-11-23 12:09
When most of intelligent hip-hop has remained mainly underground, Lupe emerges from the darkness with one of the best hip-hop albums of 2006.

The 25-year-old from Chicago can now be mentioned in the same breath as Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Common and KRS-One. Unfortunately, like his predecessors, he may not see the same level of commercial success as other hip-hop pop artists.

However it’s exciting to see a rapper dealing with real issues. Hip-hop has sunk low in the past, with songs about how much bling or ice the rapper has, or how he is a gangster this or gangster that. Lupe is different and he doesn’t waste time addressing the bling rappers. In “I gotcha” he rhymes: You want the flava ma / Hey! I gotcha / You want the realness / Well, I gotcha / I know you sick of them players big car and watch ya / Either they pimps or they macks or they mobsters.

Lupe’s music deals with life in the projects, inequality, racism, politics and more.

His lyrics are spit over funky beats that also explore rock, jazz, soul and reggae. Lupe's album is produced by big names like Neptunes and Kanye West, so it's no wonder most of the songs will have you bobbing your head. And even if you shake your booty to Food and Liquor, you’ll learn something. Ironically, Lupe's songs may be spun in smoked club to drunken dancers, but Lupe, a Muslim, doesn’t drink, smoke or even perform live in such establishments.

The first single from Food is “Kick Push”, which is about Lupe's favourite sport - skateboarding. It's autobiographical and is also a metaphor about life and the struggle for success. He says, “Labelled a misfit, abandoned / Ca-kunk, ca-kunk, kunk / His neighbours couldn't stand it, so he was banished to the park / Started in the morning wouldn't stop till after dark. His second single, “Daydreamin’”, has received major airplay in the UK and in South Africa. The song features Jill Scott, and uses sampling from 1968 original “Daydreaming”.

In a time when it’s difficult to find more than three good songs on the average release, Food is packed with hits: “He Say She Say”, a song about an absent father, has a 70’s soul sound; “American Terrorist” is about about racism and inequality, and “The Instrumental” a rock inspired track featuring Jonah Matranga.

- Nomfundo H Mbaba+Tshabalala
Def Jam CEO and rapper Jay-Z raved about Lupe Fiasco when he first met him. With his album Food and Liquor Lupe delivers - big time.

What to read next: Kalahari

GODI 2006-12-19 11:37 AM
too dope at last an hip hop album with substance,consistency and phat beatz,this is probably the best hip hop album out this year,the real hip hop is over here!!!!!!
Juice 2007-05-31 04:36 PM
Too dope? well i gotcha The anticipation of this album was justified from the first minute that i popped it into my car radio. This album definately is the best hiphop album of 2k6. A much needed breath of fresh air and raw skill, Lupe is a about to make hiphop headlines by challenging a lot of MC's back to realness. I get mesmerised each time i listen to the album by the way he plays with words, pay real attention to that. The beats are crazy. I love Jayz so Pressure has to be 1 of my favourite tracks. The album? CLASSIC. believe me, I gotcha

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