The first time I heard this young kid named Lupe Fiasco rap was on Kanye West’s fantastic album ‘Late Registration.’ At the time, I had no clue that he would end up becoming the proverbial voice for consciousness in hip hop.
‘Food & Liquor’ changed my perception of Lupe rather quickly. This album Masterpiece showed off its necessity to be diverse, in a time that diversity was needed in hip hop. It also showed off this ability to be political at a time politics from hip hop artists was frowned upon. It was a body of work that showed off this willingness to be unique, and I loved it!
Lupe Fiasco and Jay-Z make a helluva a rap combination, right?
… I like that combo! At this time, Jay-Z was technically retired, so it was a little surprising that he was on this song.
Lupe comes hard on this one (Maybe harder than Jay.), but it doesn’t stop him from being weird though… He’s over here talking about jeans, and other random ish! I knew he couldn’t refrain from being weird for 5 minutes.
There is many different Jays when he raps, and this is the witty one. I love witty Jay because he raps with this arrogance that cannot be emulated.
The Cosby kids sounding singers on the chorus make the song sound like some rap idol s–t!
4. THE COOL (5/5)
Though this song is on the album prior to his sophomore album named ‘The Cool’, it is actually a afterquel (not sure it’s a word, but stick with me). The song describes what he meant by “The Cool”, which is someone that thought he was cool then got shot by some gang members. Well on this song, the dude ain’t cool no more, he’s dead! He’s a walking dead man that is letting everyone know they shouldn’t think they’re cool, cause he thought he was cool at one time, but being cool got him shot. Confusing? Absolutely!
The track is dark, but has a rock & roll feel to it. Yes the chorus is dull, but that’s what it’s supposed to sound like…The Muthaf—er he’s talking about is dead!
It’s a storytelling track that teaches a lesson, but still plays like a super heroes anthem.
Cool fact about this track: It’s produced by Kanye West. Who would’ve thunk it????? (Who would’ve also thunk that thunk was a word?)
3. AMERICAN TERRORIST (5/5)
This was actually the first song I really liked on the album. At the time I haven’t heard an Arab on a rap track since Punjabi MC!
This song lets people know that terrorism is in the form of everyone; anybody can be a terrorist: Black, white, Spanish, Pot-are Ricans…etc etc!
The passion on this song is infectious.
2. SUNSHINE (5/5)
He’s talking about a robot on every verse…. F–k that robot Lupe!
So in this track, there is a boy, a mom, and a dad – The dad is a deadbeat, and both the mom and the boy want him not to be. Each verse is dedicated to either the boy, or the mom. The interesting thing is that they are literally saying the same thing on both verses to the deadbeat dad – that means both verses are literally the same on this song. Sounds like a rip-off doesn’t it? Not so fast….
If you listen to it, it impacts the listener because it is tapping into different type of feelings: The feelings of a mother, and the feelings of a neglected boy. This track will get you into your feelings regardless of it’s monotonous content.
The chorus and the beat are soulful, and the verses are animated.
The song is important, and doesn’t shove life lessons down your throat like you think it would. That’s what I love about Lupe Fiasco’s style.
1. INTRO (N/A)
2. REAL (4/5)
3. JUST MIGHT BE OK (4/5)
4. KICK PUSH (5/5)
OVERALL RATING (9.5/10)
I could go on and on about this album, but I hate writing, so I will like to keep it short.
Overall, this is an excellent album! It’s easy on the ears, it’s real, it’s different. Lupe Fiasco put out a classic that never gets old to me.