Lupe Fiasco’s career for the past few years have went through an up and down rollercoaster ride. But through all the ups and downs along with the Twitter meltdowns and record label battles, Lupe still managed to become a well talked about emcee and he seemingly been on a mission to redeem his career after dropping the critically disappointing Lasers album(Which remains as one of Lupe’s worst albums to date).
Lupe seemed to have had more control with the creative aspect of this album this time around and he sounds much more focused. The direction Lupe wanted to take for this album was to focus more on his brilliant lyricism and dropping what he felt was lacking in rap music today with that being bringing substance all while taking the role of being a lecturer.
Starting with the Introduction which features Lupe’s Sister Ayesha Jaco opening up the album with poetry covering the current events including Jim Crow(revisited) Trayvon Martin, and how Food and Liquor stores still occupy every block in his neighborhood.
Strange Fruition is the perfect way for Lupe to open up his album as he goes back to what he does best and thats speak the truth which is whats missing in today’s rap market. Lupe’s opening lines where he attacks the country’s treatment of blacks and how everything that surrounds it is built by lies and corruption. Its is a perfect way to introduce the album into what vibe Lupe trying to go.
He continues to really let his mind spray on songs such as Ital where he continues where Strange fruition left off on songs such Ital, Around the Way where he goes the political route by addressing the problems within the music industry, society, and throws some jabs at President Obama.
Theres times in the album where Lupe comes across as very preachy and it can be a good or bad thing depending on the listener. He goes that route on Bitch Bad is where Lupe comes across as a lecturer and talks about the negative influence of hip hop and imagery among Young Women. The video further brings the song into life as it goes hand in hand with the concept he’s tackling.
Lamborghini Angels is possibly the album’s hardest hitting as well could be controversal. He not only tackles the worship for materialism among his peers but he also tackles the taboo topic of Child molestation by Priest in the Catholic Church.
Put Em Up is the album’s “Dumb it Down” where Lupe exercises his wordplay and tells the rap game that he’s in notice and can spit with the best of them. People who doubted Lupe after they heard Lasers should hear this cut because its clear that he can rap with the best of them today.
The momentum stalls quite a bit and this isn’t due to Lupe’s lyricism because he’s pen game is sharp throughout. It’s the terrible hooks and beat selection that drowns him out. Especially on the album’s worst cut Heart Donor which is hard to digest due to the horrific hook. Battle Scars due to its hook may land Lupe a top 40 hit as it sounds something similar to what Bruno Mars would do isn’t too bad but it doesn’t hold its on in compared to the first 10 songs of the album.
How Dare You is possibly one of my personal favorite cuts on the album as it shows that Lupe likes to have fun every once in a while and comes across as commercial but not corny. The cinematic Braveheart is pretty dope as well. You would think that it came from a movie score from the movie 300. The only thing I’m disappointed is the fact that we don’t get a Tech9ne verse because this sounds like something thats suitable for him.
But despite some blunders, Lupe finishes the album with Hood Now. Here he gives the listener of what hood life truly is like by breaking down the different styles of dressing , the way of thinking and the way of living. It’s not only very catchy but could be a great followup single as well
Overall Lupe truly redeemed himself. This is the album he truly needed to regain his core whom he lost when he released Lasers. Once he really works on his beat selection and hook game then he’s gonna truly have a timeless classic in the works. Lyrically he proved that he’s one of the best the new generation has to offer and fans of hip hop with substance should check this out.
Vic Rating: 8.6 Outta 10