Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1
After Lasers was critically slaughtered last year (panned for being more of a record-label pleaser than a sincere artistic effort), Lupe Fiasco returns to his guerrilla-rap roots.
In his latest release, the Chicago MC questions the state of hip-hop, dissects the origins of societal ills and makes several politically incorrect statements. In ITAL (Roses)the MC addresses today's parents, advising them against the negative influence of mainstream hip-hop.
Fiasco's stubborn dislike of today's rap culture even manages to seep into the soulful How Dare You (featuring Bilal), where he apologises to the lady of his affections for using the word swag to describe his sartorial proficiency: "I said swag, and I'm sorry/Don't mean to offend your sensibility, I meant dress smartly." Fiasco takes a break from his didactic approach and loosens up a bit on the refreshingly casual album closer Hood Now, a celebration of black culture's omnipresence in the mainstream.
While Fiasco 's allegiance to socially conscious rap is admirable, his latest effort comes off as a studio-length tirade that sounds more like an angry manifesto than a great American rap album.