Lupe Fiasco ‘The Cool’ Album Review


Lupe yesterday, about to sneeze

Whilst some of our affiliates are pitching ‘The Cool’ as possible album of the year, some of our non-affiliates are still basically just calling him a racist, lying Muslim. Either way, despite ATCQ-gate or whatever, we just applaud him for actually making it to a second LP in something like the correct amount of time (not mentioning any names – Clipse). Of course we’ve heard some of the best joints already (‘The Coolest’, ‘Dumb It Down’, ‘Superstar’) and predictably it’s pointlessly longer than G Rap’s original verse on ‘The Symphony’ – but hey…it’s here! That means we can now make jokes about we’d rather hear him do a track with Uncle Murder than Unkle (what is this, 1997?) and how working with Linkin Park is meant to widen your fan-base not make you ‘rap’ like Mike Shinoda. Oh, you need proof? Check the opening bars of ‘Streets On Fire’ and ‘Little Weapon’ – seriously, what’s he doing? ANYWAY – that joint ‘Paris/Tokyo’ is just like some shit from ‘Labcabincalifornia’ – therefore pretty good and ‘Go Go Gadget Flow’ might be alright were it not for the horrible hook. One thing we can surely agree on though is that the over-30s will love ‘Gold Watch’ and for a second Lupe is that natural rapper we fell in love with over that Mayfield loop.

78 Responses to "Lupe Fiasco ‘The Cool’ Album Review"
  1. Reply Brian Beck From Wisconsin December 17, 2007 08:08 am

    Kick Bush : the Fat Lace crew invite Lupe to stomp out avant garde UK pop legend with his patent leather candy red and apple green Pokemon Dunks so Lupe can finally fullfill the dream he’s held of puttin’-his-foot-in-a trick’s-ass that he’s had since supposedly listening to Too Short as a child.

  2. Reply JustLikeMusic December 17, 2007 08:55 am

    This is a great album. First off, to the guy that said that people who are his supporters but are stealing his music, the CD is on MTV right now, and listening to it doesn’t people are not going to buy it. That was not a well thought out comment (But it’s a blog so comments usually aren’t :P).

    Anyways now on to the album, I think the CD is incredible. I do agree with the “gotta eat” track being similar to Failure and some of his mixtape tracks which is really nice to see because I love the complex and introspective shit sometimes. I mean if I want hardcore, I listen to MOP, if I want gangster I listen to old school diplomatic immunity, if I want “high class gangster” or buisness man type stuff I listen to Jay, if I want club music that will get a party going i’ll put on some soulja boy or w/e bubblegum song is hot. The point of that run on sentence is that hip hop is not one type of music. It is a general label that they’ve put on like 30 types of music. Lupe is the best in his genre. I think that he has created his own style of hip hop that hasn’t been done before, and for that he’s great. Now people will say that there’s been other like him, you could argue that nas’s it was written is similar to a lot of lupe’s story songs (Like i gave you power from it was written), but no one has ever really spat with the depth, abstractness and creativity that Lu has. The problem with him, and why people may never consider him a legend like he deserves is not that he isn’t as good as MC as nas or jay or whoever when they first started (which i think was they’re best). The problem is Lupe is caught between generations. The older people (even people in they’re twenties) have the legends they grew up with and that everyone loved, probably nas, common, ATCQ, KRS, etc. I can go on. And they will always be biased to a newcommer because then they will feel like they lost they’re uniqueness because they remember Illmatic and Midnight Marauders and reasonable doubt etc. The new kids aren’t in to the same stuff as the older people. The new kids don’t care about lyrics (not necessairly cause they’re dumb), because they just want music to have fun with. So lupe doesn’t fit in as well as he should. That being said, I do think lupe is a legend and this cd helps prove it.



  3. Reply Brian Beck From Wisconsin December 17, 2007 09:22 am

    This has got to be Lupe’s weed carriers and record label lackeys spamming the internet with any blog mentioning his cd to try and drum up sales with laughable over-the-top appraisals.

  4. Reply country bumpkin December 17, 2007 12:14 pm

    has lupe ever made any quatable lyrics like nas or biggie or rakim or even akinyele ‘play like herbie and hand me a cock’!

  5. Reply country bumpkin December 17, 2007 12:14 pm

    sorry Ak…that should be ‘hand you a cock’.

  6. Reply country bumpkin December 17, 2007 12:15 pm

    kick push was semi mild-middling classic, it’s a great beat regardless, even if the track played out, but it’s not up there with any all time classics.

  7. Reply the doctor December 18, 2007 04:13 am

    @just like music:

    You’re right, I obviously didn’t think my comment through at all, unlike your careful argument that everyone is listening to this album via a streaming website that doesn’t play outside the continental US, rather than downloading it from a torrent site or rapidshare. Yeah, you’re right, that’s MUCH more plausible.

    Oh, but it’s ok, cos you made a little smiley face at the end..

  8. Reply yallascholla December 18, 2007 20:39 pm

    Fake ass mos def,

  9. Reply Astro December 19, 2007 16:18 pm

    Your Review still sucks ass from a straw, Bol or not your review ain’t worth shit!

  10. Reply mikesmelk December 23, 2007 13:03 pm

    this was the worst review i have ever read whoever wrote this obviously does not appreciate what hip hop is all about and whoever is hating on this album either

    1. did not LISTEN to the lyrics
    2. is too dumb to understand what he is talking about

  11. Reply c rocky December 23, 2007 22:21 pm

    i dont think the reviewer actually listened to the lyrics. lupe is ingenious, he has a unique flow and kills every track he is on. sountrakk is a hella good producer too. paris, tokyo is real sick, no other rapper would even think about using an eumir deodato sample. The coolest and little weapon also slap. fuck all those negative reviews i’d like to see u haters make music like lupe does. dont knock this new age of hip hop. fuck all that radio stuff with heavy bass screwed samples and gay ass hooks. Lupes music actually has substance and raw ass lyrics kinda like Nas’s It was Written. feel me?? real music

  12. Reply drew December 25, 2007 21:56 pm

    in my experience those who claim to be authorities on hip hop want or feel they deserve cred but are actually the biggest threats to hip hop. hip hop’s too big, too dynamic, and too important for any ONE to be an authority.

    that said, i doubt that kanye, nas, jay-z, or common bother comparing themselves in such meaningless ways. they all seem to respect each other immensely, n somma yall r up on some wack hype shit. lupe, as jay-z said, is a breath of fresh air, and not everyone will enjoy his style, but it is hard to deny his talent and his important contribution to hip hop. meaningless comparisons aside, lupe is more than worthy as a hip hop artist in his own right. the cool is exactly what some of us are looking for right now – bold social commentary woven with clever lyrics and an opportunity to have such commentary injected into a mainstream that too often is unwilling to hear it. what if hip hop could eventually involve reasoned argumentation from informed, talented lyricists about important social issues, to supplement the repetitive hooks and synthetic looped beats that seem to dominate large-music-label endorsed mainstream hip hop? props to lupe – he’s more than worthy of respect, and i def think that those who disregard or disrespect him out of hand fail to recognize the kind of work that goes into a project like the cool. and when disrespecting lupe, also think of all of the respectable hip hop artists seem to respect the dude and who would gladly praise and promote his work…are you more authoritative than them? opinions are fine when presented as opinions, but remember that your opinion holds relatively little weight in any grand scheme – just like my own is insignificant, so i may as well end this here…

  13. Reply NolaStar December 29, 2007 00:06 am

    Man this is funny to see all these idiots who know nothing about music. Lupe is the man right now. I know most idiots want to hear “ho this” or “gold chain,” but REAL people are tired of that trash. Jigga, Nas, Kanye, Talib, and now Lupe are true rappers. Idiots like this reviewer and coutry are alittle to slow to realize this. People even hated Jigga when he first appeared. For all you slow people, i heard there is a new Ying Yang album on the way, yall should get that one, maybe you’ll pick up on the lyrics… maybe…

  14. Reply allmusic December 31, 2007 17:34 pm

    I agree with nola, I can’t understand how so many people aren’t feeling this album. Lupe is skilled above and beyond almost everyone out right now. You can’t even compare Lupe to Kayne. Kayne is a producer, not a rapper (and therefore has no flow). I think the second verse on dumb it down could be the best hip hop verse I’ve heard in the last five years.

  15. Reply pnoyz January 2, 2008 09:16 am

    How could you not respect this album when there are these half-assed, club bangers written by 17-year old kids on the radio? There’s not that many ‘good’ Hip Hop artists nowadays, so when I do see some: KRS, Lupe, Jay, Kanye, Immortal Technique, etc.., I respect them even if I don’t like the album. I’ll listen to it, because it’s a different taste from others.

    You have to respect other people’s opinions, because some don’t like Lu’s style.

  16. Reply pnoyz January 2, 2008 09:17 am

    As for the album, I love it. Hip Hop Saved My Life, Little Weapon, The Coolest, Intruder Alert, Hi-Definition and basically all of the songs except for a few are classics. I’ll be listening to this CD for a while, and actually attending one of his concerts later on this month. I give it a 9.5/10.

  17. Reply Dick Moranis January 4, 2008 11:59 am

    Soft as shit…. Im not feelin it… Im glad I did’nt buy it.

    This is Hip Hop for people who dont really like Hip Hop. Real heads will know what I mean!

  18. Reply Remmington January 4, 2008 22:38 pm

    This was a disappointment in comparison to his last album. Though it’s still better than anything else out right now.

    Most of the songs had promise but were crippled in one way or another, hi definition’s hook was shit thanks to snoop. Gold watch has one of the most annoying loops in the background completely crushing it’s value, making it unlistenable to me. Intruder alert was a bit cliche and wise it’s unremarkable. The die is useless to me, I’ve ever liked speed rapping bullshit.

    There are a few gems in this album though:

    Little weapon, comments on violence both real and virtual with being preachy, and managing to please the ears immensely with a dark militant beat lupe’s laid back flow gets switched up for a more ridged quick fire regimented style that jives perfectly with the subject matter. This is an example of lupe trying something new and succeeding.

    The Coolest is classic lupe fiasco a deep quazi dramatic beat with lupe riding it with ease.

    Superstar has an awesome hook, and lupe takes advantage of it giving a great performance.

    Hip hop saved my live is probably the start of this album. A catchy beat and good hook mixed with a meaningful coherent chronographic narrative about an up and coming mc. Any underground artist will find it massively relate able and possibly even biographic.

  19. Reply lost Angels January 7, 2008 06:30 am

    this reviewer sucked more than a prostitute with an empty stomache, But i could tell that you dont know anything about real hip hop.. because it looks like you’re waiting more for that clipse album than lupe’s but hip hop exists u just gotta find it man. because it isnt gonna come to you thru the radio.. look up dj premier, termanology, demigodz, apathy, 7l and esoteric, common, dilated peoples, chino xl, black thought, mos def,talib kweli, kanye west, common, hi tek, , the roots, rjd2, planet asia, immortal technique, wu-tang clan,jurassic 5, the visionaries,de la soul,a tribe called quest,the roots, madlib, q-tip, little brother j-live, one be lo, the pharcyde, slum village, cypress hill, jedi mind tricks, gangstarr, alchemist, rakim, proof, outkast, mobb deep, ameru and blue black, fort minor,dj honda, dj nu mark, royce da 59, Listen to them above, and then i’ll see if ur still hungry for clipse.

  20. Reply NolaStar January 7, 2008 06:56 am

    First of all Dick… with you music iq i see why your name is dick… and Remmington… you have some great points, but a disappointment to food and liquor… man cool is two times better that his first… come on man, both are great, but the cool has ways more hits…

  21. Reply Dick Moranis January 8, 2008 13:40 pm

    NolaStar dont speak to me about music ‘iq’ I started listening to hip hop when I was 10. The first album I bought was P.E. It takes a nation of millions still one of my fav albums of all time. So from that to this, u can see why i dont rate it.. I have tried on numerous occasions since i wrote my comment to get into it, but the only tracks that stand out for me is ‘Gold Watch’ and ‘Paris/Tokyo’ because they actually sound like real ‘Hip Hop’. Something you obviously dont appreciate. WORD!

  22. Reply richyrich January 9, 2008 04:02 am

    possibly the worst F**king review i have ever read. dont quit your day job home skillet

  23. Reply NolaStar January 11, 2008 05:38 am

    Wow… Dick.. i didnt think your taste in music could be any worse…. First of all Gold Watch is the only song on the cd i skip… and u said it stands out…. yea i can see why you dont like the album…. Hey maybe you should get a more dumbed down album… I think that soldier boy album would fit u perfect…

  24. Reply Judah Christ January 24, 2008 19:46 pm

    lol@ souljahboy album * Lupe * !!! * NEVER DUMB IT DOWN * cuz you are what you say u are * LOOKIN FOWARD TO WORKIN WITH ANOTHER GREAT MIND *

    Judah Christ

  25. Reply Brookyln 1 N Only February 8, 2008 10:18 am

    For Real Lupe Is Maybe The Best Artist Out Right Now Thus Far. His First Album Food A Liqour Is A Perfect 10/10. He Had A Grammy Nomination Off His First Lp For Hip Hop Album Of The Year. Didnt Win Cause Ludacris Did But Still Thats Says Alot To What His Music Says. The Cool I Will Say Isnt Better Then Food And Liqour But Is A Very Good Sophmore Lp. He Killed Paris And Tokyo And Put You On To The Game Is A Breath Of Fresh Air For Hip Hop. What Yall Want Him To Talk About Shooting Ak 47′s And 9MM No Everyone Now At Days Raps About The Same God Damn Thing. He Is The Best Rapper Out Right Now. Im A Jay-z Fan But Asides From Dudes Of Jay-z,Nas,Eminem, He Puts His Heart And Soul Into The Music And Give You His all To Feed The Mind. So For The Ignorants Of This World Have A Nice Day. LupeEnd Will Be Out Nxt Yr. Hopefully It Wont Be His Last Album Ya digg. Brooklyn’s 1 And Only Im Out 1.

  26. Reply BRooKLYN MAMi 718 March 4, 2008 22:14 pm

    Yo;; country bumpkin. yu are so fuqin waq. ‘COUNTRY’ says it all. you dnt seem to know shit anyways. Lupe is fire. hes shittin on mad rappers in the game. me personally;; i love lil wayne. and lupe has that sick flow other nigguh try to cop. [[[[fuqwiddit]]]].

  27. Reply Milwaukee, WI March 14, 2008 20:22 pm

    Lupe is way better better than wayne jus because of the fact wayne says the same thing every album n every mixtape. Im jus waitin for Lupe, Nas, Kanye west, and Jay-z to do a track togther. These guys are the rebirth of wat hip-hop trully is.

  28. Reply Poizon March 20, 2008 06:17 am

    what u mean “whats he thinking” on the opening bars of streets on fire?! That song is perfect and so well put together

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