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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released July 24, 2020 | 1st and 15th too

With a career that already spans 20 years, Lupe Fiasco is already starting to be considered a rap veteran. The Chicago native has never been afraid to displease his audience: he has tackled, in all of his projects new concepts and experimentations. Even if it means screwing up or alienating fans. And we’re all the better for it. With House, a five track EP entirely produced by Kaelin Ellis to the point that it is presented as a joint project, it is a labyrinth of spiritual reflections in line with the world today amid a background of tasteful, suave and calming jazz-rap rhythms. You must listen to House as a whole in order, from beginning to end. The album begins with a speech by designer Virgil Abloh, whose voice is heard throughout the EP, whether it be on this introduction or on the track Shoes. What can a pair of shoes bring to the world? Is the shoe therefore a form of art or can it be political as well? Lupe Fiasco has many of these reflective bursts and rambles magnificently about the extinction of the dinosaurs on the track DINOSAURS, on the size of the skull of a Tyrannosaurus and on the meteorite that wiped them out. A very talkative and discursive rap flow in a style that is always virtuous. © Brice Miclet/Qobuz
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released September 21, 2018 | 1st and 15th Productions, Inc.

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 20, 2015 | 1st & 15th - Atlantic

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released March 4, 2011 | 1st & 15th - Atlantic

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2007 | 1st & 15th - Atlantic

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released June 27, 2006 | Atlantic Records

A few years in the making, Lupe Fiasco's Food and Liquor follows a fruitless association with Epic (as a member of da Pak), an aborted solo deal with Arista (which yielded one promo single), a handful of guest appearances (tha Rayne's "Kiss Me," Kanye West's "Touch the Sky"), and a leak of an unfinished version of the album that set the official release back to September 2006. Still only 25 years old, Fiasco -- a Chicagoan of Islamic faith who owns a number of black belts -- sounds wise beyond his age, rarely raises his voice, projects different emotions with slight inflections, and is confident enough to openly admit his inspirations while building on them. It Was Written is his touchstone, and there are traces of numerous MCs in his rhymes, from Intelligent Hoodlum and Ed O.G. to Nas and Jay-Z. Pharrell (aka Skate Board P) might've considered suffocating himself out of envy with his Bathing Ape sweatshirt when he first heard the album's lead single, "Kick, Push," dubbed a skate-rap classic well before Food and Liquor hit shelves. Like nothing else in the mainstream or underground, its subject matter -- skater boy meets skater girl -- and appealing early-'90s throwback production finally broke the doors down for Fiasco's solo career. Wisely enough, Fiasco doesn't turn the skating thing into a gimmick and excels at spinning varying narratives over a mostly strong set of productions from 1st & 15th affiliates Soundtrakk and Prolyfic, as well as the Neptunes, West, Needlz, and Mike Shinoda. There are strings, smeary synthesized textures, and dramatic keyboard vamps galore -- templates that befit heartbreaking tales like "He Say She Say" and casually deep-thinking reflections like "Hurt Me Soul," where the MC confronts some of his conflicting emotions: "I had a ghetto boy boppa/Jay-Z boycott/'Cause he said that he never prayed to God, he prayed to Gotti/I'm thinking golly, God, guard me from the ungodly/But by my 30th watchin' of Streets Is Watching, I was back to givin' props again/And that was botherin'/'Bout as comfortable as a untouchable touching you." Deserving of as much consideration as the other high-profile debuts of the past few years, up to and including The College Dropout, Food and Liquor just might be the steadiest and most compelling rap album of 2006. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released February 10, 2017 | 1st and 15th Productions, Inc.

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released August 28, 2012 | 1st & 15th - Atlantic

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released June 21, 2019 | 1st and 15th Productions, Inc.

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released May 30, 2006 | Atlantic Records

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released September 25, 2012 | 1st & 15th - Atlantic

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released July 3, 2015 | Dark Horse Records

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released July 25, 2006 | Atlantic Records

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released September 25, 2012 | 1st & 15th - Atlantic

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For all the artist-label snags Lasers hit prior to its birth, the album topped the Billboard 200, while one of its singles, "The Show Goes On," became Lupe Fiasco's second Top Ten Hot 100 hit. As that album was in limbo, Fiasco began working on his confusingly titled fourth album, a 69-minute "part one" of a sequel to his 2006 debut. It's most certainly not a Lasers sequel. There's no obvious attempt to repeat earlier pop chart successes, and its introduction is indicative, similar to that of 2007's elaborately conceptual The Cool, with Fiasco's sister Ayesha Jaco contributing some more of her commanding poetry. Released only a year and a half after Lasers, the album was likely met with fewer label-related issues, but each one of its first three singles stirred up some controversy. "Around My Way (Freedom Ain't Free)" uses the indelible beat from Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth's "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)," considered by many hip-hop fans to be untouchable for its emotional relevance and classic stature. Pete Rock himself objected vehemently, and that conflict was resolved, but the beat is a bad match for the MC's angered, if piercingly focused and thoughtful, rhymes. On "Bitch Bad," Fiasco takes a characteristically authoritarian stance on misogyny. The order of the second and third nouns in the hook -- "Bitch bad/Woman good/Lady better/They misunderstood" -- is one of its many debatable issues. As with many of his songs, the lyrical value (clever, cerebral) is far greater than the musical value (sluggish, meandering). It's much more about delivering a message and provoking debate than replays. For the third single, "Lamborghini Angels," Fiasco is at his detailed and focused best, combining surreal imagery and grim non-fiction over a brilliantly tense beat from Mr. Inkredible. Through this song, the MC covers behavioral programming, child sexual abuse, and Afghan civilian murders in a graphic manner. Don't expect a party. Don't expect to appreciate each method he uses to relay his viewpoints. One can at least appreciate, or at least respect, a rapper capable of dropping an absolute stinger like "But my tone was like a Afghani, killed without a home, blew that bitch up with a drone" like it's nothing. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 20, 2015 | 1st & 15th - Atlantic

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released October 14, 2013 | 1st & 15th - Atlantic

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released June 27, 2006 | Atlantic Records

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released July 3, 2015 | Digital Dist.

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released September 25, 2007 | 1st & 15th - Atlantic

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released June 27, 2006 | Atlantic Records

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A few years in the making, Lupe Fiasco's Food and Liquor follows a fruitless association with Epic (as a member of da Pak), an aborted solo deal with Arista (which yielded one promo single), a handful of guest appearances (tha Rayne's "Kiss Me," Kanye West's "Touch the Sky"), and a leak of an unfinished version of the album that set the official release back to September 2006. Still only 25 years old, Fiasco -- a Chicagoan of Islamic faith who owns a number of black belts -- sounds wise beyond his age, rarely raises his voice, projects different emotions with slight inflections, and is confident enough to openly admit his inspirations while building on them. It Was Written is his touchstone, and there are traces of numerous MCs in his rhymes, from Intelligent Hoodlum and Ed O.G. to Nas and Jay-Z. Pharrell (aka Skate Board P) might've considered suffocating himself out of envy with his Bathing Ape sweatshirt when he first heard the album's lead single, "Kick, Push," dubbed a skate-rap classic well before Food and Liquor hit shelves. Like nothing else in the mainstream or underground, its subject matter -- skater boy meets skater girl -- and appealing early-'90s throwback production finally broke the doors down for Fiasco's solo career. Wisely enough, Fiasco doesn't turn the skating thing into a gimmick and excels at spinning varying narratives over a mostly strong set of productions from 1st & 15th affiliates Soundtrakk and Prolyfic, as well as the Neptunes, West, Needlz, and Mike Shinoda. There are strings, smeary synthesized textures, and dramatic keyboard vamps galore -- templates that befit heartbreaking tales like "He Say She Say" and casually deep-thinking reflections like "Hurt Me Soul," where the MC confronts some of his conflicting emotions: "I had a ghetto boy boppa/Jay-Z boycott/'Cause he said that he never prayed to God, he prayed to Gotti/I'm thinking golly, God, guard me from the ungodly/But by my 30th watchin' of Streets Is Watching, I was back to givin' props again/And that was botherin'/'Bout as comfortable as a untouchable touching you." Deserving of as much consideration as the other high-profile debuts of the past few years, up to and including The College Dropout, Food and Liquor just might be the steadiest and most compelling rap album of 2006. © Andy Kellman /TiVo

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Lupe Fiasco in the magazine
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