Lupe Fiasco: Status Update
VILLAGE VOICE "To more than a few of us internet rap dorks, Lupe Fiasco is exactly what the world needs. I don't even think there's anything horribly wrong with commercial rap these days, and I'm still ridiculously amped to see what this guy can do. He's a great rapper: warm and eloquent and humanistic, with a pleasantly expressive voice and a thing for internal rhymes. He engages with politics without getting too pedantic about it, and he has a fluid and gorgeous way of describing internal conflicts and crises of faith and self-doubt. The idea that he might become a major rap star is a tantalizing possibility, and it's given a lot of us hope that big-business rap might break out of its slump by expanding its boundaries beyond its current fixation on trap-star bravado, which has produced plenty of great music but which has convinced the labels to throw their weight (so to speak) behind half-formed jokers like Yung Joc and Rick Ross. An early, unfinished version of Lupe's debut album Food & Liquor leaked to the internet a few months ago; I went a bit overboard when I called it one of the year's best albums as it was, but it does give us a sketchy picture of a major artist emerging. Since the album leaked, though, things haven't been going all that well for Lupe."
MUSICROOMS According to Lupe Fiasco, "The title (of my album) reflects on me being Muslim and being from the streets. In Chicago, instead having bodegas like in New York, the majority of the corner stores are called ‘Food and Liquors.’ The store is where everything is at, whether it be the wine-o hanging by the store, or us as kids going back and forth to the store to buy something. The ‘Food’ is the good part and the ‘Liquors’ is the bad part. I try to balance out both parts of me.”