Lupe Fiasco is one of the last of a dying breed of true rap lyricists but would like to think that he doesn’t care about that at this point. A rapper who could be arguably one of the best ever has had his share of ups and downs in the industry. His last two albums being criticized for not upholding the quality that his first two albums (Food & Liquor and The Cool) had established with their releases. With all that being said if you’re a Lupe fan be glad and if you not down with him get ready because Tetsuo and Youth is here for you.
This album is a return to form for Fiasco simply because for the first time in a while he’s making music that doesn’t seem forced or untrue to style, while also putting himself in his own zone that you should see in an artist of his caliber at this stage in his career. His scope, quality, cohesiveness, and style are all amplified here. He now sports a certain wiseness to his rhymes that lets you know he not the same man who released his debut album over 9 years ago.
His penchant for razor sharp lyrics and infinite wordplay are ever-present and WILL leave you in the mix if you don’t listen closely. With that being said that’s the fun part with this album. Lupe uses such simplistic ways to say things in a completely lethal complex fashion. Listening to “Adoration of the Magi” with the sexy jazz background wrapped around his smooth lyrics shows his focus and lets his skills shine. “You not the first person/first person from your first cursing to your first cursive and your curse words is in the cursive version/it occurs virgin is the word version /that refers perfect to the first person/in the third verse , who’s really me /in the third person but prefers the first one, that’s me ,again”. To read this on paper is unfair and is should be heard by all who enjoy flows tightly woven in the vain of Eminem or Royce.
The crowning achievement of this album is unquestionably the best songs on this album and shows Lupe in a new zone that he has never entered and what follows are some of the best bars you will ever hear. I know I said Jeezy had the best sample use of “Chanson D’un Jour D’Hiver” but make no mistake about it “Mural” the second track on the album is a beast coming in at over 8 minutes. The song its self is like a small album because so much information and meaning can be interpreted from this song. “When I was younger I had visions of another world, sneaking looks at the porn stash of my brother Hurl/incense smoke made vortices and other curls/casting calls from porn films and ad space for rubber girls”. I couldn’t make these rhymes up and those few bars were only the tip of so much more in this song. Even after listening to the song over 15 times I have taken new meanings every time from it and its rewarding to say the least. Overall this already is a contender for album of the year and it’s not even February yet. There are only a handful of people who can release an album this year that would match it and that probably wouldn’t be for a long time until then I encourage anyone to play this album and you’ll understand why I say what I say about this album.