Pretending to Be…

Lupe Fiasco The Cool Review…
December 13, 2007, 8:47 am
Filed under: Pretending to be a Rapper

Just a note, I am reviewing this album, but understand that I am a huge Lupe Fiasco fan and I evaluate Lupe against himself and his previous works, with the bulk of the comparison coming from his many mixtapes where if you followed this concept of “THE COOL” has been alive since Fahrenheit 115 part 1…

01. Baba Says Cool For Thought-
spoken word intro by Lupe’s sister…. well done and articulate, but come on… its like the opening act at a concert before the main event… i really don’t care… sorry
02. Free Chilly (featuring Sarah Green & Gemstones)
Gemstones comes out singing…. and by the way Gemstones has a amazing voice just something about it… and then Sarah Green chimes in… coupled with the beat this track has so much potential… u expect lupe to come out with a verse soon, but then the music tunes off and u realize it was just an interlude… i dont know, i was hugely disappointed… i feel as if this was a wasted opportunity for an amazing track…
03. Go Go Gadget Flow
Two tracks in still no lupe but he comes on in this track… and he brings it.. Lupe twisting.. he has that remarkable ability in rhyming at a blistering pace but his flow isnt affected… the beat seems to have trouble with keeping up with Lu at first but it blends after about the 10th bar… ehhh took me a while to really feel it, the hook needs getting used to, kinda annoying…. and yes Lupe we know your from Chi Town and that you think iChicago is the best thing since sliced bread…
04. The Coolest
now for the first chapter in the concept stage… and not to dick ride or to sound like a stan but… ABSOLUTE FIRE… try to catch the metaphors and its chock full of it, starting in the first 5 bars .. which is my favorite, he spits: “i love the seas and i love the shores, no love for no beach, baby thats law, but she doesnt see” so unnecessary but yet so fire … a rare hip hop track where you get 3 verses… BUT two things that prevent this track from being a perfect one… first of all the Lil Wayne twist he gives to some of his rhymes, not feeling it… and Lupe prob has the worst hooks sometimes… but the repetition of “coolest nigga whhhaaat” did kinda grow on me… you’ll prob press repeat a couple times before u let the album go on to the next track… if you only play this once then dont bother listening to the rest of the album…
05. Superstar (featuring Matthew Santos)
i really dont know what to say about this record… I really dont feel Santos’ voice… Sarah Green or Gemstones would have been a better fit… but again i can respect the creativeness in this track… “… wanna believe my own hype, but it’s too untrue…” Lu trying to sound humble although we all know he’s a arrogant and prideful dude…
06. Paris, Tokyo

nice beat, nice flow, Lupe coming out singing… could do without the singing though… bunch of materialistic references on Lu’s style that nobody else really understands, but its one of those things where he doesnt care what anyone else thinks… again respect
07. Hi-Definition (featuring Snoop Dogg & Pooh Bear)
ill be truthful i had no idea no pooh bear was… i only Pooh Bear i knew is Rich Boi’s dead homie… I also had no idea why Snoop Dogg is on this track… Not feelin’ track at all… but Lupe’s does drop some gems on his verses.. too bad i cant say the same for snoop…
08. Gold Watch
Lupe talking about his uniqueness. Just him poking fun at what a rapper is supposed to be. Sick Flow, infectious beat… lots of dry humor and sarcasm you will miss if you dot pay attention…
09. Hip-Hop Saved My Life (featuring Nikki Jean)
ok to be honest at this point im severely disappointed with the album… the only cant miss track so far was ‘The Coolest” but he released that track weeks ago so i already played it about 150 times… but thank god he goes back to the concept with this track… and its AMAZING… talking about the character Michael Young a young aspiring MC from Houston… Lu showcases his storytelling ability, not forcing anything… again he spins his style on this young rapper, not the typical story of gangbanging or crack dealing but as the title suggest Hip-Hop saving a life… not like the media outlook that Hip-hop is synonymous with crime and drugs… rather short track but he sets the scene for the rest of the album… “get his momma out the hood, put her some where in the woods….show his homies theres a way, other than that flippin’ yay”
10. Intruder Alert (featuring Sarah Green)
dark song… rapes, drug addiction, life in third world countries… again Lu showcasing his amazing storytelling ability… the song title serves a definition used in multiple ways, and just Lu bring knowledge and his opinions on such issues. “he’s checking water, making sure its safe enough for daughter to float across in the boat that he built, hopefully strong enough to support her, praying border patrol dont catch her, process then deport her, before she reach the shore of the land of the free where they feed you, treat you like equals, deceive you, stamp you and call you illegal…”
11. Streets On Fire
The second half of the album continues to prove that this is the better half. Again following the concept, speaking on the streets, finally only the second track so far that makes you hit replay… wont get into the lyrics but his third verse is utterly ridiculous… listen up…
12. Little Weapon (featuring Bishop G & Nikki Jean)

Back to back to hittin the repeat button. Amazing record. The opening verse is from “heat under the baby seat” from one of his mixtapes that escape my memory at this moment… the bars have frank truths about other societies that are unbelievable but true… “think you gangster, popped a few rounds, these kids come through and murder the whole town, sit back and smoke and watch it burn down…””… cant write they own names or read the words that are on their own graves…”
Bishop G also comes correct as he switches up the flow and talk about video game violence and the kids that play them and the irony in that and kids that tote guns in real life…
13. Gotta Eat
ok, Lu rapping from a cheeseburger’s point of view. Now dont judge yet. This joint reminds of a mixtape track “twilight zone” just a song so out there like he got high and just started rapping.. crazy song, metaphors aplenty probably the most unique track since Nas’ “Who killed it” on ‘Hip-Hop is Dead’ … trust me u will press repeat…
14. Dumb It Down (featuring Gemstones & Graham Burris)
i wont even get into this song in detail… you prob already heard it… NEWSFLASH: Lupe Fiasco knows how to rap… and he can use big words… and intricate metaphors…
15. Hello/Goodbye (Uncool) (featuring UNKLE)
Again Lupe singing, not really feeling it but he pulls it off somewhat successfully…
16. The Die (featuring Gemstones)
The death of the cool… and Gemstones blesses Lu with a collab… his flow rivals lupe… but nevertheless amazing flow from both dudes, with Gemstones’ twisting a lil bit overshadowing Lu’s flow… good song that is part of the concept with Gemstones’ character being envious of the “Cool” and the “cool” enventually dying…
17. Put You On Game
Lu finally talking about the Game… and this track is absolutely Vicious… not only in terms of the record itself but Lu has a violent twang to his voice in rapping… lyrics are crazy and dark… ” one of the oldest and ancient-est of thangs, speak every single language on the planet, na mean?”, “I taught them better than that, I taught them aim for the head, and hope they never come back, im glad your daddy gone and hope he never come back”,”I hope your bullet holes become mouths that say my name” “I hope you die in this trash, cant help it all i can do when i hear you crying is laugh”. amazing amazing track… repeat 1833 times.. and thats real talk, the best track on this album…
18. Fighters (featuring Matthew Santos)
Another appearance by Mr. Santos… again not really feeling his style… “what you rapping about” basically the theme and couple of reminiscing lines about his fam… not a bad track from an artistic point of view… Lu’s verses still have gems and the flow is still there and he says “now we have one more to go, LUPend” refernencing his desire to retire after his third album. …ahem, ahem BS…
19. Go Baby (featuring Gemstones)
Track for the ladies… ehhh its aite, might grow you, the hook reminds me too much of Go Go Gadget Flow…

all in all this is the one of the best albums of the year with the hype notwithstanding… Food and Liquor went away from how he was rapping from his mixtape days, where his fan base came from, but THE COOL revisits that, its a must listen for any music fan just in general.


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