Local Wire

Lupe Fiasco

Though some believe Lupe Fiasco is too smart for mainstream rap, that’s not exactly true. Most of the lyrics on his sophomore release, Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool, are pretty basic, clichéd stuff, right down to the CD’s opening monologue, “They thought it was cool to tear down the projects and put up million-dollar condos, gentrification. They think it’s cool to stand on the block hiding product in their socks, making quick dimebag dollars.” Like Common and Talib Kweli’s latest albums, Fiasco seems to believe that paying lip service to problems plaguing the black community is the same as substantively addressing their causes and potential solutions. Much of The Cool is wrapped around a complex street narrative involving characters called The Cool, The Streets, and The Game, which will make for a better comic book (as Fiasco has promised) than it does a concept album. Oddly, The Cool works better when it’s serving up frantic club bangers and radio-friendly R&B. “Go Go Gadget Flow,” a tribute to his hometown of Chicago, might be the single of the year, while “Superstar” is a winning empowerment jam. “Hi-Definition,” featuring Snoop Dogg and Pooh Bear, shows that Fiasco has an ear for concocting hits.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ben Westhoff
Contact: Ben Westhoff