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Tetsuo & Youth

by: Lupe Fiasco

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8 / 10

02.09.2015 | Selected by Ryan (aka Player 3)

I haven't listened to Lupe for some time now. His 2011 release Lasers never really grabbed me, but I've always liked his music and I revisit older albums on a regular basis. This new album is making some waves so it seems like a good time to give him another try.

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8 / 10

Ryan

If nothing else, Lupe Fiasco chose a different direction with this album, but I can't say exactly which direction that is. This feels more like an Atmosphere project or even a Roots album. It's certainly not over-produced. It has more of a raw indie sound while still utilizing all sorts of jazzy instrumentals and vocal hooks. I can't say why it sounds so different from his first couple albums...it just does. The instrumentals are definitely more prevalent in this album than in his early stuff, and most of the guests are for vocals/choruses not rapping verses.

Plus this line from the second track "Mural", which is a standout track for me, is a pleasant shoutout to my childhood.

"Who’s the Boss? If isn't Alyssa Milano"

I'm fairly certain this is the first rap album I've heard work a banjo into the mix as the transition into and out of the same song. I can't say I love every track, but it certainly doesn't get boring or repetetive. It's a weird flow however, which makes me wonder what's on the cutting room floor. I have a feeling there are a couple tracks that were a little too "out there" but I want to hear them.

Much like a Roots album I think I'll need some more time to digest everything. I like what I've heard so far...certainly more than Lasers. It's a little artsy for lack of a better term, but so far that's okay. There's even a musical cameo by a loop from a previous album. Time will tell how well she holds up.