FTK: Food & Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1

25 09 2012

Amidst the aftermath of this monumental MNF replacement referee fiasco (aahhh..get it?) it’s nice to count on some aspects of life continuing along, unscathed. For a die-hard Packers fan and brainwashed NFL minion like myself, everything since last night’s horrendous outcome has felt to a degree, and to put it blatantly, pointless. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve been a worthless employee for much of the day. Sorry boss! And not just because my favorite fucking team on the fucking planet just got robbed of an obvious victory, but also because of the unprecedented uncertainty and loss of control America’s favorite sport is currently facing. It’s tough to wrap your mind around.

Luckily, as I said a minute ago, some many things are unaffected by professional football games. One of those things is motherfucking Lupe Fiasco. And like a thief in the night, a thief who gives instead of takes (which totally makes sense), last night he dropped his brand new album, Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1. Unfortunately, last night I was too busy punching inanimate objects in my apartment to give it a listen, but since my rage has subsided a bit, I gave er’ a run-through and let me tell you it does not disappoint.

If Lupe is for reals on wanting to retire from hip hop after FL2 Pt. 2 then this is a hell of a start to his curtain call. Now like most athletes, rappers announcing their retirement are usually about as believable as Mike and Molly claiming they trimmed down for the upcoming season. You mean you chowed down? At OCB for eight months straight?  Nonetheless, Lupe has always been very up front with his fans. Earlier today Lupe revealed he originally wanted FL2 to be a double disc album, but Atlantic Records insisted he split it into two separate release dates. So expect Pt. 2 in early 2013 and more than likely, expect Lupe to stick around the game.

Retirement rumors aside, this album straight bumps from the get-go. Like his previous albums, Lup is often so close to sounding mainstream and poppy yet he’s somehow not even close. Some might say the album includes a couple “cheesy” tracks, like ‘Battle Scars’ and ‘Heart Donor’, but even then he makes sure his verses are legit enough to make the song fit in nicely. FL2 is a definite breath of fresh air when it comes to rap lyrics addressing well, umm, basically anything besides how much money and riches and cool shit they have (keep in mind I luv me some Wiz, Ricky Ro, tity boi etc). Lupe claims the album is meant to address “the rise and fall of American imperialism”. Add to that the struggles and oppressions of many different races, American war history, a tribute to black culture in America and often blatant critiques of current mainstream hip hop among other issues and it’s clear FL2 is packed with controversial content. Lupe is no question one of the best out there right now, and this record proves that. From pump up jams to mellow beats, it has a bit of everything. So toss on FL2, take your pants off sit back, roast one up and forget entirely what a replacement ref even is.

A few faves:

 

– JD

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