Page 1

ALBUM REVIEW: Food and Liquor II



"Question Mark Exclamation Point" So, my post about the Treated Crew’s first video...

THE MARTORIALIST Ayo Chief Keef The week Wyclef spent that money he stole on baby oil and a motorcycle

Throatchop Politics The President hitting his stride


Passion of the Weiss Only Real is Only Real

Soul In Stereo Flashback Friday: Francesca Battistelli and Lil Cease

Being a "conscience rapper" is undoubtedly the most thankless job in the music industry. The title in itself is a loaded epithet that carries an overwhelming

Werner von Wallenrod's Humble, Little Hip-Hop Blog

sub-genres, the spectrum of substance-laden rap covers more ground than its

Natural Elements Demos Unreleased Still.

reputation would lead one to believe.


amount of baggage, crammed to the tilt with pretentious rhetoric. As with most

In recent years, the Mount Rushmore of conscience rappers have deviated from their self-imposed archetypes. Talib Kweli banded with Philadelphia soul singer Res to mount pop tunes under the guise of Idle Warship. Common's Grammy nominated collaboration with Pharrell Williams, Universal Mind Control, was deeply rooted in dance music. Yasiin Bey adopted an aesthetic steeped in MF Doom influenced abstraction. Stic Man's independently released solo debut largely revolved around "getting money," albeit via reparations and small business ownership. Each of the aforementioned recording artists still occasionally carve out time to document society's ills, but finger wagging

Vinnie Paz – The Unkut Interview

Metal Lungies Local Natives- Breakers.

Cocaine Blunts They Try To Take Me Out The Game But…

Hip Hop Is Read The Tape Deck '12: The Best of Q3 (Detroit Tigers Edition)

certainly doesn't encompass the entirety of their catalogs.

100 Grand On My Wrist, Yeah Life Sucks

The contemporary face of conscience rap, deservedly so, is the dreadlock-

Vinyl In Alphabetical

An Interview with B-Luv

straddled scowl of Lupe Fiasco. His fourth full-length album on Atlantic Records is uniquely conservative in its firm aversion to sex, drugs, and violence – the holy trinity of modern American entertainment. Whereas his conscience peers toss red meat to the lion's den by vilifying the prison industrial complex and sharing cliff notes on Iran-Contra decades aft, Lupe's disdain on Food and Liquor II is far more pervading. In fact, he doesn't enjoy much of anything. Lupe hates gang culture, government, swingers, Peach Ciroc, fiscal irresponsibility, Columbus Day, urban radio, cable television, and the 400 series Ferrari currently gathering dust in his garage – and that's just within the first ten minutes of the album. Therefore, the project's merit is ultimately predicated on one's threshold for Lupe's unrelenting misery. Food and Liquor II is cloaked in an unlikely air of authenticity due to Lupe's antics beyond the studio. It's becoming increasingly more difficult to separate Lupe Fiasco from Wasalu Muhammad Jaco. In the weeks leading up to the album's release, he managed to engage in trivial public spats with Pete Rock, DL Hughley, Chief Keef, Roland Martin, and Spin Magazine. These feuds have overshadowed the slightly less sensational theater of threatening to retire from music altogether and issuing a moratorium on formal interviews to Rolling Stone. Needless to say, the righteous indignation consuming the record appears to at least be coming from a genuine place. But oddly enough, Lupe's earnestness dehumanizes him. It's not easy to relate to someone that expresses disgust for seemingly every aspect of a Western culture most of Lupe's target audience is soundly immersed in.

70. El-P's 'Cancer For Cure' (Andrew)

Stay Hatin Download Episode 35 Soft Money and SergDun are back this week...


Dirtnap 2 Mantronix - Got To Have Your Love (1989)

Reading & Writing Is For Dumb People™ R.I.P. Urban Privacy -or- Why You Really Should Try To Chill In Public

The T.R.O.Y. Blog Beat Bop Scholar – Authentic Minded (2012)

we got both kinds, rap and bullshit make you a part of the pavement quickly

The Genesis DEHH crew 30 minute review of Food & Liquor II … Too...

The Human Digest

Despite its loyalty to the same breed of sappy hooks and alternative-tinged

somanyshrimp: “Hate Bein Sober” sounds like a hit...

production that earned his previous album, Lasers, universal admonishment,


Food and Liquor II is a respectable effort. Ironically, those missteps are the

LIL WAYNE: Dedication Part IV

most fascinating elements of the album. There is a noble attempt on Lupe's


behalf to televise his melancholy portrayal of the revolution, stubbornly

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Football Team)!

bulldozing his narrow-minded ideological doctrine through songs that have the potential to nestle comfortably amid Z-100's rush hour playlist.

we eat so many shrimp

The nauseating Pop Warner choruses featured on 'Battle Scars', 'Audubon

Space Age Hustle

Ballroom', and 'Unforgivable Youth' are egregious as anything from Lasers. Unlike Talib, Common, Yasiin, and Stic Man, he isn't content with preaching to the choir. Unfortunately, this approach frequently lures him away from his greatest strength of cryptic wordplay, which obviously isn't the most efficient vehicle to relay a pertinent message. So it should come as no surprise that the convoluted bravado on 'Form Follows Function' and the dense narrative of 'Cold War' result in effortless returns to form. That's not to say all Lupe's soapboxing is for naught. 'Heart Donor' and 'Lamborghini Angels' are extremely well-executed heartfelt records, but the gravitas feels somewhat deflated sandwiched between their unbearable counterparts. It begs the question of whether Food and Liquor II would have benefited from more songs like the optimistic 'Hood Now', celebrating the resilient nature of Black America rather than wallowing in its plight. Throughout the album Lupe places himself in the company of Tupac Shakur and lays claim to "Esco Music". Perhaps he's confusing their legendary polarity for the sweeping antipathy he's experienced over the last five years. In order to be the people's champ there has to be a constituency willing to root for your success. At this particular juncture of his tenured career Lupe Fiasco is hip-

Interview: DJ Amaris More on the #ThizzBust

Amplified Grammar The Return Of Black Star

hop's unequivocal Antichrist. His tattered public image consistently neutralizes any message he strives to get across. But he's also still a very talented rapper capable of churning out transcendent art and inspiring debate – Food and Liquor II is a step that direction. The terrain is littered with peaks and valleys rather than the bottomless abyss of cheesy synthesizers and corn-fed Skylar Grey duets we've come to expect. That's progress. P O S T ED B Y : LA T T I S A W T A P ES A T 9/23/2012 LA B ELS : A NA LY S I S , LUP E FI A S C O , R EV I EW S

4 C O M M EN TS: Victor September 23, 2012 4:06 PM Great write up as always. Very close to my feelings on this album. I actually like and respect Lupe's antipathy on this, it's far from fun and pretty overbearing but it's Lupe where he's at now and that is at least interesting. The faux-rock pop hooks need to go though. It really irks me that artists with fanbases still feel the need to do stuff like that to "reach more people". Years and years ago, some of dude's favourite rappers proved you can crossover while still maintaining a style/sound. Heck, even Drake, in finding his sound, hasn't gone the skylar gray/gaga route. Reply Delete

Lattisaw Tapes

September 23, 2012 4:43 PM

@Victor Thanks for reading. As far as Lupe reaching for a wider audience, I thought he found a really great balance on The Cool. Reply Delete

NovemberEnd September 23, 2012 7:01 PM I liked this album more than Lasers, but yeah his conscious lyrics have become excitedly more ham-fisted and pharisaic with each subsequent LP. Which would be fine, If he was presenting interesting, or rather unique commentary. Reply Delete

Lattisaw Tapes

September 23, 2012 8:41 PM

@NovemberEnd I agree his commentary isn't anything we haven't heard before. One of the lines that stuck with me is: "The say Lupe on the same shit. That's cause ain't shit really changed bitch." I kind of agree, which is why I'm not really mad at his choice in content. Reply Delete Enter your comment...

Comment as: Lattisaw Tapes (Google) Publish


Sign out Subscribe by email

Lupe Fiasco - Food & Liquor Part 2 Review  

Review of Lupe Fiasco's 2012 sequel to his debut album.