Lupe Fiasco–The Cool–Atlantic
Born and raised in the seedy, confrontational West side of Chicago, Illinois, Fiasco grew up like the regular urban survivor. What wasn’t common, however, was the means by which he carried himself. Comic books and literature of all genres cluttered his bedroom floor, and a skateboard replaced your typical drop-top Cadillac. Influenced by the Californian gangsta rap of artists such as Spice 1 and Ice Cube, Fiasco gradually grew leery of such negative messages, gravitating toward the dazzling lyricism of the likes of Nas and Jay-Z. Released to extensive critical lauding and media embrace in September of 2006, Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor (executive produced by good friend, and one-time mentor, Jay-Z) set the stage for a career that promises longevity. As a result, Lupe landed a remarkable three Grammy nominations – including Best Rap Album, and Best Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Song for “Kick Push.” Now, ready to capitalize on such promise, Fiasco has returned with his second offering, Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool. A largely conceptual tour-de-force, the album’s title is inspired by a standout track from Fiasco’s debut, a hustler-turned-zombie epic also called “The Cool.” This time around, Fiasco introduces three new characters – Michael Young History (The Cool before his death), The Game (a male personification of a hustler’s damaging influences), and The Streets (a female embodiment of an urban area’s corrupt allure).