New Music: Lupe Fiasco – The Cool

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


mojo-photo-lupethecool.JPGI know I said lead single “Superstar” was good, and I stand by that, but the rest of Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco’ new album is, sadly, kind of disappointing. Apparently it’s a concept album featuring three competing metaphorical characters, “The Cool” vs. “The Streets” vs. “The Game,” but I’m afraid I have a hard time telling them apart or seeing how their braggadocio is any different from typical lowest-common-denominator hip-hop. Now and again we get some interesting tracks: see “Go Go Gadget Flow,” where Fiasco gives us a technically skillful if oddly robotic double-time rap, or the Gemstones-featuring “Dumb It Down” with its dramatic, buzzy electro groove. But what’s with the terrible intro poetry slam: “He thought it was cool to carry a gun in his classroom and open fire Virginia Tech Columbine stop the violence.” What? And the track featuring UK producer UNKLE, “Hello/Goodbye (Uncool),” just ends up sounding like a Linkin Park B-side, possibly in a nod to Linkin Park’s own Mike Shinoda who helped produce the album, in another bad sign.

Fiasco’s 2006 album Food & Liquor was a progressive, Kanye West-influenced treat, but on The Cool, even when Fiasco delivers thoughtful lyrics and innovative flows, he’s too often let down by the music.

Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool is out next Tuesday, December 18th on Atlantic Records, but MTV.com is streaming the whole album here.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate