Ok,so Lupe Fiasco finally releases his fifth studio album Tetsuo and Youth and it’s been a while waiting for it but the best things come to those who wait, patience is a virtue and so on and so on.
It’s great that Lupe re-enters the scene again so to speak. He has been a little quiet in comparison to some of those other heads that constantly accost our senses but this return firmly places him on all of our radars (if he happened to slip off it). More importantly Lupe with his known rather anti-establishment views and his general wish to stay an individual adds a welcome foil to those other acts who behind the scenes are more engineered and more directed than they would like us all to know.
So his sixteen track album Tetsuo & Youth (thank God he drops something meaty) released on the 20 01 15 is an aural feast of atmospheric, deep bass, hip-hop bangers. Lupe in turn delivers his individualistic bouncing flow while still managing to bring a conscious message without sounding like he is on; religious, political, or social soapbox.
Avoiding the usual collaboration protaganists like Drake, Lil Wayne et al adds a real fresh feel to the album and it’s nice that his moderately long hiatus has not fuelled a desire or fear that he suddenly needs to turn to these global names to make his album successful. In truth that has never been Lupe’s modus operandi. He generally opts for lesser known collaborative names and it’s great that he continues in the same vein with Australian Guy Sebastien and Nikki Jean among others.
The album in its entirety is certified and you won’t find an irresistible urge to skip tracks because you are bored out of your mind with the lack of originality in terms of production and lyrical construction-it smacks it on all levels like a politician bent over a chair while a woman in all black leather with a paddle eyes up his bare derriere.
From intro Summer you know that Lupe is in no mood for anything formulaic it’s a different playful slightly weird intro which precedes the nearly ten minute long Mural which pulses like it just completed a 100 meter sprint beating an in form Usain Bolt-I think it is quite epic.
Dammit there are not many artists who would be brave enough to drop a nine minute long hip hop track on his album in this day and age-I can only think of J Cole with his track Note To Self (it was 14 minutes long) but that was more of an outro. In fact Lupe steps out hard and drops three nearly ten minute long bangers on the album while still supplying a 16 track album.
Mural is an awesome track that I repeated like it was a ground hog day and while I think this is probably the best track on the album the other tracks like Deliver or the socially educational Madonna (And Other Mothers From The Hood) follow up very, very closely bringing a body of work that is totally absorbing.
You know what, even though we are only in January I do think it MIGHT be an album vying for one of the top hip-hop albums for 2015-TIDY!?