Album Review: Lupe Fiasco “Tetsuo & Youth” – 5 out of 5 stars
Wed, 21 Jan 2015 09:14:55
Lupe Fiasco painted the cover for his new album Tetsuo & Youth, and he also painted his lyrical masterwork on the tracks themselves.
It feels as if he’s continually pushing the boundaries of hip-hop here, raising the bar for himself and anybody else to follow. The eight minute-plus “Mural” might just be the most epic rap song ever recorded sliding from a hauntingly beautiful old time-y intro into a flurry of poignant, poetic, and powerful bars that once again illuminate his immense talent. He doesn’t hold anything back, and he manages to pique interest with lines such as “What powers cowards to get ‘em to the top just to fall asleep listening to Bach?” It’s unlike anything out there in that the message and emotionality never outweigh the hooks—rather they work in perfect harmony on the soulful gem “Blur My Hands” [featuring Guy Sebastian] and the banjo-driven poetry in motion of “Dots & Lines.”
Tetsuo & Youth also flaunts some of his most technical work during “Chopper,” which feels like a rap dream come true pairing him with Billy Blue, Buk of Psychodrama, Trouble, Trae Tha Truth, Fam-Lay, and Glasses Malone for a big scale banger. Another stand out “Deliver” dives back into the ghetto with assistance from everyone’s favorite crooner Ty Dolla Sign. Everything leads up to the glitched-out catharsis of "They.Resurrect.Over.New"—an elegant denoument for this lyrical painting augmented by some of that fast-rapping the world fell in love with on Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor and Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool.
This belongs not only on your stereo but in a museum it’s such a masterpiece. Welcome to the timeless rap album of 2015.
What’s your favorite Lupe Fiasco song?