Lupe Fiasco’s ‘The Cool’ album was released in November 2007, and was a huge success. It was number one on the billboard charts for best rap record for 9 straight weeks. Songs like ‘Paris, Tokyo’ and ‘Superstar’ bring a unique style to hip-hop. Yes Lupe is a rapper, but his style is more then drugs, guns and violence. His creative rhymes and tongue twisters dazzle listeners with insightful lyrics that make you think.
It’s an interesting album because he tells the stories of three characters, which are The Cool, The Streets, and The Game. It expands on the song ‘the cool’ on Lupe’s first album ‘food and liquor’. The Cool also know as Michael Young History, is a gangster that grew up with no father. Later in his life he was shot to death by a drug deal gone bad. Laid to rest and was resurrected back to life some how.
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Not knowing what to do next, he turns to the streets and the game for support. The Streets is a female. And she has human attributes but represents the street life and the struggle people go through. So she really is the streets. The game is the same way. He represents the con mans game, the’ ‘put you on the game’ ‘streets on fire’ ‘the Die’ and ‘superstar’ But he puts them in there ‘abstractly’ so in order to really understand the whole story that he’s giving you, hustler’s game, and the evils out there. And they both have supernatural characteristics, such as the Game having bullets for teeth and the Streets having glowing green dollar signs for eyes. The streets and game are also married, but because the Cool was so close to the Streets, they ended up having a love affair, which ultimately ended the cools life by the hands of the Game. In the song ‘the Coolest’ Lupe explains what the Cools relationship with the Streets and the game with a quick verse ‘ Streets got my heart, Game got my soul.’ Which is saying he loves the Streets but the Game controls him. Lupe only uses about 4 or 5 songs explaining the stories of these three characters. The songs are ‘the coolestyou need to really listen to every little detail in his songs. When Lupe was asked about the dark concept of the album Lupe replied ‘Oh yeah. A lot of loss. I lost my father, I lost my business partner to prison, and I lost some friends. It was a very dark period. It still is in some aspects, but you know, I’m kind of coming out of it. But especially during the time that the album was being cooked, in my head it was a very dark kind of period.’ Though Lupe was feeling a little dark inside, his songs were still uplifting and upbeat which makes Lupe so unquie
The album cover is to show how they’re lives are all connected in some way. Explaining the album cover. The skeleton hand represents the Cool, the heart locket represents the Streets, the skull represents the Game and in the middle connected to them all is Lupe Fiasco
Lupe fiasco’s lyricism is off the charts. While listening to his music you sometimes have to rewind back to a specific part of the song just hear what he said one more time because he gets so creative. For example in his song ‘The Coolest’ he put some catchy verses in ‘The trinity, her and I cane. No weatherman could stand where her and I came. Hella hard, umbrella whatever, put plywood over Pella panes. And pray to god that the floods subside. Cause you gon need a sub till he does reply. And not one of Jared’s, you think its all arid.’ Lupe uses these word plays that make it fun to listen to. The best part of that verse is when he says you need a sub but not one of Jared’s subway subs. And it’s that cleverness that makes Lupe great.
When I listen to Lupe Fiasco I like to just sit down and relax, and really focus on what he’s saying in his music. And because there’s a bunch of stories and meanings to his songs, and it gets me thinking a lot. And that’s why I like Lupe Fiasco so much, because he gets my mind flowing. One of my favorite songs to listen to on this album would be ‘Paris, Tokyo’ because its such a mellow song and it’s just one of those songs where you feel like relaxing.
Lupe Fiasco is one of the greatest out in music today, so if you haven’t heard his album yet then I guess you just ain’t ‘Cool’.