I know that this album came out in 2007, but I recently purchased it, so here we are.

I bought his first album, Food and Liquor, solely because of “Kick Push”. Apparently the song is in a bunch of skate boarding games, but I haven’t played one of those in forever. I actually caught the song from Pandora. The story and lyrics were so refreshing it just stuck in my head and the next thing I knew I had bought the album on iTunes.

Food and Liquor in its entirety is a very good album. There are some gems like “Kick Push” and “Daydreamin'”, but there are a few duds too. That said, his second album, Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool, is an excellent follow up. “Little Weapon” is a great track that gives me chills every time I listen to it. All of the tracks have substance in their lyrics, which is so refreshing.

That’s not to say that there isn’t some straight up cool lyrics. I like this line in particular from “Gold Watch”:

I like Street Fighter 2, I just really hate Zangief.
I like Ken and Ryu, I find it hard to beat Blanka.

It’s always cool to hear video games plugged in songs.

But then again, aside from the main story about a child soldier, “Little Weapon”, which I was just praising, has it’s own criticism on video game violence.

Imagine if I had to console,
The family of those slain,
I slain on game consoles,
I aim, I hold, right trigger to squeeze,
press up and Y one less nigga breathe.

It’s crass, but death in a video game just doesn’t have the same connotations as death in real life. Yet we gamers just brush death aside and keep trudging forward.

I think the first time I ever questioned death in video games resulted from playing God of War. There is one door where you have to sacrifice a living person in order to unlock it and continue. So you have to drag a soldier in a cage to his death, and the entire time he’s begging and pleading for you not to kill him. The entire scene is meant to elucidate Kratos’s ruthlessness, but the player can’t help but feel shame afterward.

Anyways, that was beside the point. Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool is a great album and one of the few rap albums that can get you thinking.

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