http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/fe/missingCoverArtPlaceholder.jpg Food & Liquor

Lupe Fiasco

Food & Liquor

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 4 0
September 29, 2006

For many fans, the first sign that Chicago MC Lupe Fiasco's long-delayed debut album might be something special was the single "Kick, Push." Over smooth, jazzy horn samples, Fiasco tells the story of a kid learning to ride a skateboard as a metaphor for struggling to find one's way in life and love ("He said, 'I would marry you/But I'm engaged to these aerials and varials/And I don't think this board is strong enough to carry two' "). It's a creative, well-told tale that Pharrell wishes he could have written, and it sets expectations high.

Lupe exceeds them on Food & Liquor. Without dipping his toes into violent imagery, wanton obscenity or other hip-hop clichés, Fiasco reflects on the personal and the political, and reminds fans of everything hip-hop can be. It's full of surprising, creative moments that recall Nas and Kanye West — the latter of whom gave Fiasco his biggest exposure as a guest on "Touch the Sky" and who produced one track here. "He Say She Say" details the woes of growing up without a father ("Asks me if his daddy was sick of us/'Cause you ain't never pick him up"), set to swelling strings, and "Hurt Me Soul" describes the Muslim MC's struggle to come to terms with hip-hop's darker side ("I used to hate hip-hop, yup, because of the women degraded/But Too $hort made me laugh, like a hypocrite I played it"). "Pressure" features a killer beat populated by stabbing piano, guitar and hawk squawks, plus a golden cameo from Jay-Z, who, amazingly, crossed label lines to executive-produce the project — an indication of how strongly Jigga feels about the kid. His faith is well-placed.

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Hungry Like the Wolf”

    Duran Duran | 1982

    This indulgent New Romantic group generated their first U.S. hit with the help of what was at the time new technology. "Simon [Le Bon] and I, I think, had been out the night before and had this terrible hangover," said keyboardist Nick Rhodes. "For some reason we were feeling guilty about it and decided to go and do some work." Rhodes started playing with his Jupiter-8 synth, and then "Simon had an idea for a lyric, and by lunchtime when everyone else turned up, we pretty much had the song." The Simmons drumbeat was equally important to the sound of "Hungry Like the Wolf," as Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor stated it "kind of defined the drum sound for the Eighties."

    More Song Stories entries »