Now im no eskay or a big hip hop head (hell i don't even subscribe to XXL) tho i DO enjoy hiphop, just not yanno..crap... so when it came to reviewing this album, my first hip hop album to review, I was abit intimidated..where do i start? what do i say? I cant exactly make any Aretha references, what am I gonna do!?!?!?!? but then I remembered one thing...THIS is my blog, I can say whatever the hell I want! score!... And after listening to this album, I was put to ease because I knew I would have more than enough to say about this brilliantly crafted Sophomore effort from the Chi-town lyricist...
A concept album of sorts that expands on "The Cool" track from Food and Liquor album, he breaks the album down into 3 parts, The Cool, The Game and The Streets, but LUCKILY only 4 songs really follow this concept, which means he only kills someone on wax on about 1 song. This makes it easier to just sit back and enjoy the album for what it is, a GREAT album that tackles different issues, personalities and point of views. Want something witty without coming off one bit condescending? see "Dumb It Down", want something light and fun? see "Go Baby", craving something a bit heavier thats no laughing matter? see "Intruder". The beauty with this album is that theres a bit of something for every type of Hiphop Fan to appreciate, lyrically and production wise, was this a goal for Lupe? probably not, but yanno it happened, and im happy for it.
What attracted me to Lupe his first go around was not only the fact that he had something to say but that he said them over sometimes soulful, sometimes choppy, sometimes random beats that HE made cohesive throughout the entire first album, why? because as a listener u tend to actually LISTEN to what Lupe has to say instead of how much the beat makes you want to do the opposite (even if at times that was a downfall). The difference with The Cool is that you no longer ignore the production all together, with STRONG contributions from Mike Shinoda, Chris and Drop and the bulk from FNF producer Sountrakk, you see the beats manage to no longer be upstaged by Lupe and his remarkable story telling skills but provide a solid backing that assist in the story and add more depth, Perfect example "Gold Watch".
From the De la soul reminiscent "Paris, Tokyo" to the schizophrenic "Hello/Goodbye" all the way to the unexpected and overall FUN "Hi-Definition" featuring Snoop Dogg, Lupe still proves that he's capable of randomness that works and somehow mixes together to make one of the best Rap albums of the year (amongst those Ive listened to, so sorry to u Curtis stans)
(Im changing the grading system to something easier, lazier and permits me to no longer look for witty attatchments lol..To go along with the whole feel of Finals, out with the number system in with the actual grades!)
I give The Cool an A-
In stores 12/18/07