DAR Roundtable: Lupe Fiasco's Food and Liquor vs The Cool

Food and Liquor

1. Intro
2. Real
3. Just Might Be OK
4. Kick, Push
5. I Gotcha
6. The Instrumental
7. He Say She Say
8. Sunshine
9. Daydreamin'
10. The Cool
11. Hurt Me Soul 
12. Pressure
13. American Terrorist
14. The Emperor's Soundtrack
15. Kick, Push II
16. Outro


The Cool

1. Baba Says Cool For Thought
2. Free Chilly
3. Go Go Gadget Flow
4. The Coolest
5. Superstar
6. Paris, Tokyo
7. Hi-Definition
8. Gold Watch
9. Hip Hop Saved My Life
10. Intruder Alert
11. Streets On Fire
12. Little Weapon
13. Gotta Eat
14. Dumb It Down
15. Hello/Goodbye
16. The Die
17. Put You On Game
18. Fighters
19. Go Baby

Lupe Fiasco came into the game and set things off right with his first two albums "Food and Liquor" and "The Cool". Both can be seen as classics, so we gathered the team together to see if we can pick between the two. You know how we do here, so let's get into it.

Food and Liquor for me. The album is in my top 5 ever in Hip-Hop and possibly music in general. This album is probably the Illmatic of my generation. This nerdy kid named Wasalu created a knowledgable yet fun and artistic project that will stand the test of time. While The Cool was more about a character. Food and Liquor was about the man himself. His views, his passion for skateboarding, his religious beliefs, etc.

Having serious topics like dealing with co-parenting and being conflicted with your religion and inner being. Discussing the evils and possible addictions gained from television to the USA being the real terrorists of the world. Tracks that showcases his lyrical ability (I Gotcha) as well as his storytelling ability on The Cool, and Kick Push 1 & 2.

Heavy use of piano and violins. A wonderful poem from Ayesha Jaco on the intro helped add another great element to this album. Just a more down to earth, more personal album than The Cool.

This was pretty tough for me, as I was a fan of these two excellent albums. However if I had to pick one under pressure, it'll be Food & Liquor. Food & Liquor is one of the very first albums that I felt that related completely to my own life. It actually helped me identify who Lupe completely was. The major theme of this album was basically feeling like a outcast in your environment because of the different interest you hold than other folks. That's been pretty much me all my life. This couldn't be more evident than in the song "Hurt Me Soul". As a fan of rap, I didn't always like the negative side of rap myself, but continuously I found myself rapping along to it; hell I even began to take a liking to it as I began to explore different environments. "Daydreamin" is a personal favorite of mine as well. I love The Cool since it was the one I had listened to the most, but Food & Liquor is the better overall project.

The Cool album, I have to choose this over Food and Liquor. This album doesn't get enough credit for Lupe's complexity in his rhyme styles, storytelling abilities and just overall lyrical dexterity. I mean with lines like "I'm not a listener or a seer so my window smear/ here you steer I really shouldn't be behind this/ clearly cause my blindness/ or I love the lord/ but sometimes it's like that I love me more/" really shows your confidence in your skills and he didn't let us down. "Paris, Tokyo" gives us that feel of Tribe's Award Tour and it's pleasing to hear. The first half of the album sounds like just the conflict of living a comfortable lifestyle and then it switches into a more dramatic, darker, deepening meaning with songs such as "Hip Hop Saved My Life", which is his origin story. Other tracks such as "Intruder Alert", "Gotta Eat", "Streets On Fire" where these songs transcend the bars and become audio stories. A masterpiece for sure.

Food and Liquor however is great and I kick, push right through this one with hardly any skips, depending on my mood. Production is great, nothing over the top with great stories to tie along. I'm a fan of the soulful samples so this is definitely my type of album. Songs like "He Say, She Say" where he shows off two point of views in a song or "Daydreamin", where he shows off his lyrical talent. And what's definitely the best song on this album, "Hurt Me Soul" where he talks about him not appreciating hip hop to become a rapper himself. To a great final track with "Kick, Push II", Lupe's story telling skills are top tier. However, as I said, The Cool is the better album.

Both are great albums. The Cool probably is the better album sonically and lyrically, but Food and Liquor has the more classic feel. It was the perfect introduction to Lupe actually. He covered all bases with girl songs, pure hop joints, and even has all good beats from Kanye and Pharrell. I'll give the edge to F and L.

I have to give the edge to The Cool. The Cool is a better all around album, with a different sound, better lyrics, and more concepts. Food and Liquor is a great album as well, and I love listening to both, but The Cool seems more cohesive and stronger in succession. That's what is missing from most albums today: cohesion. Both of these albums are cohesive, but the strength of The Cool is just a little bit better than F&L. Songs like "Fighters", "Hip Hop Saved My Life", "The Coolest", and more solidify that for me. I don't think Lupe will ever see that level of greatness again, but at the end of the day, The Cool is the better album.

What do you think? Let us know below in the comments section.



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