Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Cool: A Review


Our favorite white boy Hollywood Benjamin has posted a review of The Cool... Read it below or click the link to go straight to his blog...




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LUPE FIASCO'S THE COOL!

I have recently had the priveledge of LISTENING, not just "hearing" but really LISTENING to the new album. All I can say is- ALBUM OF THE YEAR! Better than "American Gangster"- YES. Better than "GET BACK"-YES. Better than "Desire"- YES. Better than "Finding Forever"- YES. Better than "Big Doe Rehab"- YES. Better than "Graduation"- YES!

While you may say- WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS MAN TALKING ABOUT?! Allow me to explain. Production isn't just there, it's incendiary! However, the lyrics far surpass anything dropped on "Graduation". While I love Kanye West and think that "Graduation" was truely an amazing album, along with "American Gangster" by Jay, Lupe offers us every region of Hip Hop: tails from hood, international swagger, political flow that even P.E. would be proud of, introspective look at his tumultuous year just past, and even a track and dedication to you lovely ladies out there.

Track 1: Baba Says Cool For Thought
Just as Food and Liquor started off so does The COOL, with some beautiful spoken word that sets the tone perfectly warning you to "Check your ingredients, before you overdose...on The COOL."

Track 2: Free Chilly f/ Gemini and Sarah Green
A nice note to Chilly letting him know "If we could break down those walls to set you free, we would, 'Cause we out here, and we miss you." The melody over the beat is perfect and leaves wanting more.

Track 3: Go Go Gadget Flow
A new Chicago Anthem in which Lupe let's everyone know his from "the best city in whole wide wide world". The track contains a sample from the Inspector Gadget theme song providing him with a clever double entendre, being that chicago natives often refer to their city as "The 'Go". Up beat, fresh, and mad catchy- in my opinion it's this albums "I got'cha".
Line of the track-"To the man up above/Thank you very much/ that I got what I got/ and I'm at where I'm at like an "A" in a circle (@)/ What will they say to the O.G. from the F to the F with the amazing verbals/ will they race in a circle like they raisin' a gerbal/ I race in a circle like I'm raisin' a horse/ They race in place/ I'm racin' a porsche/ while they race in cage/ I race on a course".

Track 4: The Coolest
An erie track with one of his characters- Mike Young History. The somber choir in the background is so ill, and the strings really give it that sense that there is a ghostly presence. He's on a mission to be the COOLest stating "Do I Love H.E.R./ I don't know/ Streets got my heart/ Game got my soul/ One time, Sunshine won't hurt your soul"

Track 5: Superstar f/ Matthew Santos
The single produced by Soundtrakk. Matthew Santos killin' the hook and Lupe letting you know he has arrived! Stardom comes and goes but this song is a smash and Lupe has his yellow m&m's, his light bulbs don't flicker, and everyone gets an autographed picture.

Track 6: Paris, Tokyo
A globe trotting funk track about his travels and fly cities. Ironiclly enough it reminds me Tribe, it's real fly. In the middle of the track he says, "Let's keep it real/ all in together/ FREE CHILL!" Reminscent of "CAN I KICK IT? YES YOU CAN!" I get such a great vibe from this track- you feel like like you're traveling with him. Arriving is refreshing and parting is such sweet sarrow.

Track 7: Hi-Definition f/ SNOOP DOGG and Pooh Bear
I'm waiting for this track to hit the radio! It's a bonafied hit. With Pooh Bear and Snoop on the track, a catchy hook and you know Snoop is always pimpin'. For some people it maybe unexpected coming from Lu' to have Snoop on his album but seriously, it's Snoop, I mean c'mon- he's classic. "Dressed in somethin'/ Fresh and Wonderful/ It's "F" and "F"/ and "S" "N" double "O" "P"

Track 8: Gold Watch
This track is BONKERS, yes... I said BONKERS. I don't know who produced it but the shit is hot. The classic boom bap style beat with a chopped up sample over the top that adds another instrumental high hat esque element to it. Lupe asks us to "Peruse the essentials of COOL" and gives insight to some of the illest brands in streetwear and then some. Lupe giving you your very own audio style guide of the flyest of the fly. And did I mention that he rides the beat like it's on rails.

Track 9: Hip Hop Saved My Life f/ Nikki Jean
An ode to Houston hip hop. About a cat who's on his grind to get him, his young son, girl and mother outta the hood. Hip Hop has saved me too! Nikki Jean on the hook is so angelic- it's a beautiful contrast to Lupe's devilish flow. All I gotta say is "STACK THAT CHEESE!"- you'll know what I mean when you hear the track.

Track 10: Intruder Alert f/ Sarah Green
Another beautifully crafted track by Lupe, produced by Mike Shinoda with Sarah Green singing a melody that would make a seraphim smile. Again, the voice Sarah coupled with Lupes subject matter on the song is just brilliant contrast.

Track 11: Streets on Fire
A rapid fire beat in conjunction with Lupe's character- The Streets. "My femme fatale/ my darling fallen angel/ I once caught her changing the batteries in her halo/receipt for her wings and everything that she paid fo'/ and the address to the factory where they made those." I'm not positive, but it sounds like Matthew Santos on the hook again and it's probably the best hook not only on the album but since Gemini on Lupe's last cd singing on "It just Might Be OK".
At the beginning of the song, [singer] Matthew Santos lists all these tragedies, and then it says, ''She's out there smiling.'' It comes from 1984, the book, where there was so much double-talk and double-think in the first few chapters. That's my favorite book. I tried to put that in a record. So it's like, ''Believe/So say the neon signs by the loudspeakers/Repeating that everything is fine.'' You know? ''A subtle silence/To demolish the troubled conscience/Of a populace with no knowledge/And every freedom denied.'' It comes directly influenced by 1984 — using it as a vehicle to introduce one of the characters very abstractly, very subtly.----- taken from the interview done with ew.com

Track 12: Little Weapon f/ Bishop G and Nikki Jean
Patrick Stump from FALL OUT BOY produced this track and just murdered it(No pun intended). The introduction chopped and screwed from Lu's "Kids With Guns" freestyle over the Gorillaz track sets it up to appreciate the intricate verbage painting the picture of child soldiers. Lu's long time friend and hype Bishop G takes the last verse to which Lupe has recently spoke about in a n interview saying, "And the twist in the story is the little kid playing the video game — is he any different from the child soldier actually killing people? Because death is death, whether it's digital death or real death." Unreal.

Track 13: Gotta Eat
Lupe stays puttin' it down on the personification tip and this track is no exception. How you decide to put fast food and the streets together is beyond me but the man did it. Line of the track- "He was havin' thought he should retire/ He went to church on a sunday and saw a deep fryer (friar)/ said he had beef and people want him dead/ said he loved the hungry ones but only scared of the feds/ lived the fast life/ couldn't get his path right/ fryer told him about the hooters he had last night/ turned himself in to the paddywagon (all beef patty) said no/ bacon wouldn't take him/ had the pigs on the payroll"

Track 14: Dumb It Down f/ Gemini and Graham Burris
"They say I should dumb down, cousin/ but I flatly refuse, I aint dumb down nothin'"- Lupe Fiasco. Don't ever dumb it down Lu- if people are to stupid to get it they need to pick up a book. We love your complexity, puns, personification, and double entendres.
"And I'm brainless/ which means I'm headless/ like Ichabod Crane is/ or foreplayless sex is/ which makes me saneless/ with no neck left to hang a chain with/ which makes me necklaceless/ like a necklace theft/ and i aint use my headrest yet."

Track 15: Hello/Goodbye (Uncool) f/ UNKLE
"Hello darkness/ Hello sunshine/ Hello not at all/ Hello all the time/ Hello Nowhere/ Hello oblivion/ Hello GOODBYE." FIRE! Pete ROCK and Patrick Stump produce this track with a feature from UNKLE... Miraculous! The way the track changes pace and intensity reminds me of "ONE MIC" only a lot more frantic. They use a sample from Sam Cooke- who puts those guys together?! I'm not even going to say what it's about or remark on his lyrics... the track is just THAT SPECTACULAR.

Track 16: The Die f/ Gemini
The Prequel to "The COOL" off of "FOOD & LIQUOR".
"Hustler for Death, No Heaven for a Gangster." Gemini's rapid fire delivery is tremendous on this track. Lupe and Gem bless us with the story of Mike Young History's fall from being "The COOLest". WHAT?!

Track 17: Put You On Game
A visit from another character- The Game. Lupe paints a picture of a grimey character that wound make DMX and Noreaga proud. Half of the cause of the death of Mike Young History, The Game is just that- personification of this "Game".
"The trusted misleader/ they're number one defender/ and from a throne of there bones I rule/ These fools are my fuel so I make them cool/ baptize'em from the water out scarface pool/ feed'em from the table that held the Corleone's food/ If you die tell'em that you play my game/ I hope your bulletholes become mouths that say my name/ cause I'm the... BLOOOW!"

Track 18: Fighters f/ Matthew Santos
The most introspective we've seen Lupe yet. He speaks on his dad, grandmother, and aunt along with the other goings-on of his life. He rides a somber beat that luckily for us, takes a back seat to the wonderfully penned lyrics. We all get thanked for supporting The COOL. Though after listening to this artistic masterpiece- we need to thank him for giving us, and HIP HOP something it needed- TRUE ARTISTIC POETRY.

Track 19: GO BABY GO f/ Gemini
Congrats Ladies- this is for you. Up beat ending to a classic LP. Behind every great man is a great woman. Lupe shows that he loves his ladies. "We go back like a set of Atari's"- classic.

THERE IT IS- I'm buying a shitload of copy's so if you cats reading this want a copy get at me. No dowloading- this man crafted another classic and deserves your dollars. It makes sense.
100.

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7 comments:

Jimmy Valentime said...

dope site


http://somethinglikearapper.wordpress.com/

Can I get down on your blogger Roll....

JV

mixmastermegan said...

I LOVE HOLLYWOOD BENJAMIN!!!!

KayCee said...

Go baby! haha I LOVE THAT SHYT! DAMN YOU LUPE!!

Anonymous said...

nice effort
some mentioned production credits are way incorrect though

Sean Smith said...

He's right...deffinitely album of the year

JMac said...

i felt like Hip Hop Saved My Life was a knock on southern rap. anybody else get that vibe?

oh and i LOVED at the end of Gotta Eat where you hear a faint "YOOOUUUU!" and then lupe sayin "that shit is so stupid."

Fresh To Def said...

nicely written dude, gave heaps of insight. Mass props to Femme Fiasco for putting this kinda info all in the one joint. =)