Lupe Fiasco, Lasers (2011)
Label: 1st and 15th/Atlantic
Saving grace: "All Black Everything"
Clunker: "Out of My Head" f/ Trey Songz
Lasers was put in an incredibly tough position before fans had even heard a single song. It came out surrounded by controversy. The always combative Lupe Fiasco had officially gone to war with his label, Atlantic Records, who he claimed had possessed the album for more than a year but refused to put it out. On top of that, Food and Liquor and The Cool set the bar unbelievably high for Lupe's third effort.
Under those circumstances, Lasers would have to be seriously impressive musically to not be a disappointment. It wasn't. With more pop singles and less amazingly weird and creative Lupe songs that its two predecessors, the album was just a let down on all fronts and even Lupe said he hated it. —Max Goldberg