Release date: January 20, 2015 Label: Atlantic / 1st & 15th
More than anything else, Tetsuo & Youth marks the end of Lupe Fiasco's horrible relationship with Atlantic. Sure, it may have taken threats from hacker group Anonymous, but Lupe is officially off the hook, free to go into hiding or lead a revolution. Whatever he decides to do, it will be on his own terms.
It's an epic, grandiose goodbye, proving Lupe can still write with the best of them. Tetsuo & Youth is brimming with vitriolic commentary, spanning from the prison system ("Prisoner 1 & 2") to hood politics ("Chopper," "Delivery"), with a couple well-placed guests thrown in the mix—Ab-Soul does something special on "They.Resurrect.Over.New."
Lupe is the ringmaster on Tetsuo & Youth, schooling his audience with a barrage of allusions, metaphors, massive beats, double entendres, and history lessons. This is the Lupe of Food & Liquor, and not the one who felt dead and buried after Lasers. The resurrection is real.—Graham Corrigan