The Lupe I knew and loved died long time ago. He dropped two fantastic albums which made me believe he had a true classic deep down inside of him. So much potential. Then he released Lasers and everything went to sh*t. He tried to regain his lost moment with Food & Liquor II but it was more unremarkable than anything else. So I am glad to say that Tetsuo & Youth is his best album since The Cool.
Now that's not saying much. It's horribly long, downright excessive to the point that even "normal" length songs under 5 minutes drag. It's exhausting. It's also full of guest, featuring no one I have heard or better yet should have. Lupe feels energetic on the mic for the first time in ages, dropping street knowledge but not heavy handily so. He does resort to rhyming the n-word with the n-word alot, but lyrically it's a step up from his past two efforts. Often times the album is actually very good. The production is interesting. It's very experimental for better or worse. Kind of like a mix of some Flying Lotus and recent Kanye, just not as interesting as either. But I am glad that the album has it's own personality, it's own stamp. No singles to be seen, and maybe that's a good thing. It's a step in the right direction, and for once I can say I might be looking forward to the next album and not expect to be disappointed. It's just bittersweet, because this Lupe will never be that Lupe.