Lupe Fiasco – Tetsuo & Youth (Album Review)

Lupe Fiasco Tetsuo & Youth Album Cover

Hey Lovelites,

My girl SKO (@DontCallMEma_am) and I are back again with a joint album review. We had a fun time reviewing Nicki Minaj’s latest album ‘The Pinkprint together, so we decided to team up again. This time will be reviewing Lupe Fiasco’s album, Tetsuo & Youth, which was released on January 20th. We are both really excited about this project and as always have a lot to say. Let us know what you think of Lupe Fiasco and this album; Comment below or tweet us @thelitestyle or  SKO (@DontCallMEma_am) and let us know what your favorite songs are and your thoughts.


Lite Review – Tetsuo & Youth

What was your first impression of the album?

TLO:  My first impression of the album was that the production was impeccable and of course Lupe never disappoints with his lyrical content. I thought the album was cohesive and the song selection and sequencing was great. It is evident that Lupe was very diligent with this project and the outcome was an amazing body of work.

SKO: I absolutely loved the album after my first listen. I do have to say that I am a huge Lupe Fiasco fan so I may be a bit biased. That being said, the album flowed so well and I enjoyed the season breaks a lot. The features were excellent, Nikki Jean did her thing on a number of tracks and we got another Guy Sebastian & Lu collaboration that set itself high above Battle Scars. Mural and Chopper are in a lane of their own, filled with just crazy flows and new metaphors to catch every time you listen. All in all, from the artwork to bars Lu gave us another great american rap album!

What is your favorite song?

TLO: CHOPPER!! Hands down is my favorite! Lupe recently sat down with Sway for an interview and he explained the idea behind the song Chopper and how it ended up being as long as it did. I like the song because it’s a hardcore rap song; it puts me in that “don’t mess with me” mindset. The song features Billy Blue, Buk of Psychodrama, Trouble, Trae tha Truth, Fam-Lay, & Glasses Malone. Only Lupe could get away with doing this kind of song and I think he executed it perfectly. Lupe opened the song with the hook, had his guests verses, and then he closed out the song with his own verse. That’s the way to do it. Everybody had great verses which complimented and set the stage for each other. The beat was awesome and very befitting of the content, it was produced by DJ Dahi. Aside from Chopper, other songs I really like are: Blur My Hands Ft Guy Sebastian, Dots & Lines, Prisoner 1&2, and Deliver.

SKO: This is always the hardest question to answer but as of today I have to go with Prisoners 1&2. The production is crazy. With Lu rapping over two different beats on one song, we all should be thankful for that blessing. Lu has always excelled in story telling tracks and Prisoners has an evolved and more mature flow that shows his growth over time in the game. Runner up: Dots & Lines.

What is your least favorite song? Why?

TLO: I don’t have a least favorite song on this album; I listen to the album in it’s entirety and I don’t skip any tracks and that’s definitely more than I can say about a lot of other rap albums I’ve listened too. I obviously like some songs more than others, but there are no songs that I feel shouldn’t have been on the project.

SKO: Another tough one, I’d have to go with They.Resurrect.Over.New. only because the hype of Ab-Soul on a Lupe track set the bar so high, unfortunately I don’t think this song hit it. I hope they can link up in the future because the potential is great.

Which songs would you have put out as singles?

TLO: The songs I would pick as singles are: Deliever, Blur My Hands Ft Guy Sebastian, and Dots & Lines. I think these songs highlight the content of the album and also could appeal to the masses and could get some airplay for sure. I don’t think Lupe made any of these songs with the mindset of making “singles” but if he needed those types of records there are definitely some songs on this album that would suffice.

SKO: I would have liked to see Blur My Hands as a single although there is still time! It seems like a summer hit so we’ll see if Lupe’s camp decides to do just that. The radio potential is there without losing the hip-hop feel. I don’t think this is a single heavy album. It’s a project that benefits from being listened to all at once.

Thoughts on the production, marketing, and artwork?

TLO: I’m not going to lie! The only promoting and marketing I saw was being done was by Lupe on Twitter. I know Lupe is not big on radio interviews and doing much press, but we all know doing more of those never hurt. I know he did a select few and he stated in his sit down with Sway that he wouldn’t be doing any more interviews. I definitely respect his decision but the thought of that really being the case is sad. I appreciate Lupe’s interviews.  I love the artwork! I think it’s a new approach to album art. I think it illustrates the marriage between music and art quite beautifully. As for production, as I mentioned earlier I thought it was top notch! Some producers on the album are: DJ Dahi, Symbolyc One (S1), and Vohn Beatz. These are producers who have worked with artists like Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Casey Veggies, Ty Dolla $, Big Sean, and Big Krit to name a few. So it’s safe to say that Lupe was in good company with these producers and they were able to make magic together.

SKO: The production is on point. No track on this record drops the ball in that category. Some songs venture from the “typical hip-hop” spectrum but you can tell no track was rushed over. When it comes to marketing, I believe this album could have really benefited from a pre-release marketing round. Previous fans of Lupe Fiasco are likely to purchase or listen to the album, but those who are not may be completely turned off by a lack of connection to the vision of the album.

How does this album compare to his other albums?

TLO: I think Lupe’s albums depict the stage, space, and overall mindset he is in at that point in time. So I wouldn’t compare any of his albums to each other, personally. I appreciate each one for what they are. But I will say that this album has become one of my favorite Lupe albums.

SKO: This album doesn’t reach the prowess of Food & Liquor or The Cool but I would put it right after those. It is more complete and well rounded than LASERS or Food & Liquor II, which both seemed to miss the mark.

From what you’ve heard, how has the album been received by Lupe fans?

TLO: I have heard and read great reviews on this album. I’m glad that Lupe was able to do this album his own way, it was well executed! Lupe has once again cemented his name amongst one of the best lyricist in the game. No questions. I think he has set the bar high for rap albums this year. I hope other artist follow suit and put out really good and cohesive albums this year.

SKO: I’ve heard great things. I know a lot of people have been awaiting this album after Food & Liquor II and Lupe didn’t disappoint. At the end of the day when an artist can rap yoga positions and sound dope (Adoration of the Magi) fan reception will be all good.

Image (Album cover): Lupe Fiasco’s Twitter