Dear Mr. Friend Of The People,
Let me start this off real proper like, and get straight to the point—BANGA!!!! As a true Lupe Fiasco fan, that only demands the best from one of my favorite artists, and one that has been tuned in since Twilight Zone, Switch, and Jedi Mind Tricks, I’ll have to say this album gets purchased and put on the shelf next to The Cool and Food & Liquor, instead of downloaded. The previous two albums get honorable mentions in comparison to Tetsuo & Youth. Don’t get me wrong, they both had hits, such as “Words I Never Said” and “B**ch Bad”—sick video by the way—but If I’m going to be an honest critic they weren’t complete albums.
For years it seemed as if Lupe has been struggling to break free of the shackles of his record label, the pressures of fame and identity, and a part of his fan base that can’t stand change. Ever since his third album Lasers there has been a silent chant in the background for the lyrical genius to return to his old ways, and by old ways I’m sure fans are referring to Fahrenheit 1/15 Part I & Part 2 mixtape version of the artist. Fortunately, for us true Hip-Hop fans, even the lyrical truth-spitting demon has to grow up and mature. Tetsuo & Youth is his maturation piece. From his abstract album cover, personally done by Lupe, to track concepts like the one painted for us in Prisoner 1 & 2, Deliver, and Adoration of the Magi he delivers us an entire work of art that even Hip-Hop can smile at.
For those that need numbers in order to quantify what’s good and what’s not I’ll give this album a 8.5 out of 10 overall, only comparing it to its brethren The Cool and Food & Liquor. Lets start with the sound of the album, which in this day and age, seems to be more important than the artist covering the track. Facts—If the beat ain’t bumping ain’t no body listening regardless if the artist is really spitting. Hell Lil Jon just put out one of the hottest songs of 2014 and all he said was “Turn Down For What.” I’m still somewhat a traditionalist in my belief that the production of any album should compliment the flow and voice of the artist not the other way around. This album as a whole, unlike the previous two, does that to a tee; especially on tracks like “Deliver” which allows Lupe to inject his trademark flow switch that plays with our ears. Lyrical content, do we really need to address this? You know what for the sake of this article I will—bump it. It’s Lupe Fiasco set free and hungry, enough said. Moving on to Artistic Creativity, as he fills the album with more than raw lines, dope beats, and catchy hooks he gives us theme (the four seasons), makes us recollect on our surroundings with tracks like “Deliver”, and delivers us conversation pieces such as Adoration of the Magi. That track had me stuck, like did he really compare innocence of children and video games? Did he just reference the video game “Double Dragon” and did I have to Google search to find that out? Lastly, COMPOSTION of Tetsuo & Youth was great. I only had one beef with the album and that was the lack of the track “Next To It” ft Ty Dolla $ign. Really though, we just leave out bangers like that? That’s one thing I won’t understand as a fan, how you make these single hits before the album drop and then don’t add it to the album, like “I’m Beaming”, but I digress.
Tetsuo & Youth gets 4.5/5 Dylans and for those that didn’t watch Making the Band or the Dave Chappelle Show, I give the album 4.5/5 stars. The man just showed and proved that he’s back and a force to be reckoned with.
Stereo Champion's Approved!9
Sound score 9
Lyrical Content score 9
Composition score 10