Release Date: Sep 19, 2006
Record label: Atlantic
A few years in the making, Lupe Fiasco's Food and Liquor follows a fruitless association with Epic (as a member of da Pak), an aborted solo deal with Arista (which yielded one promo single), a handful of guest appearances (tha Rayne's "Kiss Me," Kanye West's "Touch the Sky"), and a leak of an unfinished version of the album that set the official release back to September 2006. Still only 25 years old, Fiasco -- a Chicagoan of Islamic faith who owns a number of black belts -- sounds wise beyond his age, rarely raises his voice, projects different emotions with slight inflections, and is confident enough to openly admit his inspirations while building on them. It Was Written is his touchstone, and there are traces of numerous MCs in his rhymes, from Intelligent Hoodlum and Ed O.