Lupe Fiasco - The Cool (4 stars)

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Lupe Fiasco - The Cool

(Atlantic)

HIP HOP

The fondness for branding artists the ‘new’ someone means they have little or no time to establish themselves as themselves. So, with this in mind, young Master Fiasco is neither the new Kanye West or Jay-Z, though the Chicagoan rapper has been in cahoots with both of late. Instead, he is defining himself as very much his own man.

Okay, so the portentous zombie concept album idea doesn’t make it far out of the blocks, but instead we get a rainbow of 21st century hip hop; equal flashes of Outkast at their most surreal and Nas at his most playful alongside Jurassic 5 old school style swing, peculiar screw tributes plus UNKLE and Josh Homme turning up for guest spots. The Cool is a cunning and accessible record filled with adventurous ideas, diced up with pop nous that’s guaranteed to worm its way into your conscience and refuse to leave.

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