Tetsuo and Youth: Fiasco’s Best

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Tetsuo and Youth: Fiasco’s Best

Zac Johnson, Entertainment Editor

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Dropping on January 20th, Lupe Fiasco’s much anticipated 5th full length studio album has finally hit stores after the rapper announced Tetsuo and Youth nearly two years ago. The work can only be described as interesting and innovative.

Fiasco uses stringed instruments, banjos, traditional hip hop beats, horns and a variety of other tools which all give the album a unique but similar tone. Similarity wasn’t a problem though, as the album went through a gradual transition from heavily relying on instruments to a more beat driven computerized sound.

The length of the album is perhaps a bit excessive to me, but the longer tracks really tell a story and are a necessity that the album couldn’t live without. In particular are songs like ‘Mural’ and ‘Prisoner 1 & 2’, both of which come close to the nine minute mark while staying interesting lyrically and musically.

Tetsuo and Youth has an ebb and flow unlike most albums of it’s genre, and the way it begins and ends seems kind of like a gradual rise and fall. There is enough air in the songs to listen casually without being strangled by relentless beats, although they are still powerful enough to leave an impression and end up driving the album from start to finish.

Fiasco’s lyrics are some of his best in Tetsuo and Youth, they cut deep into the struggles he’s had, he’s seen, and some he was clearly feeling while writing the album. He is very careful all throughout and never goes overboard politically unlike in some of his previous works.

The album was something I hadn’t heard before from Fiasco and I would like to see more rappers follow his lead by incorporating the flow and instruments Fiasco does in Tetsuo and Youth. The album is a solid 9/10 and anyone who enjoys good hip hop and rap needs to hear the latest from Fiasco.