Lupe Fiasco’s latest burns brightly but a bit forced

Lupe Fiasco
“Lasers”


Lupe Fiasco has always been a rapper that goes against the grain, and while his new album “Lasers” is certainly a little more mainstream than his previous offerings “Food and Liquor” and “The Cool” (due in large part to his label Atlantic Records forcing some beats and raps on him), it’s still a great listen.

Fiasco says it best in a recent interview with complex.com: “One thing I try to stress about this project is, I love and hate this album. I listen to it and I’ll like some of the songs. But when I think about what it took to actually get the record together and everything that I went through on this record — which is something I can’t separate — I hate this album.”

Fiasco goes on to say how the label pushed him to do certain tracks that he didn’t particularly want to do — something that definitely shows on some tracks like “Never Forget You” with John Legend and “Out Of My Head” with Trey Songz. It was pretty evident that those were beats and choruses that were pushed on him, and sometimes the tracks with guest stars sound more like their song featuring Fiasco rather than Fiasco’s song featuring them.

However, even through all of the “bad” tracks (that’s a term best used loosely because Fiasco still manages to tear it up) there are still a lot of tracks to really look forward to for fans of Fiasco’s imaginative rapping style. “Words I Never Said” and “All Black Everything” really feed the imagination, and “State Run Radio” sounded like a shot taken at Atlantic.

Although “Lasers” is not as good as “The Cool” or “Food and Liquor,” some of the tracks that are Fiasco’s own are some of his best.

If this album were by anybody else, it might make five stars, but because it’s Fiasco and a lot of the tracks don’t really fit his style, it gets four.