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posted: 10/3/2012 6:00 AM

Lupe Fiasco raps masterfully on new release

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  • Lupe Fiasco's "Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Part 1"

    Lupe Fiasco's "Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Part 1"

Associated Press

Lupe Fiasco, "Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1" (Atlantic Records)

Lupe Fiasco blacked out his album cover, except for the explicit content parental advisory. But he has plenty to say on his strong fourth offering, "Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1."

The 17-track album is filled with complex rhymes from Fiasco, who raps masterfully on several scenarios regarding American urban culture.

The Chicago-bred rapper tackles the misuse of an explicit word used toward females on the single, "(expletive) Bad." On "Hood Now (Outro)," he raps about several scenarios of how the world has been cultivated by the urban lifestyle, from sagging pants to diamond chains.

"Around My Way (Freedom Ain't Free)" is a good listen. But the song -- which is a sample of Pete Rock & CL Smooth's 1992 release "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)" -- doesn't do the original much justice.

Fiasco also raps about love and attempting to overcome heartbreak on "Battle Scars," featuring Australian pop singer Guy Sebastian, and "Heart Donor" with Poo Bear. Other good listens include "Lamborghini Angels," "Brave Heart" with Poo Bear, "Cold War," featuring Jane $$$ and "ITAL (Roses)."

In all, "Food & Liquor II" is not as entertaining as Fiasco's first two albums -- "Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor" and "Lupe Fiasco's The Cool." But the rapper's ability to rhyme with substance about the shape of today's urban society makes his new album a compelling piece of work.

Check this out: "How Dare You" is a smooth track featuring Bilal with Lupe Fiasco hoping to entice an attractive woman as he approaches her.

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