The record has been on my “to purchase” list since its release in December ‘07; damn, it’s been months. But I still have an issue with dropping $19US on a new record (on sale at that); however for a genuine high-quality record it is worth it. I knew I would not be disappointed with The Cool – it’s Lupe Fiasco and his debut, Food and Liquor still get heavy rotation on the iPod playlist.

The Cool transferred form a wish list item to a new Hip-Hop classic in my music collection via inspired path starting with a hot ass girl (just as life…).The abridged version – hit the February Essence magazine release party, meet hot model, vibe a little, chat about a next month marriage trip to Vegas, get info, check her MySpace page, of course check photos, but also listen to playlist. And second track in rotation, Lupe Fiasco – Superstar. It only took a listen or two and that’s it in a couple of words.

With the next mouse clicks, I navigated to as I could not get to the record store quick enough; so the album was an Amazon album download purchase. And in just a few minutes Superstar was quickly the fast forward track to listen to followed by Dumb It Down, but then came time to let the record spin. And then the record just continued to spin on “repeat all mode”. It must have been by the 5th time that I was like oh shit; this record is genius; that is if this record were a person that worked at the Apple Store, it could work at the Genius bar. [Was that a geeky line?]

Lupe is a champion of true hip-hop; he qualifies as the best current mainstream hip-hot artist – at least in the top 5 of the modern era (along with new classic masters Talib and Common). And like his previous record, each track is worth a listen with frequency. It’s the kind of record that can just play which is not a common occurrence of the modern era – especially of rap music. Most records – in any genre tends to contain a few hot tracks and the remainder – filler, wasted money. But this loose concept album has amazing storylines and perspectives.

Lupe is the kind of intelligent rapper that you miss from the 90’s Black medallion era. There is a modern kind of Black consciousness that streams through his lyrics and persona. You do have two options with Lupe; to simply hear and nod to his multi layered lyrical flow over depth producing tracks or listen to his poetry and contemplate his meaning. That is he makes music that is movable – maybe not so much to dance to but the kind to do a “yes-yes” ya’ll cry as well as tracks that makes you think about his stories and messages even when the song is over. Lupe Fiasco’s music is not passive; The Cool provokes thoughts and contemplation.

For me it started with a vibe from a hot ass girl but shifted to grateful appreciation to an artist positively contributing to the uplifting of the Hip-Hop phenomenon. I doubt there is any longevity of the vibe with the hot ass girl, but this record will have a long future in my lifetime. The Cool is a record you definitely need to pick up or download; pay for the product – although Lupe ain’t getting much “compensation” from your purchase – the dollars send a strong message – bring back Hip-Hop for the masses. Thanks Lupe.