Lupe’s album release history is peculiar. The Cool required a media storm of promotion. Lasers inspired protests until Atlantic conceded a release date. This time, Anonymous threatened to hack Atlantic if they didn’t come to terms with the combative artist. A date was set, delayed, delayed again, and now Lupe presents Tetsuo & Youth. It’s brilliant.
He sneaks up on you, Lupe. Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, that’s his real name. He’s now produced five albums and each one is a bout. I like to think of his discography as a fighter’s knockout combination. Maybe his middle name inspires the boxing analogy. Food & Liquor, his debut, was a haymaker. Lupe was the young fighter that came out swinging and let everyone know that he is something to behold. He followed up with The Cool, a hard right to the jaw that leaves you seeing stars. With Lasers he went left, angry and blindsiding and graceful. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. He lost some brunt with Food & Liquor II. It was a jab. A prelude to the knockout punch: Tetsuo & Youth.