Lasers
3.8.2011

Review Roundup: Lupe Fiasco – ‘Lasers’

Following a very public battle with his record label, which culminated in a fan protest, Lupe Fiasco emerges to release his first album in over three years, Lasers. The Chicago rapper describes his third effort as “more of a popular record.” So did the critics beam praise on Lupe’s latest? Find out below.

USA Today: Fiasco’s knack for clever, insightful descriptions of everyday situations and social attitudes has also been his calling card. He’s at his best on tracks like the politically explosive “Words I Never Said” and the racial fantasy “All Black Everything,” in which his thinly-veiled anger fuels his pointed observations. 3 out of 4

Entertainment Weekly: Murky rock cut “State Run Radio” ridicules the repetitive nature of the airwaves, while the haunting “All Black Everything” creates a fantasy world where negative isms don’t even exist. But within the harsh truths lie love and joy—heard on the spacey Trey Songz-assisted “Out of My Head.” Simply put, Lasers beams. A-

Los Angeles Times: There’s plenty of anger on Lasers, Fiasco’s third album, but he is far too nuanced an artist to resort to preaching to the choir. It’s a moderate disappointment, then, that Lasers feels more like a compromise than a cohesive album. 2.5 out of 4

The Washington Post: For Lupe Fiasco, the technically gifted but preachy Chicago MC, this album is much more about the controversy and less about the music. That’s lucky for him, because Lasers is mealy-mouthed, disharmonious, and forgettable—the embodiment of corporate desire and artistic aspiration colliding messily.

Rolling Stone: Lupe’s beats run from Nineties buoyancy to driving rap rock, but his most exciting tracks are operatic brawlers that give his athletic, whiplash flow and rich imagination room to move. “All Black Everything” isn’t just utopian, it’s hilarious too, visualizing a world where MLK is still with us, Bill O’Reilly reads from the Koran, “Somalia’s a great place to relax in… [And] the Rat Pack was a cool group of black men.” 3.5 out of 5

Rap-Up’s Favorite Tracks: “Out of My Head,” “The Show Goes On,” “All Black Everything,” “Never Forget You”