The 5 Albums that Changed My Life: Edition One

The first album in this series of 5, that changed my life, is Food and Liquor by Lupe Fiasco. This album came out in 2006, and at this time, the rap game was a bit stale. Not a ton of top tier, newer MCs, and some of the old guard had begun to fall off. Then comes Lupe. A conscious rapper with little content geared towards strictly the streets. A backpack lyricist with a deep mind. Oh, and his first single was about skateboarding. I admit that threw me off a bit. Yet the song was so full of lush instrumentation and vivid storytelling. Kick Push was brilliant, but it didn’t tell the full story of the artist.

The mid-2000s saw my hope in hip hop regain form. Starting with Kanye West in 2004, and The Game in 05. Lupe was the best rapper of the 3, with the most to say. He reminded me of Nas without the project element. He also taught people you didn’t have to write songs one way, or with one formula of content.

With songs like He say, she say that touched on absentee dads or Hurt me soul, which was a synopsis of Lupe’s hip hop journey. With his take on how he once disregarded it, yet came back because it was so appealing. There were a plethora of topics that the young man from Chicago spoke on. This was raw rap with illustrious production, oh and a feature from Jay-Z to boot. What a time to come in and revamp the game.

This album spoke to my soul at a time when garbage was accepted. Laffy Taffy and other songs of that nature monopolized the charts. Southern Hip Hop was all the rage. And not the Outkast or Scarface variety. Needless to say, Food and Liquor cemented Lu’s place in the game. The Illmatic of its generation. The hip hop scholar still reigns supreme today.