Food & Liquor Week: Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor - A Retrospective

What did you do today, 5 years ago? Some of you probably went to a CD store and grabbed a copy of Lupe's debut album. I personally can't say that I bought the album on that day, I'm not even sure if it dropped on the same day over here in Germany.

What I can say though is that I immediately bought it when I saw it in a store. After grabbing my copy I went through the same routine that I go through with every album that I buy, I put it in my CD player, pressed play and read the booklet.

While checking the booklet of Food & Liquor one of the first things I noticed were the pics of kids in school with guns and I found that whole imagery very fascinating. It kinda took away from the first listening cause I really looked at those photos and tried to catch all the details.

Same goes for the album cover, which in my opinion is one of the dopest covers ever. I mean what other artist could have all these things on his cover and actually get it all cleared from every company...alone that is a crazy little detail about the album.

Let's get into the music now. I have to say that I just made the transition from listening to more 'gangster rap' like 50 Cent, Ja Rule, DMX, Xzibit and a bunch of others to listening to Kanye, Common, Talib and acts like that 2 years prior to F&L dropping.

Now I could never really relate to most of the things that 50 or Ja Rule were talking about but when I listened to F&L and heard Lupe talking about comics, robots, video games and certain family issues, I felt like I found an artist who I could actually related.

I didn't listen to Lupe's mixtapes up until Food & Liquor leaked for the first time. After hearing that version of the album I was so soaked in to the sound and interested to hear the final version that I didn't really take time to dig deep into the tapes which makes Food & Liquor so important to me on a personal was what really made me realize how great of an artist Lupe is.

I could always and I still can play this album whenever and not get bored of it cause it just talks to me in a certain way that a lot of other albums don't. That's one of the main reasons why I put Food & Liquor before every other Lupe and every other hip hop album in general...I can just relate to the content.

Another aspect about this album is the influence it had and still has on todays hip hop scene. Look at the new generation of rap artists, no matter if you look at someone like Cudi, Tinie Tempah, Mickey Factz or XV, all of them have been influenced by Lupe. Their style, the music and what they rap about, you can't deny that Lupe and especially his first album has influenced a lot of up and coming artists.

Lupe made nerd rap cool.

No matter how you twist or turn it, Food and Liquor is a classic album that opened up doors for a lot of other young, up and coming emcees who were different from what was the norm in hip hop during that time. Let's all take this day of its 5th anniversary to listen to this masterpiece again and reminisce about it a little. Share your own story relating to the album in the comments.

Here's to hoping that Food and Liquor 2 will pick up where the first one left off. Another great album with intricate lyrics that you can listen to every day without it getting old or losing any of it's appeal.

We'll celebrate Food & Liquor week all week and bring you some throwback entries to look back at what went down back then. - Join us on the ride!


  1. Haha this story pretty much syncs up with mine. I never got into Lu until I saw the video for Kick, Push then bought the album and got into all his other stuff afterward. 5 years and a bad album later he's still my favorite artist.

  2. "...the final version that I didn't really took time to dig deep into the tapes..."

    TAKE time*

  3. Well written Sean, I first became aware of F&L because of all the nominations at the 2007 grammys. That sparked my interest, burnt out on gangsta & bitch/bling rap, I was pretty much over hiphop and rap. Then I heard F&L it was the combo of lyrical content&Music that did it for me. It took me back to ATCQ & Nas. Real lyrics with real music not canned beats or continual Autotune. Now I'm hooked
    Caught the show in Boston, going to Las Vegas,

  4. I'm feelin you on this Sean. Trust and believe everypony was feelin Lu innovatin and changin the game and Equestria been holdin him down ever since. Fiend ass parasprites would hate back then but real talk there aint nopony here who dont know the big homie Lu.

    But you not gettin away with thinkin F&L > the Cool

  5. @Sean, got a question, u got asked on twitter if u could listen to just one album for the rest of ur life u picked Reasonable Doubt. Why? I'm not hatin' on the answer just curious why u didn't pick F&L.

  6. I was heavy into urban vinyl toys years ago and remember seeing "I Gotcha" posted on an art site. I thought it was so dope seeing so many toys of artists I knew. He also had glasses and the way he dressed was fresh. The way he strung words together was so flawless that it seemed like a beat on it's own. On top of that, this guy wasn't rapping about killing, materialism, or sex. Completely unlike rap I grew up hearing on the radio. Eventually I discovered "Daydreamin" and "Kick, Push" and I've been hooked since. Lupe was the first musical artist I gravitated to and defined my taste in music as a teen.

  7. It was only a year before F&L dropped that I was in grade 10 and started rapping (unsuccessfully I might add)...during the course of the following year I had a difficult time finding a lane, but when 2006 came around, a frienemy who was the current hiphop "champ" of my school suggested F&L to me as a means of "study"...and it was history from that day didn't take long, in fact, as soon as I heard track 3..."Just might be ok"...I was hooked, and haven't looked back...

  8. This was Awesome....well done

  9. Amazing album. A genuine game changer. Here are my thoughts on the album, and favourite track -


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