June 7, 2010


The cuts collected on this mixtape are purportedly unreleased leaks and bootlegs leading up to the release of Lasers. However, at least some of it predates Food and Liquor. Either way, I suspect it will be better than whatever artistically compromised frisbee that Atlantic forces Fiasco to release at some point this year. Supposedly, the album has been turned in for a minute, but no date has been set, even though Lupe remains one of rap’s last remotely commercially bankable rappers. Granted, The Cool went gold, but Lupe has yet to perform his contractually mandated collabos with Ashlee Simpson’s ex-boyfriend and Lykke Li. Is working with Trey Songz not enough for your foul notions of corporate synergy?

Enemy of the State mixtape continues to stay in heavy rotation — though the Internet has long forgotten it in their rush to collectively coronate our new half-black half-Hebrew savior. Every time I hear “All the Way Turnt Up,” on the radio, I see no reason not to just put on the Lupe version. “I’m Beaming” might be the official foot forward and surely the Stridex and skinny-jeaned hordes appreciate the stadium-rap choruses, sub-Coldplay pianos, and the beats that Drake passed on. However, Before There Were Lasers will suffice for those of us who remember when Lupe was willing to admit to being a nerd. Obviously, mixtapes > albums, but it’s a sad state of affairs when an old odds and sods comps will inevitably trump the commercial product. In the words of Chuck B., I might be wrong, but I doubt it.

ZIP: Lupe Fiasco – Before There Were Lasers

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