The Cool is Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco’s sophomore album, following his critically acclaimed debut, Food & Liquor. However, this album is much darker in tone, his father and close friend had just passed away and his long time friend, business partner, and mentor was sentenced to jail for 44 years. He used all of the negative energy surrounding him at the time and channeled it into this album. He also goes deeper into the concept of the three characters he had created to represent the ghetto life and the things that surround it, he brings back a character he did a song on in F & L called The Cool, he introduces the other two characters The Streets, and The Game. Musically, the instrumentals produced by his main producer, Soundtrakk, is bar none some of the most fitting music to go with Lupe’s rapping style. Personal favorites from the album, “Paris, Tokyo”, “Hip-Hop Saved My Life”, which is a track that tells the story of a struggling rapper based on the story of Slim Thug, and “Fighters” which details the people he has lost in his life and is very somber and introspective in a way that touches the heart. All in all Lupe Fiasco’s effort on this album is clearly shown with the complete product being something that is not only pleasant to listen to listen to but also makes you think about certain social conditions not only happening in the lower class areas of America, but the harsh conditions of the youth in third world countries as well. If you haven’t heard this album yet I strongly recommend that you give it a listen.