Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 19, 2006
Lupe Fiasco chronology
Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor
Lupe Fiasco's The Cool
Singles from Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor
  1. "Kick, Push"
    Released: April 18, 2006
  2. "I Gotcha"
    Released: August 8, 2006
  3. "Daydreamin'"
    Released: September 11, 2006

Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor (commonly referred to as Food & Liquor) is the debut studio album by American rapper Lupe Fiasco, released on September 19, 2006, on 1st & 15th Entertainment and Atlantic Records. The album features production from The Neptunes, Kanye West, Mike Shinoda, Craig Kallman, Prolyfic, Needlz, Soundtrakk, and Brandon Howard. Jay-Z, Chill, and Fiasco himself are credited as the executive producers for the album. Songs on the record discuss poverty, Islam, terrorism, racism, and individuality.

Originally, the album was reported to have debuted at number 12 on the Billboard 200; however, due to incomplete Nielsen SoundScan reports, the album actually debuted at number eight,[1] even though the album had produced no top ten singles. The album received four Grammy Award nominations, including Grammy Award for Best Rap Album at the 49th Grammy Awards. "Daydreamin'", featuring Jill Scott, won Best Urban/Alternative Song at the 50th Grammy Awards. The album was digitally re-released on September 13, 2011 to mark its 5th anniversary; this version features four new tracks. On April 30, 2015, Lupe Fiasco released a music video for "Just Might Be O.K.", nine years after the album's original release.

Background and conception[edit]

At age 19, Fiasco was signed to Epic Records and was a member of a group called Da Pak. The group released one single before splitting up.[2] He later signed a recording contract with Arista Records, but was dropped when president and chief executive officer (CEO) L. A. Reid was fired.[2] In 2006, recording artist Jay-Z was impressed by Fiasco's feature on Kanye West's "Touch the Sky" and agreed to become the executive producer of the album.[3]

The title of the album, (somewhat of a surprise for many coming from a Muslim) refers to the various Food and Liquor stores in Chicago neighborhoods.[4] It also refers to the "constant tug of war between good (food) and evil (liquor)".[5] The title is a philosophy that Fiasco believes about human nature. He went on to elaborate:

"In Chicago, instead of having bodegas like in New York, the majority of the corner stores are called 'Food and Liquors.' The store is where everything is at, whether it be the wine-o hanging by the store, or us as kids going back and forth to the store to buy something. The 'Food' is the good part and the 'Liquor' is the bad part. I try to balance out both parts of me."[6]

Prior to the release of Food & Liquor, Fiasco was one of Rolling Stone magazine's "List of Artists to Watch" in 2006.[7] In April 2006, the entire album was leaked onto the Internet, which resulted in it being shelved.[8] With the leak of the album, Fiasco was heralded as the potential "savior of hip hop" by critics,[9][10][11] as well as fellow recording artists West and Williams.[12][13] In response of the leak, Fiasco recorded additional songs for the album. Despite stating he would only work with Prolyfic and Soundtrakk, he also worked with other record producers, including Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and Mike Shinoda.[14] Recording sessions took place at the 1st & 15th Studios in Chicago, Illinois, the Record Plant Studios in Hollywood, California and the Right Track Studios in New York City, New York.[15] Prior to its release, Fiasco had to make "several last-minute changes" due to "sample issues".[16]

Musical content[edit]

Subject matter[edit]

Food & Liquor contains elements of midwest hip hop and alternative hip hop.[17] Fiasco covers a wide variety of subjects on the album. The opening track begins with Fiasco chanting the opening lines of the Qur'an in Arabic.[18] The following track, "Real", is a reflection of "making music of which he doesn't have to be ashamed".[19] "Kick, Push", the album's lead single, is about a young male and his love for skateboarding.[20] The lyrics follow the skateboarder through many stages of his life such as his childhood, finding love, marriage, and adulthood. Although the literal meaning of this song is skateboarding, the actual meaning of the song is rejection, and being criticized for doing what one loves.[citation needed] On "The Instrumental", Fiasco addresses addiction to television.[21] "He Say She Say" deals with the story of a single mother and a child lacking a father figure.[21] "The Cool" follows the story of a dead gangster who rises from the grave and returns to the hood where he lived and died.[21] With its "haunting keys and strings", "Hurt Me Soul" deals with displacement and alienation from his neighborhood.[22] On "American Terrorist", Fiasco discusses the misconceptions of Islam in America.[4] He also addresses the issues of racism and gun culture.[21] The song had originally sampled a song by Chick Corea, but due to sampling issues, it was never cleared.[16] For example, the song opens with,"We came through the storm, nooses on our necks, and a smallpox blanket to keep us warm." The album concludes with Lupe reading off an extensive appreciation list of people who helped with the album.


Food & Liquor was handled by a variety of different producers; some lesser-known such as Prolyfic, Soundtrakk, Needlz and Craig Kallman, while also having tracks produced by well-known producers such as Kanye West, Mike Shinoda and The Neptunes. On "Kick, Push", Soundtrakk provided lush strings and horns as the backdrop. Strings are prominent through the album particularly on songs such as "Hurt Me Soul", "He Say She Say", and "Daydreamin'". "Daydreamin'" contains a sample of the well-known song "Daydream in Blue" as covered by I Monster as the chorus. "American Terrorist" contains a middle-eastern style beat provided by Prolyfic. The Neptunes provided a more synth and keyboard based beat on "I Gotcha". Brandon Howard provides a lush piano loop on "Kick, Push II".[23]


The album cover of Food & Liquor was designed by Chuck Anderson and Righteous Kung Fu.[24] It was inspired by a skateboard deck Fiasco owned.[25] The cover shows Fiasco floating in air, surrounded by several items, including a Banksy postcard, Nintendo DS, a sketchbook, the Qur'an and a robot. He explained that the items were picked out carefully, as they were things he "carr[ied] around every day".[26] In the liner notes, Fiasco parodies drug dealing by replacing liquor with milk and cookies, and drive-by shootings by replacing guns with books.[4]


Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[17]
The A.V. ClubA[28]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[29]
Mojo4/5 stars[30]
MSN Music (Consumer Guide)A−[31]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[34]
Slant Magazine4.5/5 stars[35]
Uncut4/5 stars[36]

Food & Liquor received widespread acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 83, based on 20 reviews.[27] Several writers lauded the lyrical content on the album.[18] Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club praised the album, saying that Fiasco "masterfully melds his peerless storytelling gifts with his idiosyncratic passion for skateboarding, fantasy, and incisive sociopolitical commentary". He also noted that Fiasco "boldly expand[ed] the parameters of mainstream hip-hop".[28] Sarah Godfrey of The Washington Post hailed the album as a "masterpiece of responsible rap".[37] Darryl Sterdan of Jam! called the album "one of the sharpest and smartest hip-hop discs" of 2006,[21] while Andy Kellman of AllMusic argued that "Food and Liquor just might be the steadiest and most compelling rap album of 2006".[17] Stylus Magazine's Josh Love felt that it benefits greatly from Fiasco's impressive rapping and subtlety, which he found to be characteristics that are "incredibly rare in hip-hop in 2006".[38] Sean Fennessey of Pitchfork was less enthusiastic and said that although Fiasco's raps are abundant with "wit and double meaning", the album's biggest flaw is his inability to write memorable hooks, which are instead "blandly-sung, unmemorable couplets".[33]

Commercial performance[edit]

Food & Liquor debuted at number eight on the Billboard 200, selling 81,000 copies in its first week.[39] As of January 2008, it went on to sell 325,000 copies in the United States.[40]


The album was named best hip hop album of 2006 by several publications and was ranked within several year-end lists.[41][42][43][44] It was also one of the best-reviewed albums of 2006 at Metacritic.[45] Food & Liquor finished 34th in the voting for the Pazz & Jop, an annual critics poll run by The Village Voice.[46] Robert Christgau, the poll's creator, named it the 19th best album of the year in his own list.[47] The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[48]

The album earned Fiasco three nominations at the 2007 49th Grammy Awards: Best Rap Album, Best Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Song for "Kick, Push".[49] In 2008, "Daydreamin'" won the award for Best Urban/Alternative Performance at the 50th Grammy Awards.[50]


The first international single off the album was "Kick, Push", a love story about two misfit skateboarders. The second single in Europe was "Daydreamin'" (featuring Jill Scott) which features a sample of I Monster's cover of "Daydream in Blue." The second single in the U.S. (and the third international single) was "I Gotcha" which is produced by The Neptunes. The song's video was featured on MTV's "Making the Video." Fiasco held a poll on his MySpace profile, where fans were able to vote for which song they wanted to be made into a music video.[51]

Track listing[edit]

Food & Liquor
1."Intro"Chris & Drop3:06
2."Real" (featuring Sarah Green)
  • Jaco
  • Harvey Mason
  • Kenny Mason
  • Rudolph Lopez
3."Just Might Be O.K." (featuring Gemini)Prolyfic4:24
4."Kick, Push"
  • Jaco
  • Lopez
5."I Gotcha"The Neptunes3:58
6."The Instrumental" (featuring Jonah Matranga)
7."He Say, She Say" (featuring Gemini and Sarah Green)
  • Jaco
  • Lopez
9."Daydreamin'" (featuring Jill Scott)
Craig Kallman3:55
10."The Cool"
  • Jaco
  • Dexter Wansel
  • Kanye West
11."Hurt Me Soul"
12."Pressure" (featuring Jay-Z)
13."American Terrorist" (featuring Matthew Santos)
  • Jaco
  • Armando Corea
  • Ewing Jr.
14."The Emperor's Soundtrack"
  • Jaco
  • Michael Schenker
  • Lopez
15."Kick, Push II"
  • Jaco
  • Brandon Howard
Brandon Howard4:11
16."Outro"JacoChris & Drop12:13
  • "The woman who recites the poem on the introduction is Ayesha Jaco, Lupe's sister. The same woman is also responsible for the poem in the introduction to "The Cool."
Sample credits
  • "Real" contains a sample of "How Does It Feel" by Harvey Mason
  • "Just Might Be O.K." contains a sample of "Humphrey's Overture" written by Paul Humphrey.
  • "Kick, Push" contains a sample of "Magtaksil Man Ikaw (Bolero Medley)" by Celeste Legaspi.
  • "The Instrumental" contains a sample of "Nestle" by Far.
  • "He Say, She Say" contains a sample of "The Last One to Be Loved" by Burt Bacharach and "Mesopotamia" by The B-52's.
  • "Sunshine" contains a sample of "Friend to Friend" by Diana Ross.
  • "Daydreamin'" contains a sample of "Daydream" by I Monster.
  • "The Cool" contains a sample of "Life on Mars" by Dexter Wansel and Funky Drummer" by James Brown.
  • "Hurt Me Soul" contains a sample of "Stay with Me" by Cecil Holmes.
  • "Pressure" contains a sample of "Pressure Cooker" by Thelma Houston.
  • "American Terrorist" contains a sample of "The Romantic Warrior" by Return to Forever.
  • "The Emperor's Soundtrack" contains a sample of "Between the Walls" by UFO.
  • "Theme Music to a Drive-By" contains a sample of "(Do It, Do It) No One Does It Better" by The Spinners.
  • "Carrera Lu" contains a sample of "Bad Tune" by Earth, Wind & Fire.


As listed on Allmusic.[24]


Chart (2006) Peak
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[55] 74
French Albums (SNEP)[56] 172
UK Albums (OCC)[57] 31
US Billboard 200[58] 8
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[59] 2
US Top Rap Albums (Billboard)[60] 1


  1. ^ ""Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor" A Smash Debut". Static Multimedia. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved May 22, 2007.
  2. ^ a b Kellman, Andy. "Lupe Fiasco > Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  3. ^ Watson, Margeaux (January 11, 2008). "60 Second Bio". Entertainment Weekly. Time. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c Loebenstein, Ghita (January 19, 2007). "Lupe Fiasco". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved October 16, 2009.
  5. ^ "Lupe Fiasco Rolls With Jay-Z, Shinoda". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved October 10, 2009.
  6. ^ "Atlantic Records :: Lupe Fiasco Biography". Atlantic Records. Archived from the original on December 1, 2008. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  7. ^ "10 Artists to Watch 2006". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. September 7, 2006. Retrieved May 22, 2007.
  8. ^ "Leak Bumps Lupe Fiasco Album to August". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved October 10, 2009.
  9. ^ Hale, Andreas (September 27, 2006). "Lupe Fiasco - Food & Liquor". Retrieved September 20, 2006.
  10. ^ "The Rise and Fall of Lupe Fiasco". October 17, 2006. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved May 30, 2007.
  11. ^ Baber, Anthony (September 9, 2006). "Taste of Chicago". The Michigan Daily. Retrieved October 10, 2009.
  12. ^ "Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor". JBHIFmusic. September 7, 2006. Retrieved May 22, 2007.
  13. ^ "Jay, Pharrell & Kanye Say: 'Lupe Fiasco's The Future of Hip Hop'". PartyPeeps2000. July 10, 2006. Retrieved May 22, 2007.
  14. ^ "Billboard". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 118 (28): 26. July 15, 2006. ISSN 0006-2510.
  15. ^ Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor (booklet). Lupe Fiasco. United States: 1st & 15th, Atlantic. 2006. pp. 1, 8. B3959-2.CS1 maint: others (link)
  16. ^ a b Wehner, Cyclone (January 18, 2007). "Lupe over sampling fiasco". Herald Sun. The Herald and Weekly Times. Retrieved October 16, 2009.
  17. ^ a b c Kellman, Andy. "Food & Liquor – Lupe Fiasco". AllMusic. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
  18. ^ a b Nixon, Chris (February 8, 2007). "Faith healer". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Union-Tribune Publishing. Retrieved October 16, 2009.
  19. ^ Hicks, Corbin (September 7, 2007). "Refreshing Lupe Fiasco provides introspection to rap genre". The Observer. College Publisher. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  20. ^ Scott, Bruce (July 10, 2007). "Music Review – Lupe Fiasco, Food and Liquor". movmnt. Retrieved October 16, 2009.
  21. ^ a b c d e Sterdan, Darryl. "Album Review: Food & Liquor". Jam!. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  22. ^ "Vibe". Vibe. Vibe Media Group. 14 (11): 40. November 2006. ISSN 1070-4701.
  23. ^ "Albums :: Food And Liquor". ProdBy: The Net #1 Source For Hip Hop Productions and Discographies. Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved May 22, 2007.
  24. ^ a b Kellman, Andy. "Food and Liquor > Credits". Allmusic. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  25. ^ Modell, Josh (November 15, 2007). "Lupe Fiasco". Spin. Spin Media. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  26. ^ Endelman, Michael (October 20, 2006). "A few of Lupe Fiasco's favorite things". Entertainment Weekly. Time. Retrieved October 16, 2009.
  27. ^ a b "Reviews for Food & Liquor by Lupe Fiasco". Metacritic. Retrieved May 30, 2007.
  28. ^ a b Rabin, Nathan (September 20, 2006). "Lupe Fiasco: Food and Liquor". The A.V. Club. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
  29. ^ Hermes, Will (September 29, 2006). "Food & Liquor". Entertainment Weekly. New York: Time. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
  30. ^ "Lupe Fiasco: Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor". Mojo. London (157): 120. December 2006.
  31. ^ Christgau, Robert (February 2007). "Consumer Guide". MSN Music. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
  32. ^ "Lupe Fiasco: Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor". NME. London: 35. October 14, 2006.
  33. ^ a b Fennessey, Sean (September 21, 2006). "Lupe Fiasco: Food & Liquor". Pitchfork. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
  34. ^ Serpick, Evan (September 29, 2006). "Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor : Lupe Fiasco". Rolling Stone. New York: Wenner Media. Archived from the original on February 24, 2009. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
  35. ^ Jones, Preston (October 10, 2006). "Lupe Fiasco: Food & Liquor". Slant Magazine. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
  36. ^ "Lupe Fiasco: Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor". Uncut. London (115): 113. December 2006.
  37. ^ Godfrey, Sarah (December 7, 2006). "Lupe Fiasco Maintains His High-Road Cred". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 16, 2009.
  38. ^ Love, Josh (September 29, 2006). "Lupe Fiasco – Food and Liquor – Review". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
  39. ^ Crosley, Hillary (December 27, 2007). "Lupe Fiasco is finding some commercial success, but plays hip-hop game his way". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved October 24, 2009.
  40. ^ Watson, Margeaux (January 11, 2008). "Lupe Fiasco: The Art of Being Cool". Entertainment Weekly. Time. Retrieved September 24, 2009.
  41. ^ Zaleski, Annie (December 26, 2006). "2006: The Year in Music". Riverfront Times. Village Voice Media. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  42. ^ "The Top 50 Albums of 2006". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. December 11, 2006. p. 4. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  43. ^ "Top 50 Albums of 2006". Pitchfork Media. December 19, 2006. p. 2. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  44. ^ Huff, Quentin B. (December 15, 2006). "Best Hip-Hop of 2006". PopMatters. Retrieved October 19, 2009.
  45. ^ "Best Albums of 2006". Metacritic. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  46. ^ Anon. (2007). "The 2006 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll". The Village Voice (February 6). New York. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
  47. ^ Christgau, Robert (February 14, 2007). "2006: Dean's List". Robert Christgau. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
  48. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (2014). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 0-7893-2074-6.
  49. ^ Barry, Rebecca (December 15, 2006). "Life as a true Fiasco". The New Zealand Herald. APN News & Media. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  50. ^ "Early 50th annual Grammy Award winners". USA Today. Gannett Company. February 10, 2008. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  51. ^ "Lupe Fiaso - The Instrumental (Behind the Scenes)". HipHopDX. April 30, 2007. Retrieved May 22, 2007.
  52. ^ "Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor (Deluxe Version)". iTunes. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  53. ^ "Lupe Fiasco – Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor". Discogs. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  54. ^ "Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor (5th Anniversary Edition) [Explicit]". Amazon. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  55. ^ " – Lupe Fiasco – Food & Liquor" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
  56. ^ " – Lupe Fiasco – Food & Liquor". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
  57. ^ "Lupe Fiasco | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
  58. ^ "Lupe Fiasco Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
  59. ^ "Lupe Fiasco Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
  60. ^ "Lupe Fiasco Chart History (Top Rap Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved September 17, 2009.


  • Whitburn, Joel (2008). Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–2006. Record Research. ISBN 0-89820-172-1.

External links[edit]