The Cool - Lupe Fiasco

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. The Cool picks up right where "Food & Liquor" left off, once again using his Muslim background and Chi-Town sensibilities to inform his perspective without being rigidly bound by either.
  2. It turns out randomness makes for a surprisingly unifying concept.
  3. He makes UNKLE and Fall Out Boy sound fresher than Tricky Stewart.
  4. Though its conceptual component feels fuzzy and abstract at best, The Cool oozes geek chic with terrific songs, smart, dense lyrics, and nimble, eclectic production.
  5. This is rap of mesmerising, addictive quality, written and delivered by a master in charge of every aspect of his craft.
  6. This is certainly a breath of fresh air in what was a slow year for hip-hop.
  7. Lupe Fiasco and his producers--mostly Soundtrakk--have clarified the lyrics and brought out the hooks. The result is a three-act allegory that’s also one of the year’s best hip-hop albums.
  8. The music is what makes Lupe's pretensions palatable.
  9. Make no mistake, The Cool's stuffy and its plot a bitch to decipher (only four joints detail the story), but every 16-bar verse is stuffed, even the glitzy Snoop collab, "Hi-Definition," with zingers garnishing crates of encrypted metrical compositions that demand critical analysis from student groups of no more than four, no less than two to a table.
  10. Whether he delivered on the full extent of what he wanted to achieve is up for debate; luckily, he's good enough that even when he comes up short, he's still better than most.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 179 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 97 out of 100
  2. Negative: 2 out of 100
  1. Oct 17, 2010
    Love Lupe. Gotta start with that it's a shame that Lasers is still not out, and it won't be out for like 5 more months. This album has great hip hop and rap on it. Lupe is a great lyricist, and hopefully he doesn't leave that mentality. Full Review »
  2. Aug 12, 2014
    One of the most underrated hip hop albums of our time. This album is incredibly introspective and deserves WAY better reviews from critics...When this album first came out me and my brother listened to it for MONTHS...I recommend this album to anyone who wants an incredible concept album Full Review »
  3. Jun 14, 2013
    So great. This album's got a lot of depth and is surprisingly entertaining throughout its fairly long tracklist. Pretty much every track is memorable and intelligent Full Review »