The Cool - Lupe Fiasco
The Cool Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 179 Ratings

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  • Summary: The sophomore album for the rapper from Chicago features artist such as Snoop Dogg, Pooh Bear and Unkle.
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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Though there's much to admire about Fiasco's idealism and poetic skill, he can also be annoying the way an excessively, politically correct person in your social circle can be annoying.
  5. The best cuts come courtesy of Chi-town's Soundtrakk, whose Native Tongues love knows no bound, while newcomers Chris & Drop provide notably solid beatwork for 'Gold Watch.' [Apr 2008, p.71]
  6. 'Superstar' boasts a sanguine hook and a sophisticated mess of rhymes about fame and backlash and fandom and such. Unfortunately much of the rest of the record lacks this clarity, and while the first part of that “sophisticated mess” description remains valid the second part becomes dominant.
  7. The problem is that he hasn’t yet developed a signature sound that immediately identifies a track as his own, nor is he capable of writing the sort of provocative rhymes that stand out.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 97 out of 100
  2. Negative: 2 out of 100
  1. Mar 31, 2013
    this album is lupe at his best. the beats are from many producers and each one delivers. lupes flow is also incredible. he can rap very fast and still sound out every syllable perfectly. this album is outstanding, get it Expand
  2. 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. Collapse
  3. Jun 8, 2013
    The Cool was truly the highlight of Lupe's career. It's amazing how this album was followed by an awful Lasers. Even with radio hits like "Superstar." There was still meaning behind his songs. Not to mention "Dumb it Down," which is considered one of the most lyrically deep Rap songs of all time. Expand
  4. 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 Expand
  5. Aug 20, 2010
    A brilliant album that can only be faulted in that it sounds too self-important. Lupe tries to save the world on nearly every track, covering broad issues like power, greed, disease, war, and poverty -- with all the passive-aggressive finger wagging of a university Cultural Studies professor. The production is catchy and tailored to a pop audience, but Lupe's intelligent rhymes and well-developed flow place this album in the area between the streets and mainstream. Expand
  6. 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 Expand

See all 100 User Reviews