By: Elorm Nutakor
Lupe Fiasco’s latest release, Tetsuo & Youth, has been on my mind lately. Other than Joey Bada$$’ new album, B4.DA.$$, I haven’t listened to another album all week.
The production and instrumentation on the album is some of the best I’ve heard on any Lupe Fiasco album to date. It makes me feel as if I’ve gone through each and every season of the year (except for spring) in a matter of 80 minutes. This feeling is pretty appropriate seeing as Tetsuo is separated by 4 interludes named after the seasons, beginning with “Summer” and ending with “Spring,” the last interlude on the album which isn’t followed by any subsequent tracks. Personally, I’m not too depressed about not getting to experience spring because as much as I like warm weather, apparently my sinuses do not.
The summer section is filled with warm songs, bright instrumentation, soulful samples and some light drums. Fall is a bit colder but still bearable. Winter, however, does not let up, but by Spring a sense of optimism ensues that enables you to move on from the brutality you just experienced.
After going through multiple listens of the album I realized that it may take me a lifetime to fully comprehend what Lupe says lyrically. The smartest man on earth probably couldn’t understand the lyrics in one listen (or two or three…). Tracing the lyrical aspect of the album is like walking into a class on the first day and realizing that your grade is screwed. Regardless, you work your ass off all semester trying to do well, but you know it just isn’t happening. Eventually finals come around and you have one last chance to save yourself, but that’s when the teacher drops everyone from the class with no penalty because he knows it’s hopeless; he’s actually known all along. But you feel incomplete not passing the class, so you take it again next semester, and the cycle continues.
This is what Tetsuo & Youth subjects me to every time I listen. The whole experience is like Spongebob’s plight to graduate boating school. I don’t even think my brain can function properly, but I just have to keep listening. It’s as if the “Spring” interlude has tricked me into thinking that my next listen will be the time I get it… or nah.