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CD Review: Lupe Fiasco 

The Cool

The Deal: 25-year-old rapper, often associated with and compared to Kanye West and Jay-Z, releases sophomore album.

The Good: Fiasco, born Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, can go from steady to speedy with his flow – rapidfire on "Go Go Gadget Flow," the slow, sure groove of "Put You On Game." He's not trying to talk about big rims, nice rides and taking advantage of women, instead focusing on real issues. That's not to say it's all deep and meaningful – "Go Baby" is about love. He gets help from friends on the album, as well – Snoop Dogg, Gemstones, Nikki Jean and others make appearances. It's not all dance grooves and fast rhymes. "Paris, Tokyo" has a smooth lounge vibe to it, "Little Weapon" rolls with a drumline beat. It goes for a jazzier more r&b groove instead of offering up club hits and dance beats.

The Bad: Choruses can get repetitive – "Go Go Gadget Flow" and "The Coolest" – which usually brings on a state of annoyance. The tracks are good, for the most part, but those few repetitive moments can get to be a little too much.

The Verdict: A solid outing – strong from start to finish – that proves he's one to watch in the hip-hop world. Definitely not a sophomore slump. A lot of critics listed the album on their lists of the best of 2007. Jay-Z calls him a "breath of fresh air" – breathe in.

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