There are many passages in the book of hip-hop and when it’s all said and done, it’ll be interesting whether Lupe Fiasco gets his own chapter or just a couple paragraphs. That said, the words written about Food and Liquor will be quite extensive.
Lu’s debut album had the weight of the world on its shoulders and managed to carry every single pound with the ease of Atlas. Today marks the 10 year anniversary — yes, 10 — of the landmark album and to celebrate, Fiasco did something directors and actors have been doing for years: a commentary track entitled “10 Yurrs Layda.”
Ever the honest cat, Lu starts by admitting there’s a lot he doesn’t remember but he’s going to do the best he can. 10 years is a long time but as I’ve said before, Hip-Hop years are like dog years, so 10 may as well be 70. So much has changed in the game and for him since September 19, 2006, it’s a wonder he can remember where he was yesterday much less 10 years ago. However, your first time is always special.
“It was such an interesting time in my life and I kinda got sidetracked twice with this album,” Lupe said. “The first sidetrack was when it got leaked two-and-a-half months before and it kinda took the wind out of my sails.”
He says there were multiple versions of the album but hints that the bootleg was the original final version. That had to have been the biggest pain in even the largest of asses as it put him back in the lab to record in a rush in order to change the album and meet the unchanged release date.
One casualty of having to meet deadlines are the songs that didn’t make the cut, like a song he did with Three 6 Mafia.
“When I look at this, it’s funny how much stuff is missing,” he explained. “We did a joint with Triple Six Mafia that didn’t make it because they sold the beat to, at the time was, the Playaz Circle.”
Lupe Fiasco and Three 6 Mafia on the same track during that time would’ve been insane. Especially since the marketing overlords told us who Lu was and what he represented and doing a song with them seemed to be the antithesis of that image. I’m not sure how it would’ve altered the album but I’d love to hear it.
Lupe talks at length about the album cover, his own expectations, the album’s impact, and that alternate versions to different tracks including an “I Gotcha” without Pharrell and several versions of “The Cool.”
No pun intended, but this is really cool. With artists able to speak directly to their fans now and release any type of audio dope whenever they want, this type of supplemental material should be done more often. Sticking just with Lu, imagine the commentary he could give on The Cool next year as it celebrates its 10 year anniversary. More landmark albums are coming up on important dates and for a cats who don’t do a lot of interviews — like him — this is a perfect way to make sure we never forget greatness in a world that seemingly can’t remember what happened 10 minutes ago.