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Liquor in the front

I think we can all agree that it’s important to have at least one song that people like before you call yourself putting out an album. For example, the debut albums by the Game and Tony Yayo had lead singles that were essentially 50 Cent songs – in fact, arguably the only two good songs Fiddy put out all last year.

The result? People actually bought those albums when they came out. Record companies are aware of this, which is why so many of your favorite rappers these days haven’t had an album out since like 2002. The new thinking in the record industry is why even bother if it doesn’t have the potential to be a big hit.

Lupe Fiasco has a hit, or the closest he’ll ever come to having one anyway, with “Kick Push.” As such, I wonder why the record label has decided to push the release of his debut album, Food and Liquor, back to August 29th. Would they not have been better off putting it out weeks ago already?

Ostensibly, the logic behind such a move is that the shit has already been widely disseminated for free throughout the Internets. Given its already somewhat limited commercial potential, having it bootlegged probably decimated what little chance it had at not being the next Minstrel Show.

That album didn’t sell very many copies, did it?

So now they’re bringing in a bunch of guest rappers and producers to save the album from certain commercial ruin. When I saw him live the other day, Lupe mentioned that the official version of the album, with the FBI symbol on it, will feature guest appearances by Jill Scott, Mike Shinoda, and Jay-Z.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily seem like a bad idea. Mobb Deep did something similar after Murda Muzik leaked, way back in the dark ages, and it turned out to be my third favorite Mobb Deep album. Granted, it was only destined to in retrospect, but I’m sure the situation could’ve ended up much worse.

Only thing is, this isn’t 1999 and Lupe Fiasco isn’t Mobb Deep. Even if they manage to hold this shit until three days before the release date, like they did with the TI album, it’s going to be bootlegged anyway. And there’s no guarantee that all of this new material isn’t going to suck balls.

The crowd at Intonation seemed decidedly nonplussed at the prospect of Lupe rhyming alongside Jill Scott, Mike Shinoda, and Jay-Z, even going so far as to loudly boo the Linkin Park frontman. At this point, I think you have to assume that “Kick Push” is the closest thing he’ll have to a hit.

And it ain’t getting any newer.

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