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XXL Reviews Lupe Fiasco’s “Enemy of the State: A Love Story”

Lupe Fiasco
Enemy of the State: A Love Story

Beats: XL
Lyrics: XL
Originality: L

Though it clocks in at just over 22 minutes long, Lupe Fiasco’s Enemy of the State: A Love Story, proves that the Chicago MC has returned from his self-imposed hiatus—this is his first release since 2007’s sophomore effort, The Cool—with a renewed confidence. As he so aptly raps over Travis Porter’s “Turnt Up:” “Lupe got his mind right, nigga, this is my mic/And I’ve come to take it all back like Miller High Life.”

With no hint of rust Lupe demonstrates his lyrical dominance by ripping the melancholy production from Radiohead’s “Kid A,” on the opening track, “National Anthem.” He breathes some much-needed life into “Thank You,” one of the weaker efforts from Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3, and styles all over Jigga’s “So Ghetto.” His fiery freestyles over Lil Wayne’s “Fireman,” on the oddly-titled “Fireman (Yoga Flame)” matches Weezy’s flare on the original.

Though his relentless take-no-prisoners approach sounds a bit winded near the end, as evident in his underwhelming closing verse over Clipse’s “Popular Demand,” EOTS is still strong enough to stand among the best mixtape releases of the year. And his first few lines over Slaughterhouse’s rock-influenced single, “The One,” makes clear that this lyrical exercise was needed. “The game was lookin’ weak, the whole scene’s starved/So I came through with some Muscle Milk and protein bars/Barbells are jump ropes, Bowflexes to body it/And a couple Billy Blanks Tae Bo karate kicks.” —Chris Yuscavage

  • http://. Luforyou

    Lupe is the GREATEST RAPPER ALIVE!

    • jefrrey rodriguez

      u said nothing but the truth.

  • http://dfd ghg

    LUPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
    CANT WAIT FOR LASERS!

  • Pingback: Lupe Fiasco @fanpixie - XXL Reviews Lupe Fiasco’s “Enemy of the State: A Love Story”

  • Miccheck

    “but you gotta understands are differences are the same what starts in cloudy minds finishes in the rain”

    “And to the sisters and the mothers of ours
    Who cover theyselves cause they’re lovers of God
    The Creator of the worlds, Sculptor of the stars,
    During Hajj we walk, through Ramadaan we starve
    Though you not eatin, there’s a feedin of the mind
    A defeatin of the demons, a seein’ of the signs
    A leanin on the lines from the surahs
    Getting purer, God deemed it unclean
    (There’s no eatin of the swine)
    Nor drinkin’ of the wine”

    “you dont stand a chance…
    matter fact u dont have half the stance to stand if u stood half a chance”

    “The truth…is limitless in it’s range
    If you, drop a “T” and look at it in reverse,
    It could hurt, look at the grimaces of the pain”

    yes, Lu’s the best.

    • Chris S

      Jay gave me a co-sign like I was RocaWear
      but be clear I’m not the air (heir)
      I’m the water, fire and the earth
      That means I’m doin’ dirt, spittin’ flames and quenchin’ thirst,

      i love this mixtape. he actually dumbed it down a little too. he even said so on one of the tracks.

    • http://www.LiveLyricism.blogspot.com TyLFI

      :)
      deserved an XXL tho.. O.o

      LiveLyricism.blogspot.com

      LIVE LYRICISM!

  • b-zander

    ok, so gucci’s album gets a xl and a xl for originaity, while lupe gets the same grade with L in originality…somethings wrong with that

  • Okieant

    Lupe str8 murked this mixtape….i’m still catchin lines…y’all picked one of my favs there at the end…

    on the same track he said “I am going so raw watch me soy sauce, wasabi this” lmaoooo

    Def my top 2 right now with Nas.

  • SOUTHSIDE A-TOWN

    damn. sounding pretty official right now. im a have to cop this.

    • SOUTHSIDE A-TOWN

      i copped that shit. listened to it on my way to work this morning. the nigga spits, but iono maybe i gotta listen to that shit again, & again.

  • mad

    if it wasnt 20 mins long itd be the best mixtape this year…lupe fiasco is a better rapper than jay-z

  • http://www.sierraluella.com Sierra Luella

    Enemy of the State:A Love Story is just a taste of what this dude has in store for us. [PURE GENIUS] His next album is pretty much guaranteed success, and I expect nothing less than.
    I’ve watched Lu grow and he’s gotten realllll beastly!
    I’m mad excited for what’s next to come!
    :DDD

    ALL LOVE.
    xoxo

  • Adam0350

    Yo theres still Friend Of The people left sooo if EOTS is not mixtape of the yr it can be that one!!

  • http://hekhernandez.blogspot.com/ Hek hernandez

    XL???? Are you fucking kidding me??? Lupe is arguably a better rapper than lol Wayne .. All those corny lines lil Wayne gets away with!!! And your gonna coplain that it was too short!!! I’m sorry but those long ass mixtapes ate straaaaaigjt up overwhelming!!! Who listens to all 28 songs anyways??? Lupe murder ever beat on the mixtape including that clipse shit!! Enemy of the State gets XXL in my book!!!

  • Toya

    Lupe is one of the greatest. But often overlooked…This 22 minute mixtape was better than most rappers full LP’s released this year, and it’s not even his most complex, but dope as hell.

  • AZ40

    The only problem I had with the mixtape was some of the beat selections, I never questioned the kids lyrical ability, but he chasin’ that bullshit MTV hot list

  • http://-- gaddic

    I seriously believe this dude is one of the greatest rappers ever to touch the mike

    His lyrics are deep metaphorically conceptually.. He’s just f*ckin amazing!

    Pity he’s weak commercially Lil Wayne would be forgotten in seconds

  • O2theC

    i must admit i’ve been pretty much sleepin’ on Lupe, but i saw this on mixtape torrent an decided 2 give it a listen. When the 22 minutes were up I went Str8 back an dwnloaded 3 of his mixtapes!!!! Can’t believe i’ve been deprivin’ myself of this dopeness, u can’t even mention Lil’ Wayne & (post Black Album) Jay-z in the same sentance as Lupe. My favourite cut off this mixtape is probly that timbo & drake beat, lupe flowin hard as fuck on that 1.

  • Jamiezz

    Crack is wack and reefer sucks, you might think this deep as fuck
    but this like my weaker stuff,
    they ask “Is this his day-to-day ’cause this is like a week to us?”

    Mic is shy and speakers blush, I is shy (Chi) and he is up,
    I correct, me is up – no we is up – cause its like two of me
    and each of us, rappin’ acid, eat this up,
    A-Town down, peace is up, New York to East Coast is tough,
    West Side ridin’, lot of n****’s salty ’cause,
    ’cause I be overseas and (overseasoned) tough.

    Everything seamless, WorldStar never seen this,
    NahRight gotta stream this, motherfuckin’ genius!

    Brave and fly, you backbone-less and wingless,
    bunch of chickens on the strip, I’m coming for they fingers…
    till what they throwin’ up is meaningless…
    Chilly Chill you seeing this? This didn’t make MTV’s list…

    Finish fingers, eating wrist, feedin’ frenzy and shit,
    Succotash stuffering, Chicken-Frikasee’en this…
    a beat eatin’ media blitz,
    pace is getting feverish, pain is growing Seaver-ish,
    these the peppers Peter picked,
    things are at their easiest, Real Compton city G’in it

    Just give him a foldin chair he aint after the throne…

    He is one of the best to ever do it. Consistent since mixtapes and does it at a level which is damn near unmatched.

  • http://www.justice.gov.za GO-Getta’

    Lupe is so under-rated yet few inches away of being 1 of the G.O.A.T

  • Pip-Boy

    On Par? Equal to Wayne? Wow…This reviewer must have missed most of the OVERHEARD intricate lines and amazing flow! This is an XXL, Mixtape of the Year (Unless he beats himself on Christmas)and blows Wayne and EVERYONE else out of the water. And he DESTROYED Fireman!!!! He owns it in my book and I will never be able listen to the original the same again!….Oh and BTW YOGA FLAME is a CLEVER TITLE…”Oddly titled”…GO PLAY STREET FIGHTER!!!! Over his head!!!!! Rant Done…FNF UP ALL DAY!

    • http://xxlmag.com Blakout615

      Idk man, I might have to give J.cole mixtape of the yr. His shit rode like an album. But I fuck with Lu heavy. Like sum1 else said, I slept on him early on too and I regret that now. Dude is coooooold

  • mark

    Though his relentless take-no-prisoners approach sounds a bit winded near the end, as evident in his underwhelming closing verse over Clipse’s “Popular Demand,”

    are you kidding me?

    I mean come on, I mean look at what I’m droppin’ here
    Do this for the block and the blogosphere
    No, you ain’t ready for the heavy, so I’ll keep it light as joggin’ gear
    I don’t want the throne, I want the helicopter rocking chair
    Jay gave me a co-sign like I was RocaWear, but be clear I’m not the air (heir)
    I’m the water, fire and the earth

    how is that underwhemling? thats some of the craziest wordplay anybody has ever written

  • ceezy4sheezy

    how the give lupe an L in originality but gucci a xL in originality are you serious xxl?!!!! This is definetely the best mixtape that came out this year. All his lyrics and lines are original and he killed that wayne fireman beat not match wayne whack ass. chi-town all day!!!!!

  • http://hypothesisspits.com hypothesisspits

    —”on the oddly-titled “Fireman (Yoga Flame)”

    how is Lupe’s reference to Street Fighter odd?

    Remember “Gold Watch”???

    “I love street fighter 2 I just really hate Zangeif / Only Ken and Ryu I find it hard to beat Blanka”

  • http://dopeisasdopedoes.wordpress.com TheTruth

    How do you give it a L for originality, he released the mixtape as ONE LONG 20+ minute song to give it that cassette tape feel. And who else is spitting over Radiohead beats and doing extended metaphors like he did on the first verse of that song? This is an XL all around, on ALL accounts. Shape up XXL.

  • ee bubble

    him and gucci mane, and i believe raekwon got xl, there is something very wrong in this equation

  • DazzOne

    SICK!!!! Come on, man no less than XXL!!!!

  • DazzOne

    “I am Patrick Swazye, you are Whoppi Goldberg, ’cause he was a beast and the way that he controlled her.”

    Is something wrong with your EARS Chris!?!?!?!

  • caino

    The Cool, was one of the best cds a few years back, l still got it on rotation! looking forward to Lasers !! YEAH !

  • KingPoetic

    Annnd you get the just-not-good, are you just doing this to say you did it award.

  • Moving Sideways

    I usually don’t speak up about reviews, but anything short of a XXL on lyrics is stupid. Dude is wicked with the metaphors and rhyme schemes, or to put it in his words, “on point like the eating end of a fork.”

  • Apollo Moses

    This mixtape is a banga…XXL no doubt…not long and fire lyrics, best I’ve heard this year.

  • KS

    Lupe and J. Cole both had FIRE mixtapes this year

  • Hits

    The tape was weaksauce, He better than this.

  • shizzy

    best rapper alive
    “i am patrick swayze, you are whoopi goldberg, cause he was a beast in the way that he controlled her, rest in peace to patrick, rest in peace to stacks kid, rest in peace to rap no rest in peace to wackness, yeah n*gga i wacked it, baby boy with the glasses, tears like a rap black Zach Galifinakis, hangover game over n*gga thats it”

    Is he going at wayne with the whoopi goldberg and zach galifinakis line? this is like the 100th time i’ve listened to his tape and i just caught that. And hits, you know nothing about hip hop Lupe is the Best rappr alive, top 3 all time

  • bullets

    lupe is ill ill alot of his shit goes over my head but unlike lil wayne the more you listen the iller he gets

  • CJKETTZ

    Did you honestly just say that Hov didnt go hard on Thank You. Have you listened to the lyrics. kill you self

  • Kevinf93til

    HAHAHA that was cute when you said Lupe matched Lil Waynes flare… More like he destroyed everyone one of those beats properly. Dont compare Lupe Fiasco, one of the best rappers of our time to someone as weak as Lil Wayne…

  • steelcityryder

    Lupe is easily one of the greatest rappers to carry the hip-hop torch right now. Wayne is shit, Drake is shit, over half these cats out here can’t match Lupe lyrically…and it worse when he covered their tracks and spit better than they do. Wiz, Lupe and B.o.B. are some of the best newcomers to the game, can’t wait til that Lauryn Hill CD drop…real hip-hop heads recognize real music, point blank period.