On this day, September 19, in hip-hop history…
2006: After making a name for himself after a series of critically-acclaimed mixtapes and a key guest appearance on Kanye West’s “Touch The Sky,” Lupe Fiasco was primed to release his debut album, Food & Liquor, in the Fall of 2006. Many fans had hailed Lupe’s brand of intricate lyricism and complex storytelling as a “breath of fresh air” and were eagerly anticipating the album. However, prior to it’s scheduled release, the entire album leaked early on the internet in April 2012 and Lupe found his album being temporarily shelved in the leak’s wake.
A few months later, after recording a few new songs and verses, Food & Liquor, officially hit the shelves on September 19, 2006. Powered by the skateboarding anthem, “Kick, Push,” Food & Liquor was met with near universal acclaim from critics. Content-wise, the album that dealt with the dichotomy of good and evil and found Lupe writing songs that waxed poetic on finding love, marriage, the perils of the street and the pain of growing up without a parent.
Despite it’s critical acclaim, the album sold slowly, moving only 81,000 copies in its first week before topping out around 325,000 copies in the United States. This was considered disappointment to many who had Lupe poised at the time as one of hip-hop’s eminent “saviors.” A few years later, Lupe would fulfill that commercial promise with the release of his Gold-selling The Cool. However, Food & Liquor remains to many a modern classic and one of the best albums released in the 2000s.