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Lupe Fiasco, Friend of the People

Lupe Fiasco is at his finest when he’s not artistically constrained, instead free to A&R his own project and entirely control its direction. For his most recent Atlantic Records release, this was tough. Many said his March 2011’s purgatory escaping Lasers fell short in this respect—pop beats and R&B hooks made for a major-label touch. With his Thanksgiving Day mixtape, Friend of the People, Lupe offers no such mainstream indulgence; this is Lupe at his uninhibited best. The relatively constant thread woven throughout the release, a follow up to 2009’s Thanksgiving Day drop Enemy of the State, is purported in ...

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