When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong..
Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Story, Pt. 1, first week sales may be just as controversial as the album. Without much of a surprise, the Chicago MC’s album debuted at a measly No. 5 according to Billboard.
Although the album was alleged to be a sequel of Fiasco’s first studio album, the response from fans/listeners never seemed to takeoff. Preceded by four singles, Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free), B*tch Bad, Lamborghini Angels and Battle Scars, Food & Liquor II seemed to possess a Lasers approach with little to no Food & Liquor content.
As far as numbers are concerned, Food & Liquor II moved roughly 89,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan. Although enough to claim the No. 1 position on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, it barely buried Food & Liquor, which moved 81,000 in its first week. Lasers, which is also Lupe’s biggest commercial success (and counter, his biggest failure), moved 204,000 units and The Cool shifted 143,000, first week.
Honestly, I don’t think anyone else is to blame but Lupe himself. Although many artists attempt to venture down new roads, some, if not most, fans feel left hanging. That is, they would rather their esteemed idol remain in a one lane category and that if the artist/group decides, and/or needs to, break that mold, they may be left out to dry. Lupe attempted to return to controversial subjects by presenting an album that gained him notoriety like that of the past, but due to his venture to commercial land with Lasers, fans sorely responded with their perception of his music despite album sales.
In short, the album is a solid one, but due to his previous effort, reception was at an all-time low. And we expected this.