Lupe Fiasco's The Cool
Label: 1st & 15th/Atlantic
Lupe Fiasco is certainly ambitious. Nestled between pop nuggets such as the butter smooth, globe-trotting anthem "Paris, Tokyo" and lead single "Superstar," Fiasco threads a narrative about a gangster named The Cool who strikes a devilish deal with The Streets and is resurrected as a one-armed monster. Marrying gothic horror with Jigga's liquid flow, The Cool is the most lyrically ambitious hip-hop album of 2007, and the production's genre-spanning electro-hop serves as an excellent point of entry.