Typically, an artist will put out an album and then tour. But when Lupe Fiasco visits the Orpheum Theater on Nov. 27, he'll give a sneak peek of the forthcoming Tetsuo & Youth, his fifth full-length. After canceling Food & Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 2 earlier this year, the Chicago rapper is probably anxious to get back in fans' heads.
If Fiasco's two most recent talks with Rolling Stone are any indication, he has gone through some changes recently. When speaking with the magazine in August 2012, a month before Food & Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1 came out, the MC sounded so frustrated and combative that writer Matthew Trammell declared that he "doesn't really like music journalists." Fiasco was angry that his message was being drowned out by drama surrounding his single "Around My Way." To be fair, borrowing the sample from the classic "T.R.O.Y." and then having the legend Pete Rock chew you out on Twitter is noteworthy. Regardless, Fiasco vowed he would never do press again by the end of the interview.
Jump to October of this year, and Fiasco sounded downright rejuvenated when he talked with Rolling Stone. He said he'd left behind "pseudo-intellectual" Lupe. Plus, he'd almost finished Tetsuo and couldn't wait for fans' reaction to it.
But up to this point, there's not much of Tetsuo to react to yet. Fiasco has dropped some hints, though. The first single, "Old School Love," rolls out a bouncy piano loop and clickety-clack drums while Fiasco waxes nostalgic and the Internet's favorite singer, Ed Sheeran, sings a whispery hook.
That airy, sweet first taste seems at odds with what Fiasco recently told a Houston radio station, 97.9 "The Box." He called Tetsuo a ratchet record, which is to say it is a little brash and vulgar.
Whatever he chooses to preview, Fiasco will no doubt fall back on jams like the skateboarder love story "Kick, Push" and the haunting "Superstar." Both are worth seeing live no matter why he's touring.