Unlike many modern hip-hop acts, Lupe Fiasco rhymes about subjects other than violence and materialist excess.
Lupe Fiasco is a Chicago-based rapper who made his mainstream debut on the most recent CD by Kanye West, who is also from Chicago.
Now Fiasco is further cementing the Windy City's reputation as a breeding ground for innovative hip-hop, with a new CD, Food and Liquor.
Critic Will Hermes thinks it's one of the year's best.
The cover of Lupe Fiasco's CD, a clear contender for hip-hop record of the year, shows the rapper floating through space with a boombox, a Nintendo DS, a ninja doll and a copy of the Koran that he got from his Dad — all things he considers essential.
If achieving greatness in rap requires separating yourself from the pack of copycats, then Lupe Fiasco has made an impressive start.