Lupe Fiasco’s ‘Food & Liquor II’ enters US albums chart at No.5

Lupe Fiasco ‘s fourth solo album, Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt.1. has entered at No.5. on the US Billboard 200 albums chart.

The album sold 89,000 copies in its first week, enough to put him at No.1. on the R&B/Hip Hop albums chart, but only 8000 copies more than Lupe’s first album Food & Liquor sold in its opening week back in 2006.

The relatively low number of sales probably reflects a number of different things.

In part, the figures reflect fans’ disappointment with the rapper’s last release with Atlantic Records, Lasersa commercially driven album which strayed too far from his original sound. That album managed to shift an impressive 204,000 copies in its opening week, but it alienated many of Lupe’s original supporters with its syrupy choruses and production. Indeed, it’s widely believed that Lupe’s partnership with Atlantic was not the right move for him; he basically said so himself, and this can’t have inspired much confidence in Food & Liquor II, his next release with them.

On the other hand, Lupe’s increasingly overt political focus and the controversial statements this focus has brought with it may have scared away those who don’t want to be preached to. Lupe could do well to return to the days of The Cool, his sophomore effort from 2007. The Cool sold 143,000 copies in its first week– without being either dumbed down or loaded with overt political messages.  

Whilst the singles from the new album [“Around my Way (Freedom Ain’t Free)”, “Bitch Bad” and “Lamborghini Angels”] in some ways represent a return to form for Lupe, these figures show he’s got some way to way to restore his fans’ confidence in his music. It’s my opinion that for Food & Liquor II parts one and two to sell, Lupe must convince us that he’s the same guy that made the original Food and Liquor.

Food and Liquor II Pt.2. is set to drop in Spring 2013. Read our review of Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt.1. here.