Lupe Fiasco
Drill Music in Zion


3.9
excellent

Review

by Rowan5215 STAFF
June 25th, 2022 | 129 replies


Release Date: 06/24/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: compose yourself; like a self-aware opera

The cover art for Drill Music in Zion strongly recalls 2015's Tetsuo & Youth, the second-to-last time Lupe Fiasco released a sweeping, overly ambitious concept album-slash-info-dump for Genius to lose its mind over. Unlike 2018's DROGAS Wave, justifying its absurd length by genuinely being in the realm of a magnum opus, Tetsuo & Youth overpromised and underdelivered, following up the masterpiece "Mural" with an inconsistent grab bag of styles and subject matters. Business as usual for Lupe Fiasco, one of rap's most fascinating and frustrating figures, in other words.

Yet Tetsuo & Youth is still the most valid point of comparison to Drill Music in Zion, in part because both prove interesting and replayable in spite of plummeting low points. Drill Music in Zion addresses some of the issues of its spiritual predecessor, largely by coming in at a lean 41 minutes (a touch over half the length of Tetsuo) and sticking solely with the reliable production of Soundtrakk, boardsman behind "Kick, Push" and "Hip-Hop Saved My Life". Nonetheless, there's a similar feeling of Fiasco following his muse wherever it goes, to places beyond quality control: the highs that result are tempered by missteps like the baffling "Kiosk" and pleasant-but-lightweight single "Autoboto".

Let's talk about Soundtrakk for a second. Fiasco alleges Drill Music was made in 3 days flat, shortly after the producer nearly died of COVID, and whether it's true or not the two are clearly in a lockstep forged by friendship throughout the album. The rapper sounds equally comfortable spitting over the head-nodding jazz of "Naomi" as largely yielding the floor to Nayirah on the gorgeously spacey "Precious Things". It's not hard to believe an artist as prolific as Fiasco could pull this off, or that the reason for Drill Music in Zion's relative brevity is this quick gestation period as opposed to DROGAS Wave's creation over 4-5 years. One gets the sense that, nearly twenty years on from Food & Liquor, Lupe Fiasco could basically do this in his sleep, if not just sit back and let the album compose itself from ideas sitting in folders on computers. I don't know whether to be impressed that Drill Music in Zion makes it sound so easy and still comes out pretty great, or frustrated at the untapped potential that this fairly straightforward record hasn't unearthed. If Fiasco could take the energy captured on the breathtaking second verse of "Ms. Mural", a truly fantastic trilogy-capper, and stay there for an entire project he might finally make his masterpiece; this time around, though, unhurried and easy is a suit that he wears well.



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user ratings (112)
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
June 25th 2022


46884 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

quick one for a quick album



album good

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
June 25th 2022


16230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

That's it. That's the review.

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
June 25th 2022


46884 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

that's the most interesting diatribe I've heard in a while

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
June 25th 2022


16230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

My b lol, it's a reference to "ON FAUX NEM." Review is good!



I was v surprised by how short this was, but it's been growing on me pretty quickly.

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
June 25th 2022


46884 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

I got it lol, I was quoting Ms Mural back atcha

RabbitInTheGround
June 25th 2022


113 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

if it is true that this is a spiritual successor to Tetsuo, I'm hype to give this a spin

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
June 25th 2022


16230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

"I got it lol, I was quoting Ms Mural back atcha"



... I've been bamboozled.

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
June 25th 2022


16230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I can't get enough of the closing track man.



Where y'all at? Sleeping on the man smh

Egarran
June 25th 2022


29240 Comments


Now that's a good summary

Ecnalzen
June 25th 2022


11449 Comments


Had no idea he was releasing anything new

Will have to check

Calc
June 25th 2022


16955 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm carrera era era era era era...

Voltimand
June 26th 2022


1553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So this up there with his better stuff yeah? Didn't even realize he was releasing a new album; will spin

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
June 26th 2022


16230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I'm basically a fanboy so don't trust me, but also this is amazing.

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
June 26th 2022


46884 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

it's a tier below Wave and F&L but above everything else, so I guess so. definitely one of his tightest and most accessible good albums

Purpl3Spartan
June 26th 2022


5096 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great writing as always, will check

Lord(e)Po)))ts
June 26th 2022


70163 Comments


Ur a good reviewer Rowan

I don’t think I’ve listened to anything by lupe past food and liquor aside from tetsuo and youth but I have a feeling he’s just not for me

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
June 26th 2022


46884 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

hey thanks fellas hug emoji



I don't see you vibing this pots but you might get along with Naomi if you want to dip that toe

percyforward
June 26th 2022


116 Comments


i just like the smooth vibes

really nice review too

Zikurats
June 26th 2022


1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Superb album

Master Lu

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
June 26th 2022


16230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Master Lu blessing us with the best pen in the game once again



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