Honestly as much as I love Tetsuo & Youth, and as much as I believe it will be considered his masterpiece when all's said and done, I think THE COOL is actually my favorite (and possibly his best) album. It's not as conceptually full as Tetsuo, nor as musically unique. But for all the crap Lupe's taken about the consistency of his songwriting and production choices, THE COOL comes off without a hitch, really.
Even Tetsuo's absolute best track ("Mural") has its lyrical missteps, and due to the production of the album and the pacing of the vocal delivery, every big, epic line that falls flat does so very obviously. It's an intense and beautiful album, but it's few lyrical mistakes are not easy to ignore.
THE COOL feels tight as a goddamn vice. It makes mincemeat out of Food & Liquor, which is of course a classic. So, that's saying a lot.
These are just some of the things that have been going through my mind as I've revisited THE COOL.