Lupe Fiasco’s ‘Food & Liquor II’ references Palestine and the cost of freedom

Co-written with guest contributor Yusef Al-Jarani

American hip hop artist Lupe Fiasco released his latest album today under the title Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1. Known for his articulate lyricism, world consciousness, and provocative rebelliousness, Lupe uses his album to address some of society’s most acute challenges, from political corruption to media deception, war overseas to the war in our streets. Staying true to his previous work, he references Palestine, its resistance against oppression, and (indirectly) Israel’s occupation.

In “Ayesha Says”, the album’s opening track, the lyricist (an Ayesha Jaco, said to be Lupe’s sister) recites:

“Murals that salute freedom or death for liberty,
Be it Englewood or Egypt, Bedstuy or Baghdad,
Syria or Liberia, the West Bank or the West Side of Chicago,
Where food and liquor stores still occupy the block.”

In “ITAL (Roses)”, the album’s third track, Lupe raps:

But my tone was like an Afghani kid without a home,
Blew that b—h up with a drone,
An Iraqi with no daddy, Palestinian throwing stones.”

Lupe has referenced Palestine on several other tracks. In November 2011, Lupe released a mixtape featuring the song “The End of the World” on which he raps about a scarf with “Palestine all on it“.  In February 2011, Lupe released his third studio album which featured “Words I Never Said”, directly criticizing Obama’s silence while Israel bombed the Gaza Strip for twenty-two days. He has also mentioned Palestine in previous albums, and in last year’s BET Hip Hop Awards, he performed with a Palestinian flag.

Yusef Al-Jarani and Sami Kishawi

Yusef Al-Jarani is a Libyan-American second-year undergraduate studying Political Science and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago.

Sami Kishawi is the founder of Sixteen Minutes to Palestine.

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