Madonna (And Other Mothers in the Hood) [feat. Nikki Jean]
Label: 1st & 15th/Atlantic
Tetsuo & Youth's songs are like action paintings that barely congeal, whether it's a lyrical "nerd storm" like "Mural," or "Deliver"'s metaphor of pizzerias afraid to do deliveries in ghetto neighborhoods. The effect is thrilling and frustrating as Lupe forces us to follow him. "We should have been poets, somewhere between amateurs and masters of iambic pentameter," he says on "Little Death." Or perhaps after years of battling critics over his political agit-raps, he's simply exhausted. If folks don't understand his motivations anyway, why not go abstract with a few "Dots & Lines"?