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Top Shelf: Lupe Fiasco's 'Food and Liquor'

Lupe Fiasco is a Chicago-based rapper who made his mainstream debut on the most recent CD by Kanye West, who is also from Chicago.

Now Fiasco is further cementing the Windy City's reputation as a breeding ground for innovative hip-hop, with a new CD, Food and Liquor.

Critic Will Hermes thinks it's one of the year's best.

The cover of Lupe Fiasco's CD, a clear contender for hip-hop record of the year, shows the rapper floating through space with a boombox, a Nintendo DS, a ninja doll and a copy of the Koran that he got from his Dad — all things he considers essential.

If achieving greatness in rap requires separating yourself from the pack of copycats, then Lupe Fiasco has made an impressive start.

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