Release date: September 2006
Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor, commonly referred to as Food & Liquor, is the debut studio album by American recording artist Lupe Fiasco, released on September 19, 2006, on 1st & 15th Entertainment and Atlantic Records. The album features production from The Neptunes, Kanye West, Mike Shinoda, Craig Kallman, Prolyfic, Needlz, Soundtrakk, and Brandon Howard. Jay-Z, Chill, and Fiasco himself are credited as the executive producers for the album.
The title of the album refers to the various Food and Liquor stores in Chicago neighborhoods. It also refers to the "constant tug of war between good (food) and evil (liquor)". The title is a philosophy that Fiasco believes about human nature. He went on to elaborate: "In Chicago, instead of having bodegas like in New York, the majority of the corner stores are called 'Food and Liquors.' The store is where everything is at, whether it be the wine-o hanging by the store, or us as kids going back and forth to the store to buy something. The 'Food' is the good part and the 'Liquor' is the bad part. I try to balance out both parts of me."
Originally, the album was reported to have debuted at number 12 on the Billboard 200; however, due to incomplete Nielsen SoundScan reports, the album actually debuted at number eight, even though the album had produced no top ten singles.
The first international single off the album was "Kick, Push". The song stated Fiasco's love for skateboarding. The second single in Europe was "Daydreamin'" (featuring Jill Scott) which features a sample of I Monster's cover of "Daydream in Blue." The second single in the U.S. (and the third international single) was "I Gotcha" which is produced by The Neptunes. The song's video was featured on MTV's "Making the Video." Fiasco held a poll on his MySpace profile, where fans were able to vote for which song they wanted to be made into a music video.
The album received four Grammy Award nominations, including Grammy Award for Best Rap Album at the 49th Grammy Awards. Its fourth nomination produced a win as it won the Best Urban/Alternative Song at the 50th Grammy Awards for his track "Daydreamin'" featuring Jill Scott.