Fans wanting to pick up Lupe Fiasco's new album Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Pt. 1 may give a double take when they see the packaging: a text- and image-free all-black cover with none of the usual track info or thank yous. When Fuse News' Ashanti asked the rapper to explain the album cover, Lupe said he took inspiration from country-rock outlaw Johnny Cash.
"There’s a song called 'Man in Black' written by Johnny Cash," Lupe says. "The reason he wore black was for the 'prisoner who’s long paid for his crime.' Listen to Johnny Cash’s 'Man in Black,' then you’ll understand why the album packaging is all black."
Asked if he thinks the unique packaging will affect sales, Lupe didn't seem too concerned. “Well, it’s the easiest album to find," the rapper says. "You’re never going to see album packaging where every single page is blank. The back is blank. There’s no tracklisting. There’s no title. I wanted them to have something to cherish like, ‘This is kind of history right here.’ As opposed to just a bunch of pictures of me, which they already have."
Watch the full interview above, then check out Lupe's performance of "Around My Way" live from the Fuse studios.