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Lupe Fiasco

Fiasco performing at Northwestern University, May 2007
Background information
Birth name Wasalu Muhammad Jaco
Born February 16, 1982 (1982-02-16) (age 28)
Origin Chicago, Illinois, United States
Genres Hip hop
Occupations Rapper, songwriter, record producer, CEO
Years active 2000–present
Labels Arista, Epic, 1st & 15th, Atlantic
Associated acts Child Rebel Soldier, Japanese Cartoon, Matthew Santos, GemStones, Kanye West


Life and career

1982–2005: Early life and career beginnings

Fiasco was born Wasalu Muhammad Jaco on February 16, 1982[1] in Chicago, Illinois.[2] Born of West African descent,[3] he was one of nine children of Shirley, a gourmet chef, and Gregory, an engineer.[2][4] His father, who was a member of the Black Panther Party,[5] was a prolific African drummer, karate teacher and owner of karate schools and army surplus stores.[6] Fiasco was raised Muslim on the West side of Chicago.[7][8] At the age of three, Fiasco began taking martial arts classes.[9] By age 10, he earned his first black belt.[4] He attended Thornton Township High School in Harvey, Illinois.[10] He initially "hated" hip hop music for its use of vulgarity.[7] He began rapping when he was in the eighth grade, and upon hearing Nas' 1996 album, It Was Written, began to pursue hip hop.[8][6][11]

Growing up, Fiasco was given the nickname "Lu", the last part of his first name, by his mother. "Lupe" is an extension of this nickname, which he borrowed from a friend from high school. "Fiasco," he says, "came from the Firm album. They had the song, 'Firm Fiasco'. I just liked the way it looked on paper."[10]

At age 19, Fiasco was in a group called Da Pak. They signed to Epic Records and released one single before splitting up.[12] Fiasco later signed a solo deal with Arista Records, but was dropped when president and CEO L. A. Reid was fired.[12] During this time, he had guest appearances on singles on Tha' Rayne's "Kiss Me" and "Didn't You Know" and also K Foxx's 2004 "This Life". He also released the song "Coulda Been" on a compilation of MTV's Advance Warning.[13] In 2005, he was featured on Kanye West's single, "Touch the Sky". This cameo plus his politically charged “Conflict Diamonds” mix-tape rhyme over Kanye West’s “Diamonds From Sierra Leone,” as well as his “Kick, Push” single about skateboarding raised curious eyebrows from hip-hop aficionados, getting the new artist lots of attention.[14]

2006–2007: Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor

Fiasco at the 2006 Intonation Music Festival in Illinois

During this time, rapper and mogul Jay-Z heard Fiasco and assisted him in the production of what would become his debut album Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor.[15] Soon after, he released his first single "Kick, Push", a song about skateboarding and also a love story between two lovers with the same passion for skating. As his popularity steadily increased, so did anticipation for his upcoming album Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor. The album was officially released on September 19, 2006. The album featured production from Jay-Z, Kanye West, Mike Shinoda, The Neptunes, Prolyfic, and more. Singles from the album were "Kick, Push," "I Gotcha" and "Daydreamin'" featuring Jill Scott. The critically lauded album was later nominated for three Grammy Awards including Best Rap Album. In the same year, he was voted by GQ magazine as the "Breakout Man of the Year."[16]

2007–2008: Lupe Fiasco's The Cool

In 2007, Fiasco announced his second album, Lupe Fiasco's The Cool, a concept album that expands on the story of the track of the same name on his first album. While recording the album, Fiasco's father had died and his business partner, Charles "Chilly" Patton, was convicted of attempting to supply heroin and was sentenced to 44 years in prison.[5] The album was released in December 2007 in United States. The first single and video from the album, "Superstar", featuring Matthew Santos, was released the first week of November 2007. Baseball's Hanley Ramirez, Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Zimmerman, Gerald Laird and Ryan Braun have used "Superstar" as their at-bat song.[17] The song has also been featured in HBO's Hard Knocks TV show. The songs "Put You on Game" and "Little Weapon" are featured in the movie Street Kings in the latest trailer.[citation needed]

Fiasco performing in Melbourne, Australia, 2009

Also in 2007, it was revealed that Fiasco, Kanye West and Pharrell Williams had formed a group known as Child Rebel Soldier.[18][19] CRS has so far released one single, entitled "US Placers" and featuring a Thom Yorke sample. Since its release and the ensuing Glow in the Dark Tour, the group has not yet been spoken of any further.

In an interview with The Village Voice, Fiasco revealed that he was writing a novel about a window washer[20] aptly titled Reflections of a Window Washer. In 2008, Fiasco and his band 1500 or Nothin joined West's Glow in the Dark Tour, which also features Rihanna and N.E.R.D. The tour stopped in several cities, including his hometown of Chicago. In 2008, MTV named Fiasco the 7th Hottest MC in the Game[21] and announced that he was remixing The Cool with French electro house act Justice.[22] Fiasco's "Superstar" has been included in the video game Lips.[23]

2009–present: Lasers

Fiasco performing in Melbourne, Australia, 2009

Fiasco announced at a Chicago concert late in 2008 that his next and most likely final album will be a three disc album and that the first disc "Everywhere" would come out in June 2009. The trio was going to be named LupE.N.D.[24] On January 30, 2009, Lupe Fiasco originally announced that LupE.N.D. will be postponed indefinitely. Instead, he would release three albums; The Great American Rap Album in June 2009, two following albums in December 2009 and June 2010, with LupE.N.D. following afterward.[25] However, it was announced by Fiasco that his next album would instead be titled, "We Are Lasers"; yet later his official rep announced and confirmed that it would instead be titled simply "Lasers".[26] On June 26, Fiasco announced at the Chicago Theater that the album would be released fourth quarter 2009, most likely in December.[27] The album's first single, "Shining Down," features Matthew Santos and is produced by Soundtrakk. However, Shining Down did not do as well as Fiasco had hoped, and thus has been taken off of Lasers. The single was released on July 7, 2009.[28] On January 26, 2010, 'I'm Beamin' released. This song is on Lasers, it is referred to as a 'taste' of what is coming. [29] There were a few snippets of songs that have been released as of August 24, 2009. The songs unofficial titles are "Army Girl," "Ladies And Gentlemen," and "2 Ways."[30]Lupe Fiasco has a bonus track called Solar Midnight on iTunes for the New Moon soundtrack in which he produced and performed himself. [31] On October 7, 2009, Lupe released a song in response to the release of MTV's 2009 "Top 10 Hottest MC's List," on which he was absent. Lupe stated that the track, entitled "Fire", would prove that he belonged in the number 1 spot on the following year's list.[32]

In October 2009, Lupe released two new freestyles, "Turnt Up" and "Say Something". Both freestyles were included on his official mixtape Enemy of the State: A Love Story, released on November 26, 2009. The mixtape also included beats from Diddy's "Angels", Lil Wayne's "Fireman," and Radiohead's "The National Anthem."[33]

In an interview with Australian radio station Triple J, Lupe revealed that the album had been submitted to his label with an estimated release date of mid-March 2010. Lupe Fiasco plans to go on a tour to promote his new album. The tour will be called Steppin Lasers Tour and tickets will be available in March 2010.

Philanthropy and business ventures

In 2002, Fiasco co-founded with Charles "Chilly" Patton 1st & 15th Entertainment (or "F&F), a vanity record label under Atlantic.[34] Although Fiasco was initially to serve as vice-president, he became CEO after Patton was convicted on drug charges.[35][36] Fiasco and singer Matthew Santos were two of the most recognizable signed artists. In November 2009, Lupe Fiasco announced he would get "rid of the entire First and Fifteenth Record Label. Me and Sarah Green are the only artists on the label, like I got rid of the whole label. It was just such a ‘this isn’t right for you right now. This isn’t gonna work for you right now. You need to be focused on you. Do you really want that, do you really have the capacity to do it?’[37]

In January 2006, Fiasco signed with major footwear and apparel corporation Reebok becoming part of the "O.G" marketing campaign, where rap artists such as Lil Wayne and Mike Jones designed their own personal colorway of the Reebok "O.G" model.[38] Fiasco also runs his own fashion label under the name "Trilly & Truly".[39]

On January 7, 2010, Lupe joined musician Kenna, actress Jessica Biel, and other celebrities and activists for an expedition to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro called Summit On The Summit to raise awareness of the billions of people worldwide who lack access to sanitary drinking water.[40]

On January 20, 2010, Lupe released a track called "Resurrection" with Kenna in response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The song, part of a compilation released through the charity Music for Relief, aimed to encourage donations for immediate relief and long-term recovery following the devastating disaster.


See also


  1. ^ Wikipedia Files interview of Lupe Fiasco
  2. ^ a b "Lupe Fiasco: Biography". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved 2008-12-23. 
  3. ^ Lee, Chris (2006-10-01). "Kick, push, coast, rap". The Seattle Times. The Seattle Times Company. Retrieved 2009-10-18. 
  4. ^ a b Watson, Margeaux (2008-01-11). "Lupe Fiasco: The Art of Being Cool". Entertainment Weekly. Time.,,20170520,00.html. Retrieved 2009-09-24. 
  5. ^ a b Collins, Hattie (2008-04-12). "Lupe dreams". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  6. ^ a b Blackman, Guy (2007-01-08). "Lupe Fiasco - a sheep in wolf's clothing". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 2007-09-02. 
  7. ^ a b "Lupe Fiasco: rapping outside the box". FindArticles. CBS Corporation. 2006-12. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  8. ^ a b Creekmur, Chuck (2006-02-10). "Lupe Fiasco: Revenge of the Hip-Hop Nerd". Retrieved 2007-09-02. 
  9. ^ Morse, Russell (2006-09-07). "10 Artists to Watch 2006". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved 2009-09-24. 
  10. ^ a b Fruchter, Alexander (2006-05-11). "Hip To Be Square". Retrieved 2007-09-02. 
  11. ^ Adaso, Henry. "Lupe Fiasco". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  12. ^ a b Kellman, Andy. "Lupe Fiasco: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-09-02. 
  13. ^, 2006-09-26. Lupe Fiasco.
  14. ^ Lupe's back-story on
  15. ^ Watson, Margeaux (2008-01-11). "Meet rapper Lupe Fiasco - Lupe Fiasco's The Cool". Entertainment Weekly. Time.,,20170758,00.html. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  16. ^ Lupe Fiasco Declared GQ's Breakout Man Of The Year
  17. ^ Staff Writers (July 31, 2008). Recommends: July 31 On Milwaukee. Accessed September 29, 2008.
  18. ^ "Lupe and Kanye teamed with Radiohead". MTV UK. 2007-05-30. Retrieved 2007-06-01. 
  19. ^ Gudmundson, Darryl (2007-05-29). "Kanye, Lupe & Pharrell Form Supergroup???". Retrieved 2007-06-01. 
  20. ^ Dodero, Camille (2007-12-10). "Interview: Lupe Fiasco". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2008-11-05. 
  21. ^ Lupe Fiasco Rises To This Year's number seven Hottest MC - News Story | Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV News
  22. ^ "Justice Remix Lupe Fiasco". MTV. Retrieved 2008-05-23. 
  23. ^ Tom Magrino (October 22, 2008). Rihanna, Duran Duran kissing Lips mid-November GameSpot. Accessed October 22, 2008.
  24. ^] "Exclaim News". Accessed November 14, 2008.
  25. ^ "Lupe Fiasco's Retirement Plans Deferred". Rap-Up. Retrieved 2009-02-01. 
  26. ^ Martens, Todd (2009-04-09). "Coachella preview: Lupe Fiasco". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  27. ^
  28. ^ Shining Down [feat. Matthew Santos (Explicit Album Version).] Amazon.
  29. ^
  30. ^ Shining Down [feat. Matthew Santos (Explicit Album Version).] Amazon.
  31. ^ [1]
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^ Simona Siad (2007-01-03). "Would you like music with your Reebok?: DJ Mick Boogie mixes tunes for kicks, and for fun". Excalibur. Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  39. ^
  40. ^ Santigold and Lupe Fiasco to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro With Jessica Biel. 11 December, 2009.<>

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Lupe Fiasco, born Wasalu Muhammad Jaco in Chicago, Illinois, is an African-American hip-hop artist who is well known for his socially conscious lyrics, and his impressive word-play.

Non-lyrical quotes

"Hip Hop is back. And it wears glasses".

"When people started choosing me as a role model, I knew I had to switch up what I was saying. I knew what I was putting out there wasn't healthy. It was real, but it wasn't healthy. So I was like you know what, I have to show another face. I got to put something out there more positive. Because the worst thing you can do in this world is lead people astray."

comments regarding Lupe

The game moves in cycles and there will be another wave of superstars to move the game forward. If I had to name one person I would have to say Lupe Fiasco

                                                                                                                      -Jay Z


"In a project mentality, and through it all I hope we learn more than how to be whores, and how to move a ball?

"They try to censor the influencer, it makes me sick- influenza."

"I make you feel it like I mispronounced fillet"

"My Ivories, My Doves, My Levers, My Zests It takes half your bubble bath to match the freshness"

"I came back with birds like Brandon Lee."

"Think you gangsta popped a few rounds, these kids will step in and murder a whole town" Little Weapon.

"I am American mentally with Japanese tendencies Norwegian sensibilities so stay out the vicinity of"

"I black out like Boss, how you gonna back out? there's no back doors like porsche of course its The Boss, Tony Danza of stanzas Springsteen of sixteens Its nothing sweet, its Lupe I am white peoples Kool-Aid, its meannnnn"

"And you better wear your shades The spotlights here can burn holes through the stage Down through basement pass the Indian graves Where the dinosaurs laid" Superstar.

"I used to hate hip-hop... yup, because the women degraded But Too $hort made me laugh, like a hypocrite I played it A hypocrite I stated, though I only recited half Omitting the word "b*tch," cursing I wouldn't say it Me and dog couldn't relate, til a b*tch I dated"

"'Mr. Jaco', 'yes?' 'With all that knowledge, you ain't trying to go to college? Be a lawyer or a doctor? Make a whole lotta dollars?' 'Rather degrade women and glorify violence'" Be Somebody verse (Fort Minor).

"Oh yes there is bullets in the toaster as many as the clips as the guns hold and they itching to come out of the magazine like the posters that unfold." Champ Is Here.

"Game got about as much compassion as the Passion." Champ Is Here.

"With a bird shotgun like I'm hunting, you see what happened? I made a call, she got fly. I was pumping, hit her up. Then called my dawg to go and pick her up." Champ Is Here.

"Twice the MC like MC², trust, I'll make it relate. I got the poker face and I'm hiding a flush." Champ Is Here.

"And I'm brainless Which means I'm headless Like Ichabod Crane is Or foreplay-less sex is Which makes me stainless With no neck left to hang the chain with Which makes me necklace-less Like a necklace theft" Dumb It Down.

"Westside Poseidon, Westside beside'em, chest high and rising Almost touching the knees of stewardess and the pilot Lucky they make it flowered Personal floating devices, tricks falling out of my sleeves David Blaine Make it rain Make a boat I make a plane Then, I pull the plug and I make it drain Until I feel like flowing and filling it up again..(Westside)" Dumb It Down.

"Twice the bread like he had two buns, and he had a whole lotta seeds even his kids had meals. For reals some rich small fries wrapped in paper since they was little, ketchup nigguh" Gotta Eat.

"I dont tick i swishh but y'all dont hear me, with an automatic i move like swiss" Cold Blooded

"I bring you murder in the first and even as we speak we getting further in this verse" Lupe The Killer

"Now there's hoes sellin hoes like right around the toes And the crackheads beg at about the lower leg There's crooked police that's stationed at the knees And they do drive-bys like up and down the thighs And there's a car chase goin on at the waist Keep a vest on my chest I'm sittin in my room as I'm lookin out the face" Daydreamin

"All the world's ills, sittin on chrome 24-inch wheels" Hurt Me Soul

"Move rocks like fredrik,in ya dames i entertain like my first name Cederic" Street Stories

"So im forced to keep a gun up in the draws and a vest tight like a women with balls" Street Stories

"Murder niggas step on my shoes i hurt a nigga, kill a nigga, fill a nigga with holes call women hoes" Switch(science Project

"I made to the finish line first but loser,loser i wanted to watch so i turned to rocks like madusa" Where Do I Go

"Now everybody go and put your hands in the air all your haters put your hands in your ears" Paris, Tokyo(remix)

"And at the same time i was pushing the margin so far to the left that i ended up writing on my desk" Trials And Tribulations

"You see my secrets safe its in my secret safe in my secret room on my secret base" I Gotcha

Simple English

Lupe Fiasco
Birth name Wasalu Muhammad Jaco
Born February 17, 1982 (1982-02-17) (age 29)
Origin Chicago, Illinois, United States
Genres Hip hop
Occupations Rapper, songwriter, producer, CEO
Years active 2001–present
Labels Atlantic, 1st & 15th
Associated acts Child Rebel Soldier

Wasalu Muhammad Jaco (born February 17, 1982),[1] better known by his stage name Lupe Fiasco, is a Grammy-winning American hip-hop artist. He became famous in 2006 with the success of his debut album, Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor.


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