It’s been over a decade since Fiasco’s debut album, yet when the great debate arises of who is the best rapper alive, Lupe Fiasco frequently gets mentioned in the conversation. So what makes the Chicago rapper worthy of being mentioned amongst rap’s greats? Today at The Lunch Table we give you a brief history of the phenomenal Lupe Fiasco.
Story | Adam Douglas
Image | Twitter: @lupefiasco
In 2005 Lupe Fiasco made his mainstream debut on Kanye West’s “Touch the Sky,” making his introduction with the memorable line, “guess who’s on third?” From then on Lupe’s career began to skyrocket. Followed up by his debut album Food and Liquor, Fiasco quickly gained mainstream attention and global recognition. Many recall his hit song off the album “Kick, Push” — an ode to the skateboarding culture. Food and Liquor introduced the Lupe that many refer to when they speak of his lyrical genius. The world saw Fiasco’s delivery of awesome verses, and his ability to shed light on sensitive subjects and the ills of the world in a clever, yet unpretentious manner.
Lupe’s career continued to meet even more success post-Food and Liquor, and in the following years he would release his sophomore album The Cool. In December 2007 the album became his most commercially successful project to date by going platinum, producing platinum singles and receiving several Grammy nominations. The Cool displayed the rapper’s creativity by combining abstract concepts and an overarching narrative, while at the same time, each track remaining autonomous.
With so much success from The Cool, the future looked bright for Lupe as the world anticipated his next and supposedly final album LupE.N.D. But due to unfulfilled contracts with Atlantic and a struggle for creative control, fans would have to wait a whole four years to hear another album from the Chi-Town rapper. LupE.N.D. was eventually cancelled altogether and it’s replacement was released, which the world now knows as L.A.S.E.R.S (Love Always Shines Everytime, Remember 2 Smile). The album was met with harsh criticism which is often contributed to Lupe’s former label interfering with the creative process.
Since L.A.S.E.R.S, Lupe has been consistent with his music output, releasing several projects and mixtapes. Most interestingly under the pseudonym Percival Hindenburg-Fats, he released an experimental rock album In the Jaws of the Lords of Death as a Japanese cartoon. This consistency coupled with his most recent albums The Great American Rap Album Part I and Tetsuo and Youth helped restore any lost faith from his fans as he demonstrated lyrical exercise.
At times Fiasco’s pursuits can be seen as promising, yet overly ambitious. In the rapper’s career Fiasco has announced albums only to cancel them, for example The Great American Rap Album Part II — a joint album with Pharrell Williams and Kanye West aka Child Rebels Soldier — and most infamously the All City Chess Club; a supergroup composed of Asher Roth, B.O.B, The Cool Kids, Charles Hamilton, Blu, Diggy, J. Cole and Wale. However, despite the broken promises from Fiasco, it’s easy to remember his contributions to hip-hop and how he has inspired a generation.
The Chicago native has never been shy to speak his mind, question the actions of politicians or provoke thoughts among his fan base. Lupe continues to be a success today and many rising artists like Chance the Rapper, Earl Sweatshirt, Isaiah Rashad and Vic Mensa, cite Lupe Fiasco as their source of inspiration.
So.. where is Lupe now?
After his liberation from Atlantic Records, Lupe has gone on to take his music into his own hands. His first independent album Drogas is set to release next month and from what we’ve heard so far, it definitely sounds like Lupe has got a gem on his hands.
Drogas will feature Rick Ross, Ty Dolla $ign Big KRIT and will be released independently on February 10th.