Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, better known by his stage name Lupe Fiasco, is part Grammy Award-winning musician as well as philanthropist, scholar and community activist. The Chicago native will make his awaited return to the Belly Up Aspen stage this Saturday.
After breaking onto the scene back in 2006 with his smash debut album Lupe Fiasco’s Liquor & Food, Lupe has seen wild success on stage as well as in the communities that raised him.
Throughout Lupe’s storied career, he has released seven full-length studio albums, received a Grammy, as well as numerous nominations for some of America’s highest honors in music. Such as Best Rap Album in 2013 for Food and Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album pt 1.
Lupe’s most iconic tracks come from the early days of his career. A handful of immediately recognizable tracks come to mind when speaking of the esteemed lyricist. Three hits from his debut album include the highschool skateboard ballad “Kick, Push,” which was all too relatable in my early days of high school. As well as “Hurt Me, Soul,” and “Daydreamin” featuring the incredible Jill Scott. The latter stands as an iconic early 2000s cross over hip-hop track that partially defined my formative years — a real must-see at this Saturday’s performance.
Lupe earned his first Top 40 hit with “Superstar” featuring backup vocalist Matthew Santos off of his sophomore album Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool released in 2007.
His most recent body of work, Drogas Wave, which debuted in 2018, speaks to a conscious history of American slavery through mindful, lyrical hip-hop. A massive 24-track album, Drogas Wave showcases Lupe’s extensive verse structure, highly polished conscious raps and immaculate musicianship on nearly every track.
During a 2018 interview with Billboard, Fiasco explained: “It's about a group of slaves on a slave ship on their way to Africa to the West Indies, and they are thrown off the boat. But they didn’t die. They stayed alive, and they lived under the sea. And they dedicated their lives to sinking slave ships — so they became this super, underwater force against slavery.” The album development initially seems to come out of left field yet, eventually buffs out into a highly respectable body of work from the talented lyricist.
As of late, Lupe Fiasco has put immense energy into his community initiative programs. One of those is We Are M.U.R.A.L (Magnifying Urban Realities & Affecting Lives), which aims to feed and clothe inner-city children while “fostering artistic and academic excellence in their respective neighborhoods.” The program led to the development of other foundations aimed at raising and educating the next generation of inner-city children.
Don't miss your chance to see Lupe Fiasco at Belly Up on Saturday! Tickets on sale now.