Genre: Hip Hop & Rap
Price: Under $50,000
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The rapper known as Lupe Fiasco was born Wasalu Muhammad Jaco in 1982 in Chicago. His upbringing in city was tumultuous, and young Lupe lived near drug dealers and extensive crime. However, his father inspired a love of learning in his son, and Fiasco grew up with a sense of hope and inspiration for his future. Although he initially found the local hip hop scene distasteful, due to its glorification of drugs and violence, his earliest love of jazz music helped to create the foundation of music that led him ultimately to his career as a rapper.
Lupe began writing poetry as a middle school student, and despite his earliest discomfort with hip hop, he began rapping his own work and creating an outlet for the music genre which transcended the vulgarity that had originally repelled him. By the time he’d graduating from high school, Lupe had started recording his own mixtapes in his parents basement, and by the time he was nineteen, he’d joined his first group. But the group’s leanings toward gangsta rap resulted in Fiasco’s departure, and in 2005 he signed with Arista Records as a solo artist. Although he only remained at the label for a short while, the experience led Lupe to a number of significant relationships, including one with Jay-Z, who helped Fiasco garner his second deal with Def Jam Records.
Lupe Fiasco’s big breakthrough came after Kanye West heard his original song, “Conflict Diamonds.” West included the song on his album Late Registration, and the song rose nearly into the top forty on the mainstream charts. With the help of Jay-Z, Kanye West, and other notable producers and performers, Lupe Fiasco finally released the album Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor in 2006. Featuring the hit singles “Daydream,” “Kick, Push,” and “I Gotcha,” the album earned three Grammy nominations, including one for Best Rap Album, and four BET Hop Hop Award nominations. Since then, Fiasco has released the albums Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool (2007), Lasers (2011), and Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt 1 (2012.) The albums have spawned the additional hits “Superstar,” “The Show Goes On,” “Out of My Head,” and “Battle Scars,” and earned Lupe Fiasco his first Grammy win for “Daydreaming.”
In addition to his work in music, Lupe Fiasco has co-founded the independent record label 1st & 15th Entertainment. He has also founded his own design company, Righteous Kung-Fu, and he has participated in a number of charitable endeavors, including Summit on the Summit and Music for Relief. Lupe Fiasco continues to perform and record. His upcoming album, Tetsuo & Youth, is schedule for release in 2014.
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