Lupe Fiasco is a rare commodity in the modern rap scene: He rejects the blatantly obscene topics some rappers consume themselves with, has a post-punk band as a side-project, and dedicates an above-average effort to charitable causes. Like other successful rappers, Fiasco has a new hit album out; although the artist had to make more of an effort than other artists to get Lasers released. With the album finally out, Lupe Fiasco wrapped up 2011 tour dates at the start of summer, leaving no more concert dates for the artist this year. However, with the popularity of Lupe Fiasco's previous tour dates and the tremendous response to the album, fans can expect to see more of the rapper when he recovers from promoting.
Lupe Fiasco was born Wasalu Jaco on February 16, 1982. The Chicago native had a fairly interesting childhood thanks in part to the diversity of his Muslim father, who was a member of the Black Panther Party. He joined a West Coast-influenced gangsta rap group called Da Pak, which released one single and was briefly signed to Epic Records. Soon after the group broke up, Fiasco realized the hypocrisy of the group and committed himself to singing only about issues that he agreed with personally. The budding artist had a brief deal with Arista Records and, although it fell through, Fiasco came away from the effort having met Jay-Z. Jay-Z took a liking to the young singer and helped him record his debut album, Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor, in 2006. The stellar success of the album was preceded by the release of the hit single, "Kick, Push" and production assistance from Kanye West and The Neptunes. Despite the album's initial leak, it still debuted at #8 on the Billboard 200 and won a Grammy for Best Urban/Alternative Song for his single "Daydreamin'" with Jill Scott.
Faced with the task of outdoing his previous album, Fiasco set out to make a concept album based upon the Food & Liquor track, "The Cool". While some tracks feature a fatherless kid named Cool who is raised by the Streets and the Game, the album ended up being influenced by turbulent personal events that would unfold during the recording of the record. The result was an emotionally powerful and audibly excellent 2007 album that was praised even more than his previous (if that's possible). After several abandoned album concepts, Lupe Fiasco announced the release of his third album, Lasers, in 2009. After struggling over the balance between commercialism and art concerning some of the album's tracks, Fiasco finished the album in early 2010. Because of petitioning from fans and Fiasco himself, the album was finally released in March 2011. The efforts of Fiasco's loyal fans were aptly rewarded, as the album was well received critics and debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, as well as selling 204,000 copies in its first week.
Before the release of Lasers, rumors (sparked by Fiasco) that his next album will be a sequel to Food & Liquor began floating around the internet. Fans waiting for a confirmation to the rumors will also have to wait for more concert dates, as Lupe Fiasco recently finished tour dates for 2011 on his Lasers Tour. While there aren't likely to be any more tour dates in 2011, fans can keep checking Eventful for the announcement of a new tour or special concert dates.