A double dose of Lupe late tonite, as at midnight, his video for theTetsuo & Youth first single with Ed Sheeran "Old School Love" has premiered.
The video begins with Lupe watching the news report that Chicago is the world's murder capital, setting the tone for his thought-provoking words and evoking images on the hometown's much-publicized struggles. The entire aesthetic of the video contributes to that too as Coodie & Chike step behind the lens and add layers, create settings, and take us through the city for that true vintage feel. I expected all of the above, and to see how well-executed it was even after that, goes to show just how well-executed the visuals were. Ed Sheeran appears in much of the latter half of the video, kickin' it with Lu on an old-school couch and even another talented Chicago artist makes a cameo in J. Ivy. Job well done by all parties involved as the video succeeds in giving me a renewed excitement to run this back and likely first-time listeners to the song as well.
After watching the video, proceed to the previous post where I deliver my highlights and reflections from Lupe Fiasco's ongoing Tetsuo & Youth Preview Tour when it hit Chicago (+ our amazing photos).
Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, Lupe Fiasco gave his hometown fans quite a treat as the Tetsuo & Youth Preview Tour hit its halfway point at the House of Blues. I was in attendance with much of our team, so allow for a quick reflection of my highlights of the night, mixed in with all of our amazing visuals above and below (previously seen on our social channels... more reason to follow us for the exclusives first ;)).
- First and foremost, Lupe kept it all the way Chicago. He said to the crowd that it was the one city he was waiting to get to since the tour started.
- Lupe brought out Lil Durk for the first song, then set the tone with a max. energy performance of "ITAL (Roses)" and "Put 'Em Up" — two standouts from Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album.
- Lupe dedicated "Kick, Push" to the recently injured Derrick Rose for perhaps the biggest crowd eruption of the night.
- Actually, it wasn't. Lupe prefaced a performance of "Go Go Gadget Flow" with a command to get the House of Blues rockin'. Cam Be and myself were in the crowd and on the floor, so trust when we can say that the House of Blues floor was indeed rocking. I've never felt that before at the HoB — the floor was literally shaking. I have a feeling "Go Go Gadget Flow" was a Tetsuo & Youth Preview Tour exclusive to Chicago.
- Lupe also took it back even further to his guest verse on Kanye's "Touch The Sky". He replaced "Sky high, I'm, I'm sky high!" with "I'm so Chi!" in the outro.
- A bonus freestyle from Lu after his rendition of a "personal favorite" — his feature on Robert Glasper's "Always Shine" — was one to remember.
- And the Tetsuo & Youth preview tracks all sounded great: "Crack" is very different, and "Drizzy's Law" is now my most anticipated. Lu's got some slick lines on this and Poo Bear delivers another ear-grabbing chorus.
- Lupe wasn't the only one to impress on stage... the undercard was quite impressive from beginning to end too. Stalley brought out Rockie Fresh for the hometown, Dee-1 reeled in the audience and got some great response for starting the show first, and The Boy Illinois' biggest hometown show to date was a success, flanked by his F.A. The Squad members TreStyle and Relelite. In fact, I was most impressed with the polish of Illi's stage presence and song selection of all the openers. We were in the photo pit for his performance and the whole first row became fans in a matter of minutes.
- The long wait for our car at Marina Towers after the show.
- Otherwise none, that was a great night.
After all, it was refreshing to see a full concert from Lupe after what's felt like 2-3 years in Chicago (he's done guest appearances at certain events in between). For the long-time diehards, there was the perfect balance of throwbacks, F&L2 cuts we haven't seen live yet, and completely new songs that were brilliantly spliced one after another to create and sustain a mood for just the right amount of time before moving onto the next. For the first-time concert-goers, like that of our photographers Cam Be & Who Dough who've only seen Lupe live in non-tour forms, they were floored at his high-octane energy and ability to spit word for word just like on the CD.
It was such a memorable show that after over a week of reflection, I'm still able to feel the feelings of the details described above as I sit and type this tonight. And it all comes back to the personal, hometown feel that Lupe ensured was in us from the moment he stepped in front of the moving spotlights and giant video screen. *cues up* "Superstar" to hold us over for Tetsuo & Youth in 2014.
There are a few dates left on the tour this month, including NYC's Irving Plaza Monday and Tuesday night — lupefiasco.com/tour — get out there if you can, one of the best shows I've been to in 2013, easy.
You know like Lupe said, but I ain't from Harvard.
Shout to the people that go there or flow there, just push the hat around, I'ma GOWHERE!"
- Mickey Factz
Last night in Boston, Mickey Factz joined the remainder of the Tetsuo And Youth Preview Tour alongside The Boy Illinois, Stalley, and Dee-1 as Lupe's openers. Lupe brought the lineup back on stage for an impromptu cypher (hey, even the hometown didn't get that!) and Mickey shared his freestyle on instagram today.
This was especially special for us because Mickey, who's rockin' the #GowhereHat, got Gowhere in the first four bars!
Watch the rest of the freestyle below and pick up even more clever lines from Mickey. We'll have more exclusives on Mick and the Tetsuo And Youth Preview Tour later this week.
Mickey Factz with Lupe Fiasco & #TeamGowhere's Rip
How 'bout some ole mixtape Lu for #OldSchoolSundays today?! One of the earlier gems and biggest co-signs for an emerging Lupe Fiasco came with "Spray Paint & Ink Pens" featuring Wu-lyricist Ghostface Killah and Mike Shinoda who was heavy in his Fort Minor rap project at the same time (a gem of an album itself).
This was one of my first all-caps *TIBS FAV. Lupe tracks that started my fandom for the Chi-Town emcee who's now become one of the game's widely regarded artists. I particularly resonated with the smooth ending to his concluding verse and the metaphorical hook that'll reel in the casual listener. And that's not to overlook Ghostface & Mike Shinoda's verses too — both did their thing too and the song wouldn't feel complete if either of them was just mediocre.
This great throwback was inspired by this #GowhereYouLove photo from our homie @optwo13 today. Oh how one simple thing can trigger such a memory...
"Spray Paint & Ink Pens I use.. To write in every color I think in..." @LupeFiasco #OldSchoolSundays #GowhereYouLove | #repost @optwo13
Catch up on the week that was in music on this festive Thanksgiving holiday! First, Eminem dropped a really cool visual for his well-liked 6 minutes of bars proclaiming himself the "Rap God". Watch that above and get in tune with some of the week's biggest songs below.
New B.o.B & Childish Gambino singles, a Pusha T feature on the debut single from Chicago singer Chris James, Joey Bada$$ over some unreleased J Dilla, and a standout from Trae Tha Truth's new mixtape, I Am King, featuring Lupe Fiasco. Enjoy!
Naturally this is the first track I started upon today's release of I Am King and it's top to bottom a smooth and thumpin' banger. All parties involved do their thing including longtime Lupe hookminder MDMA, Lupe himself, and Trae Tha Truth setting the tone with his usual deep voice and fast flow. I'll be runnin' this back — give this a shot yourselves along with the entire mixtape.
New Orleans native Dee-1 was recently signed to a record deal with RCA records. The rapper seems to have a very bright future in front of him as he is currently on tour with legend Lupe Fiasco. Dee-1 gave us some time to talk about his new mix tape Psalms of David II (POD2) the future of his career and what is in store for his fans. At a time when free will is so glorified in hip hop, Dee-1's Christian take on popular issues are brave and refreshing, not to mention the man spits hot fire.
The Tetsuo & Youth Preview Tour was an outstanding event. The tour's Phoenix stop was packed with fans the other night and Lupe Fiasco's performance was nothing short of grand. He performed too many new songs to count and every each one sounded great! Lupe's stage presence and on stage visuals made his performance pop and dazzle. His participation with the crowd was classy and hilarious as girls decided to become scantily clad and show off upper body parts to the superstar rapper. The tour is more than worth the price of admission. Tickets for the remaining dates are available here.
Check out the video for scenes from the tour and our interview with Lupe as he talks to Julian On The Radio about what fans can expect in the show, copy/paste hip hop journalism, why he doesn't listen to hip hop, and what's left to do for Tetsuo & Youth the album coming in early 2014.