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.
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.
You knew it was coming! The Tetsuo & Youth Preview Tour officially kicked off last night in Atlanta and, as the title of the tour suggest, Lupe previewed new jams from the upcoming album. The first one being "Drizzy's Law", which you've undoubtedly seen Lupe hashtag and tweet about recently. The song has a slow and addicting production with an unknown singer on the chorus and Lu picking up the pace in his verses. I like what I'm hearing from the preview, and once again, just look forward to seeing this for myself in person when the tour hits Chicago at the bottom of the month.
Want more insight into the themes of Lupe Fiasco's upcoming album, Tetsuo & Youth?
Lupe provided just that to RollingStone in a new piece I just caught from over the weekend. Here's a snippet:
"For some people it's gonna be a shock, because there are no politics on the record. Consciously, there are no politics on the record, if you want to hear my political spiel or some pseudo-intellectual Lupe, go listen to [2012's] Food & Liquor II. From here on out, I'm just making music."
Fiasco says that Tetsuo & Youth's lyrical content was partially inspired by his upbringing in Chicago's crime-ridden Westside: "The content of it is like, 'Oh, shit -- I didn't know Lupe could talk like that. I didn't know Lupe knew that guy. I didn't know Lupe was affiliated with that.'"
"Day one Lupe Fiasco fans, from 2003 or 2004, they're gonna get a lot of that back," he says."That's gonna be a surprise. You gotta have those five or so years to have that retrospective moment."
Plus, we get a better gauge on when the album will be released, which looks like it'll go into 2014 with the closing snippet pointing towards that. No complaints here. It looks like it'll be an irregular process to build up to the album, with Lupe's Tetsuo & Youth Preview Tour set to start in November as Lupe will prefer to release some of these new tracks face to face. And isn't that a great thing, guys?!
Following the tour, he returns to the studio to record five to six more songs. "You're gonna feel this shit, trust me -- like, 'Oh shit, I can't believe Lupe did a record with that guy. And that guy. And that guy and that guy."
Earlier on Twitter today, Lupe Fiasco revealed one more nugget about the upcoming album, Tetsuo & Youth — a feature from Big K.R.I.T.
This should come as no surprise to followers of Lupe's (now private) Twitter account as Lu has consistently praised Big K.R.I.T. as the one rapper he's been listening to all summer. While we wait for this collab to come to fruition to the masses, let's run back the official first single: "Old School Love" featuring Ed Sheeran.
As promised, #TetsuoSeason turns a new chapter tonite with the release of Tetsuo & Youth's first single "Old School Love" featuring Ed Sheeran.
There's an instant heartwarming and analytical vibe to this one as Sheeran's slow and soothing vocals set the tone on the hook. Lupe brings the substance and delivers it with his usual flair of clever references. He doesn't go over your head with this one, and all things combined, I think not only the Lupe fan will enjoy but also the casual music fan.
Hear for yourself with the radio ripUPDATE: official version below. Available now on iTunes.
And as promised, Lupe drops a new 7 minute track of straight raps he calls "Peace Of Paper/Cup Of Jayzus". He addresses the game for much of it, going over listener's heads with some slick references and wordplay throughout. Can't help but appreciate the complexities on display. I'm vibing with the simple and catchy production as the backdrop as well, and on first listen we have a *Tibs Fav. Can't wait to sit with this one more. What are your thoughts on Lupe's latest? Look out for "Crack" featuring Chris Brown sooner than later as well...
Lupe Fiasco previews "Crack" featuring Chris Brown in D.C.
Last night, fans in the DMV at American University were the lucky first ones to get a preview of Lupe Fiasco's first single off the upcoming album, Tetsuo & Youth, as Lu concluded his set by playing a recording of the song's first verse and hook by Chris Brown.
The fan footage above does some justice as we can hear a clear dubstep influence in the beat, a rebellious Lupe, and some booming vocals from Breezy. Sounds pretty promising, I'm lookin' forward to this one.