What's up people?
I'm pretty excited about this addition of The Art Consumption as I had the pleasure of seeing one of my favorite artists live in concert for the first time. My wife (the illest wife ever) bought be tickets for Lupe Fiasco's "A Tour for The Fans" tour for Christmas last year; we went to the Washington, D.C. stop since he didn't come to lil ol' Raleigh, NC. I figured instead of dropping a blog in January, I made a mental note to do one about the concert because I just knew I would leave inspired. And I must say, I definitely did...
For the Concert Edition of the Art Consumption, we'll focus on the concerts I happen to go to and MABYE share some snippets from the live performance for you to jam to at the end of the post.
Let me start by saying, I'm thankful to have a wife who takes interest in my art and artistic inspiration. She actually surprised me. I had no clue what I was getting for Christmas 2015. So Tamyra, if you get a chance to read this: I love you and thank you again.
The Introduction (If You Ain't Know)
When it comes to lyrical Titans in Hip-Hop, Lupe is one of the biggest. I really believe God truly pre-destined Rap Genius to be created for dudes like him (ha!). Lupe not only challenges you to unlock his Rubix Cube like metaphors but challenges you to research about social injustice, political issues, racism, religion and other topics that the average person doesn't normally care to research. And honestly, the dude is just incredibly creative. I was introduced to Lupe when I saw the video for his first single "Kick, Push" on MTV after school one day and was hooked ever since. And of course, I purchased the album Food & Liquor. It's one of his "less" complex songs lyrically but still a great song.
I must admit, I got a little lost with his work after The Cool (purposely) and then picked back up after his release of Food & Liquor II, which over all got mixed reviews but I enjoyed thoroughly. And of course, I have his latest Tetsuo and Youth, which I think is his best piece of work and the follow up EP, Pharaoh Heights. Lupe Fiasco has and continues to have a great influence on my work as an artist and is easily one of the Top 5 on my list of MCs.
The show was held in Washington, D.C. (in a nice part of town might I add) at the 9:30 Club -- and catch this -- on Super Bowl Sunday. Now, a brotha was torn when the tickets had already been purchased and watched the Carolina Panthers muscle their way to the Championship game but like I said, I'm a fan. And Lupe was putting on "A Tour For The Fans" so how could I miss that? However, the Super Bowl worked to our advantage because me and the wife were able to get really good seats in the upper balcony area.
The concert started of with a few decent opening acts from artists who were from Chicago, IL (Lupe's hometown) and Billy Blue who hails from Miami, FL. Billy actually was featured on Lupe's latest album Tetsuo & Youth on a track called "Chopper". Lupe actually came out during Billy's set and they performed both of their verses, which I thought was pretty cool. I think I enjoyed Billy's performance the best out of all the opening acts which were overall decent.
When Lupe came out to perform with Billy Blue, he already mentioned that he was tired from "this tour life" but then said, "But, we do this for the fans right?" **Note To Self: Artists need to be in shape and build endurance for touring and doing consistent shows. Get it shape young fella!** So, when he came out to perform his set, you could tell he was worn down but he still put on a good show. He started off with performing "Mural" from his latest album --
Wait, let me stop right there. Do you understand how amazing this is? Let me help you understand:
That is almost 9 minutes of STRAIGHT BARS. No hooks. Not mention, there's metaphor, after metaphor, after metaphor, AFTER ANOTHER CRAZY METAPHOR...you get my drift.
Well, Lupe performed this song as tired as he was all the way through. Epic, to say the least...at least I thought so. Then he followed up with "Dots & Lines" a song about not signing to a major Record Label and the troubles that come with signing. I haven't been able to dig deep into this song so please, do yourself a favor and check out the annotated lyrics on Rap Genus. I'd actually check out "Mural" while you're at it too.
Afterwards, the whole concept for "A Tour for The Fans" came to life. Lupe's DJ would play a voicemail recording from a fan, DJ friend, radio personality or artist friend stating their name and what their favorite Lupe Fiasco song was and then he would perform that song. Simple, but genius. I mean, you're talking hit, after hit, after hit with every person singing and rapping along. Of course, at this point, everyone had shown up towards the last opener's performance and the place was jammed packed!
The show was definitely an enjoyable and learning experience. Below, you can take a listen to some of the live action (and me and my wife singing and rapping along to some of the songs).
Song Titles in Order: "Mural", "The Coolest", "Day Dreaming" and "Go Go Gadget Flow"