Lupe Fiasco Live
We caught the Chi-town rapper at a rare UK live show
Arriving late on stage at Londons Koko venue Lupe Fiasco still played a mammoth set that was nearly 2 hours long!
During most Hip Hop shows it would be 2 hours too long, but thankfully the conscious MC didnt opt for a distorted decks and mic set-up.
Lupe brought his six piece band from Chicago with a superb rhythm section and guest vocalist Matthew Santos (more of him later).
Fiasco started by reminding his fans where they heard him first- on his mate Kanyes hit Touch The Sky.
That understandably went down well but was not as loved as his solo breakthrough and the only hip hop hit about skateboarding- Kick Push. Also taken from his debut Food & Liquor was Pharrell produced Sunshine and his second hit single Daydream.
It would have been a welcome surprise to see Jill Scott appear but while filling in Lupe showed off a strong singing voice similar to that of Mos Def. Highlights from his latest concept LP The Cool- which came out in January- were Go Go Gadget Flow with its speedy chorus and Streets On Fire.
Before introducing Dumb It Down he sends up commercial rappers who spit about rims and Tims. The following track is an artful critique of hip hop and the commercial pressures. Its then bizarre that he follows it with a track called Gold Watch!
New single Paris/Tokyo bumps along with a laidback beat and smooth flow like a global update of Kick Push. Your writer could have done without folkster Matthew Santos being given his own solo section though.
Ending with a 10 minute version of recent hit Superstar its clear Fiasco is no ordinary rapper.
He's lyrically intelligent (tackling politics on American Terrorist) and smart enough to bring a live band with him on tour.
He's also complex enough to occasionally contradict himself. Lupes well worth catching live if you get a chance.