Lupe Fiasco at Park West

Some members of the Chicago Boys and Girls Clubs and youngsters lucky enough to win tickets on the radio, enjoyed a free invitation-only concert at the Park West, featuring rap star Lupe Fiasco. The Aug. 17 event was part of a special promotional tour spo

Some members of the Chicago Boys and Girls Clubs and youngsters lucky enough to win tickets on the radio enjoyed a free invitation-only concert at the Park West, featuring rap star Lupe Fiasco. The Aug. 17 event was part of a special promotional tour sponsored by Coca-Cola.

A dressed down Lupe Fiasco talked with the Defender during a press junket held before the start of the concert.

Lupe said he was happy to be a part of the special event and to put on a concert specially for his young fans.

“A lot of fans are underage and can’t see my shows” at such venues as House of Blues, and others, he said, where concert goers have to be 21 and older.

“They (youth) would never get to see me,” the retiring rapper told the Defender.

The Chicago native acknowledged that his next album would be his last.

“My experience in the music business is coming to an end,” he said.

After his father died, Lupe first announced that he would get out of the business.

He told the Defender that his decision, though, was not a direct result of losing his father.

“I only set out to do three albums…I’ve already done two,” he said.

His music has received critical acclaim and has been dubbed some of the industry’s freshest.

But the Grammy Award-winning rapper shuns descriptions of his music and style.

“I don’t describe it all,” he said, adding that others try to give his style a name. He just seeks to be himself, he said.

Hailing from the West Side, Lupe’s rise to fame is fairly recent.

His 2006 debut album, Lupe Fiasco’s "Food & Liquor," put the rapper on the map.

He followed that album up with Lupe Fiasco’s "The Cool" in December 2007.

This year, he picked up a Grammy for Best Urban/Alternative Performance for the Daydreamin’ hit he did with neo-soul recording artist Jill Scott.

Born Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, Lupe said he wants “young people to understand that they can go the positive route in life and still be successful… and still have some bling.”

Rhonda Gillespie can be reached via e-mail at rgillespie@chicagodefender.com

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