If you were a hip hop fan in the mid-2000s, you probably remember the days when Lupe Fiasco was one of the hottest up-and-coming artists. Somewhat positioned as a protegee of Kanye West and Jay-Z, Lupe quickly became known for his creative style. His debut single “Kick, Push” earned lots of attention, and his album, Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor, received several Grammy nominations. However, by the release of his third album, his mainstream popularity had started to wane as uptempo beats and simpler lyrics ruled the commercial space. Despite that, however, Lupe has always maintained a strong fan base. Although Lupe has said that he plans to retire, there are lots of people still hoping for another project. Keep reading for 10 things you didn’t know about Lupe Fiasco.
1. He’s A Chicago Native
Lupe Fiasco, whose real name is Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, was born and raised in Chicago. Although he is of West African descent, it appears that his parents were born in the United States. Lupe has always been very proud of his roots. From what we can tell, he still lives in the Chicago area.
2. He Started Off With Poetry
Lupe grew up around music and he eventually developed an interest in making his own. However, after struggling to learn how to plan an instrument, he realized that his voice might just be the most powerful tool he had. He began writing poetry and eventually graduated to reciting his poems to music.
3. He Loves Giving Back To Others
The importance of community is something that has never been lost on Lupe, and he has always made it a point to use his platform to help the people around him. He has worked with several charity organizations over the years including Music for Relief and the Common Ground Foundation.
4. He’s A Gamer
Music may be Lupe’s first love, but it’s certainly not the only thing he loves doing. He also loves to play video games and they’re the perfect way for him to let his competitive side loose. In 2016, he played Street Fighter V against professional gamer Daigo Umehara and, to many people’s surprise, won.
5. He’s A Muslim
Religion has always been a very important part of Lupe’s life. He was raised in the Islamic faith, and it’s something he’s continued to follow as an adult. Although there are lots of things in hip hop culture that go against his beliefs, Lupe Fiasco has always stayed true to his faith.
6. He’s Done Some Acting
There’s no doubt that music has been Lupe’s main focus since he entered the industry more than 20 years ago. However, he did dip his toe into the acting pond with a cameo appearance in an episode of Empire. We weren’t able to find any information to indicate that he plans to do more acting in the future.
7. He Called Barack Obama A Terrorist
When you’re in the public eye, you have to be very careful about what you say. Word travels fast and backlash can be almost instant. This is something that Lupe experienced firsthand in 2011 when he referred to then-president Barack Obama as “the biggest terrorist in the United States of America” during a segment on CBS News. Not only was the general public upset by his comments, but it also caused sponsors to separate themselves from the rapper.
8. He’s Struggled With Depression
Although Lupe has had a lot of great moments in his life, he’s also had to deal with some hard times. During an interview with Loud and Quiet, Lupe said, “I’m talking with a smile on my face, but I contemplated suicide. I had deep, deep depression, y’know? In the midst of this record [Lasers] I had people dying – all of this extra stuff and then I’d go up to the record label and it was like sitting in an office with Lucifer’s minions. ”
9. He’s Likes His Privacy
From very early on in his career, it was clear that Lupe wasn’t going to be the kind of rapper who was obsessed with the spotlight and the luxury lifestyle that comes with being an entertainer. Instead, he has always remained pretty low-key. Even after all these years, very little is known about his life outside of music and it looks like he plans on keeping it that way.
10. He Collects Guns
Lupe’s father had a background in the military and taught his son how to use guns at an early age. He told Loud and Quiet, “It wasn’t for the sake of robbing someone else or defending your turf in a drive-by. My father introduced me to guns by means of defending your family, but also by means of sport”.