Lupe Fiasco is an American rapper, artist, producer and CEO of 1st and 15th Entertainment. He rose to fame in 2006 following the success of his critically acclaimed debut album, Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor. He also performs as the frontman of post punk band Japanese Cartoon under his real name. Raised in Chicago, Fiasco developed an interest in hip-hop after initially disliking the genre for its use of vulgarity. He adopted the name Lupe Fiasco and began recording songs in his father's basement, and joined a group called Da Pak. The group disbanded shortly after its inception, and Fiasco soon met rapper Jay-Z who helped him sign a record deal with Atlantic Records. In 2006, Fiasco released his debut album Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor on the label, to commercial and critical acclaim. He then released his second album, Lupe Fiasco's The Cool, in December 2007. The single "Superstar" became a hit, peaking at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Through all the back n forth with the label to release the album, the frustration brought Lupe to the thought of calling it quits from the music game and almost life itself. Lasers was completed back in 2009 and with the label pushing it back (shelving it) caused fans to take things in their own hands. An online campaign was started by Lupe fan Richard Barker on July 21, 2010 to get Atlantic Records to set a release date for the album. The petition got 30k plus signatures!! This is the first time ever a protest was started to get a label to release any album. That not only is huge for Lupe but that is a momentous spectacle for Hip-Hop itself. The journey was long and hard but like any good "Hero Story" through all the trials and tribulations, there is a victory at the end. His latest album, Lasers, was released on March 8, 2011. In addition to music, Fiasco has pursued other business ventures, including fashion. He runs two clothing lines, "Righteous Kung-Fu" and "Trilly & Truly"; he has also designed sneakers for Reebok. He has also been involved with charitable activities throughout his career, including the Summit on the Summit expedition, and in 2010 he recorded a benefit single for victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
On July 16, 2010, Fiasco, under his real name Wasalu Jaco, released his post-punk band Japanese Cartoon's debut album In The Jaws Of The Lords Of Death. He created the album while waiting for Atlantic Records to release his upcoming album, and stated that Japanese Cartoon was influenced by a variety of musical genres, saying, "I've always been a fan of all music. My favorite songs aren't hip-hop songs, they're songs from Queen like "Somebody To Love". Hip-hop is just something I actually know how to do. But I always had aspirations to participate in other forms of music. Once I got to create some hip-hop, it was like, 'Okay, what am I going to do now?' So my artistic side was like, 'Yo, let's do some rock music.' On August 10, Lupe Fiasco released a snippet of a song "Go to Sleep," on his official Twitter page. That snippet/song had the album titled Food & Liquor II (TGARA). This led to speculation that "Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album," would be Lupe's follow-up to Lasers. On August 23, Fiasco released "Go to Sleep" in its entirety. While performing at Wake Forest University's Alumni Weekend Concert in Winston-Salem, NC on October 8, Fiasco revealed to the crowd that the album would be released in early March. On October 15, Fiasco and his
fans protested outside the Atlantic Records headquarters in New York City for the release of his third studio album, Lasers. After the long haul, Atlantic announced a release date of March 8, 2011. The first single off of Lasers, "The Show Goes On", was released on October 26, 2010 via Lupe's official website. The song samples the song
"Float On" by Modest Mouse. It was released to iTunes on November 9, 2010, and debuted at #57 on the Billboard Hot 100. The entire album was released on March 8, 2011, on which day it was the #1 album on iTunes. Producers involved on the album include Alex Da Kidd; King David "The Future"; and Jerry "Wonda" Duplessis. Featured artists include Skylar Grey; Trey Songz; and John Legend.