Lupe Fiasco, Monakr, Celine Neon, Marrow, Psalm One, Pop Waits | Chicago Cultural Center, Sidney R. Yates Gallery | Hip-Hop | Chicago Reader

Lupe Fiasco, Monakr, Celine Neon, Marrow, Psalm One, Pop Waits Recommended Free All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Sold Out (Music) Soundboard Image

When: Sat., May 14, 7 p.m. 2016

Lupe Fiasco proves several points on last year’s Tetsuo & Youth (Atlantic): (1) he can in fact rap steadily and lay out bars with style for roughly eight minutes (“Mural”); (2) he has the advanced grasp of cross-pattern stitching required to chart a map of lyrics pinpointing the injustices that plague black Americans; (3) he has the power to transform a decades-long narrative about economic inequality and racial disparity into a radio-friendly allegory about places where pizza never arrives within 30 minutes (“Deliver”). In other words, one of the biggest points made by Tetsuo & Youth is never to count out Lupe Fiasco. That might’ve been easy to do after 2011’s Lasers, a slip-on-a-banana-peel of an album that Lupe has since distanced himself from, but he’s still managed to keep things interesting even when he doesn’t quite fulfill the heady expectations of his longtime stans. Last month Lupe tweeted he’d release three albums by the end of the year: Drogas, Drogas Light, and Skulls. He also claims they’ll be his final full-lengths—though we know he’s fallen behind on dates and flaked on retirement before. I’m cool with Lupe claiming almost anything and not sticking to it if it inspires him to put out more loose, off-the-cuff singles like “Express,” his spoof-like remix of Desiigner’s inescapable hit “Panda.”

Leor Galil

Price: sold out

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