Fiasco ends Welcome Week, endorses Obama


Hip-hop artist Lupe Fiasco performs Saturday night at the IU Auditorium. Union Board presented the Welcome Week concert. Buy Photos

Grammy Award-winning rapper Lupe Fiasco and his band 1500 or Nothin’ brought the IU Auditorium’s diverse audience to its feet Saturday night.

With long lines still outside the door during Fiasco’s opening act, Iomos Marad took the stage to give the audience a taste of what he considers “real” hip-hop. The Chicago native believes in stopping the illusion of the “fake” life portrayed by mainstream rappers.

“I’m not like other rappers,” Marad, who is also an after-school teacher, told the audience. “I want to build my city up and not tear it down.”

The crowd chanted Fiasco’s name as the stage set changed from the opening act. The lights dimmed and the band began to play the beginning of Fiasco’s hit single “Kick, Push.”

During the concert, Fiasco went back and forth between songs from “Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor” to “Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool.”

“The live band effect at a hip-hop concert is what I love the most about the performance,” said sophomore Nathaniel Shannon. “It brings a really high energy to Lupe, his band and the audience.”

Fiasco also let the audience know where he stands on the war.

“There’s one thing in this world that is not necessary,” he said to an applauding audience. “That one thing is war ... but the most dangerous weapon is right here: the mind.”

Fiasco played some of his unfinished work for his third and final album, “LupEND,” which is scheduled for release at the end of 2009. After a boo from the crowd, Fiasco reassured fans that they would be pleased with the album.

“I was highly upset that ‘LupEND’ will be Lupe’s last album,” said alumnus Ernest Moore. “He’s one of the artists that’s around today that continues to bring meaning to what true hip-hop is all about and will be greatly missed.”

Before and after giving his concert version of “Daydreamin’,” Lupe Fiasco made his political affiliation known.

“A vote for Obama is a vote for the future,” Fiasco said to a cheering audience before ending the concert with his usual closer, “Peace and much love to you.”

“I believe that more artists should take a stand on issues that dominate our generation,” said junior Jeff McKinney. “Music is a powerful thing and should be used to its full potential.”

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