LUPE FIASCO ANNOUNCES THE BIRTH OF “THE COOL”; GRAMMY-NOMINATED RAPPER HERALDS SOPHOMORE ALBUM WITH LIVE SHOWS AND FLURRY OF PROMOTIONAL ACTIVITY; MAJOR CROSS-COUNTRY TOUR KICKS OFF IN JANUARY; “LUPE FIASCO’S THE COOL” DROPS ON TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18TH
1st & 15th/Atlantic recording artist Lupe Fiasco has announced next week’s release of his hugely anticipated second album, “LUPE FIASCO’S THE COOL.” Highlighted by the smash single/video, “Superstar (Feat. Matthew Santos),” the collection arrives in stores and online on Tuesday, December 18th.
“LUPE FIASCO’S THE COOL” sees the critically acclaimed rapper – who just last week received a Grammy Award nomination for “Best Urban Alternative Performance,” honoring his hit single, “Daydreamin’ (Feat. Jill Scott)” – following up on last year’s breakthrough debut, “LUPE FIASCO’S FOOD & LIQUOR,” by kicking and pushing against the boundaries of modern hip-hip. Loosely structured as a multi-character concept album detailing the “damaging influences’ and ‘corrupt allure” of post-millennial Urban America, the set features such special guests as the one-and-only Snoop Dogg, with diverse and inventive production from Soundtrakk, UNKLE, Chris & Drop, and Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump.
MTV’s “The Leak” (www.mtv.com/music/the_leak/) is currently streaming “LUPE FIASCO’S THE COOL” in its entirety, continuing through to the album’s December 18th release. The Chicago-based MC has been all over MTV and its affiliated channels in recent weeks, including a show-stopping performance with Stump at the recent mtvU Woodie Awards extravaganza. “Superstar” – directed by the great Hype Williams – is currently scoring play at MTV, MTV2, mtvU, MTV Hits, MTV Jams, and VH1 Soul. In addition, Lupe will be the subject of a January installment of MTV’s 52 Bands, a special feature segment that highlights one new artist per week, throughout the year. The MC recently visited BET’s 106 & Park to introduce the “Superstar” video, with additional upcoming TV appearances slated for BET’s Rap City and Fuse’s The Sauce. In addition, Lupe will be the featured MAX tour stories artist through mid January. Airplay will be in high rotation on Cinemax on Demand (WWW.CINEMAX.COM/MAXTOURSTORIES).
Unquestionably among hip-hop’s most electrifying and active live performers, Lupe will celebrate the new album’s release with a concert appearance at New York’s The Fillmore at Irving Plaza on Tuesday, December 18th. He will then head west for a special “MySpace Presents The Release” concert, slated for December 27th at Honolulu, Hawaii’s Pipeline Café – Lupe’s first-ever Hawaiian live date. A full-scale US tour will follow in the New Year, kicking off on January 11th at The Showbox in Seattle, with dates continuing through late March (see attached itinerary). What’s more, Lupe’s recent hometown show at Chicago’s House of Blues will be featured on AOL Music (www.aolmusic.com) beginning on Monday, December 17th.
One of MySpace’s top 10 current artists, Lupe is a major online presence, with future plans including the December 18th relaunch of his own LupeFiasco.com (featuring a wide range of interactive features such as “THE COOLest” video game). Other upcoming cyber-highlights include a dedicated Artist-of-the-Week section on SOHH.com, a feature on Fliptrack.com (where users can create their own unique photo slideshows to the sounds of “Superstar”), and the first-ever Imeem.com artist site takeover (including a skateboard design contest judged by Lupe himself). In addition, Lupe’s YouTube channel – located at www.youtube.com/lupefiasco – has logged over one million plays, with videos including “Superstar” and the banging street anthem, “Dumb It Down.”
On the international front, Lupe is making a global impact with his new single, “Superstar.” Recently, the single has been added to Radio 1 B List, Capital playlist, GCAP Music Control playlist (32 Stations), Galaxy C List and 1Xtra B List in the UK. “Superstar” is also making waves in Australia, being named the Single of the week on Daily Tele and Album of the week on JJJ. Additionally, “Superstar” is #9 most added to radio overall and #15 on the alternative airplay chart in Australia. Lupe currently graces the cover of Austrailia’s December/January issue of The Mag and plans to visit the UK sometime in early February.
An array of high-profile mobile initiatives are also in effect, including early drops of “LUPE FIASCO’S THE COOL” on Verizon and Sprint, as well as feature slots in all major off-deck and on-deck ringtone stores. A special Boost program – featuring a can’t-miss-it standup of Lupe – will hit over 8,000 retailers in mid-January.
Furthermore, Lupe kicks off his album release with a hometown celebration on December 20th. The Chicago In Store will be held at “The Bassment” where Lupe will be signing his new album for fans.
Finally, Lupe can be seen in an assortment of current and forthcoming national publications, including Entertainment Weekly, XXL, Rolling Stone, Vibe, Spin, Blender, and Fader, with additional features and album reviews to follow.
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Lupe Fiasco has quickly established himself as among the most compelling and creative artists of the era, offering a rare combination of complex, thought-provoking lyricism coupled with sure-fire beats. The MC first made himself known with his featured appearance on Kanye West’s hit single, “Touch The Sky,” followed by the anthemic hit single, “Kick, Push.” As a result, “LUPE FIASCO’S FOOD & LIQUOR” debuted on Billboard’s “Top Rap Albums” chart at #1 upon its September 2006 release, while also entering the Billboard 200 at #8.
The 25-year-old rapper soon proved to be the year’s biggest hip-hop breakthrough, garnering a trio of 2006 Grammy Award nominations, including “Best Rap Album,” “Best Rap Song,” and “Best Rap Solo Performance.” Other honors include his being named one of Rolling Stone’s “10 Artists To Watch 2006” as well as GQ’s 2006 “Breakout Man of the Year, “not to mention an array of nominations from the BET Hip Hop Awards, the NAACP Image Awards, the mtvU Woodie Awards, and the Soul Train Music Awards.
Among Lupe’s biggest fans are hip-hop’s best and brightest stars, including Jay-Z, who told Blender that, “I love Lupe. He’s a genius writer.” What’s more, the legendary Rakim – without question one of rap’s all-time greatest talents – recently named Lupe as his favorite current MC, explaining that “there’s still a lot of artists and a lot of songs out there that’s good for you and still sound like that real hip-hop. The positive rap doesn’t get as much coverage as the negative rap, but people (like Lupe Fiasco) are trying to get back around to the lyrical stuff.” In addition, Kanye West recently announced that if he had a to form a Super group, “Lupe Fiasco would be one of the members.”