Lupe Fiasco scores Grammy gold Superstar MCs Daydramin honored as 2007’s Best Alternative Performance – The Cool continues to reign as Americas number 1 rap album, while Superstar rockets up the airplay charts

LUPE FIASCO SCORES GRAMMY GOLD; “SUPERSTAR” MC’S “DAYDREAMIN’” HONORED AS 2007’S “BEST URBAN ALTERNATIVE PERFORMANCE”; “THE COOL” CONTINUES TO REIGN AS AMERICA’S #1 RAP ALBUM, WHILE “SUPERSTAR” ROCKETS UP THE AIRPLAY CHARTS

1st & 15th/Atlantic recording artist Lupe Fiasco earned his first-ever Grammy Award on Sunday, bringing home the “Best Urban Alternative Performance” trophy for last year’s hit single, “Daydreamin’ (Feat. Jill Scott).” The Grammy triumph further establishes Lupe’s elevation to the upper echelon of hip-hop stardom. The Chicago-based MC’s second album, “LUPE FIASCO’S THE COOL,” debuted on Billboard’s “Top Rap Albums” chart at #1 upon its December 2007 release, and has remained in the peak position for what is now seven consecutive weeks.

“Superstar (Feat. Matthew Santos),” the album’s first single/video, is currently exploding across the board, climbing 11 spots to #25 on this week’s Billboard “Hot 100.” The track is now a top 5 sensation on the “Hot Rap Tracks” ranking, while still ascending a variety of other charts, including “Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs” and “Hot Digital Songs.”

“Superstar” is also lighting it up at radio, where it has just hit the top 10 at Rhythmic outlets nationwide, while also scoring the week’s “Most Increased Plays” at Urban, placing it at #20 with-a-bullet on the latest airplay tally. In addition, the single is proving a true crossover smash, bursting onto the current CHR/Top 40 chart as the week’s #4 “Most Added” track, with serious play at such influential pop outlets as New York’s Z100 and Los Angeles’ KIIS-FM.

This week sees Lupe starring as the featured artist on MTV’s 52 Bands, a special segment that highlights one new act per week, throughout the year. Furthermore, the “Superstar” companion video – directed by the great Hype Williams – is a top 10 clip at both MTV and Fuse, while also drawing major play at MTV2, mtvU, MTV Hits, MTV Jams, MTV TR3S, VH1 Soul, the N, and Music Choice. In addition, “Superstar” is in “Heavy” rotation on BET’s Rap City, as well as in “Medium” rotation on the network’s overall playlist.

What’s more, Lupe has been all over TV in recent weeks, performing live on CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman, CBS’ Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, PBS’ Tavis Smiley, MTV’s TRL, and the syndicated Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Unquestionably among hip-hop’s most electrifying and active live performers, Lupe has just been unveiled as one of the performers set to rock Manchester, Tennessee at the upcoming Bonnaroo Music festival, slated for Friday, June 13th. The MC – who recently closed out a series of sold out concert dates in such major markets as Seattle, San Francisco, Anaheim, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Washington DC, and New York City – is currently planning a number of eagerly awaited concerts at some of America’s finest institutions of higher learning, including Yale University, Brown University, Ohio State University, and others (see attached itinerary).

Full details of all upcoming appearances can be found at Lupe’s official MySpace page, www.myspace.com/lupefiasco. One of MySpace’s top 10 current artists, Lupe maintains a vibrant online presence, including his own LupeFiasco.com (recently updated with a wide range of interactive features such as “THE COOLest” video game). Also, Lupe’s very own 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.”

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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. “LUPE FIASCO’S THE COOL” sees the critically acclaimed rapper following up on 2006’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.

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.

“LUPE FIASCO’S THE COOL” drew instant critical acclaim upon its December release, coming in at #10 on Entertainment Weekly’s “The Best” list for 2007 – no mean feat considering the album was released with just two weeks left in the year. The album “recalls (Kanye) West’s pop versatility and positive flair,” EW declared, adding “Fiasco seem ready to join his former mentors in the big leagues.” The New York Times was equally effusive, calling “LUPE FIASCO’S THE COOL” “one of the year’s best hip-hop albums.” USA Today awarded the album four stars, praising it as “a 19-track gem that showcases (Fiasco’s) intricate wordplay on everything from the rap industry and celebrity life to gun-toting youth and sexual violence.”

Online outlets were also quick to commend the collection, with Pitchfork giving it an 8.1 rating, declaring it “sprawling, grandiose.” “Lupe Fiasco is undoubtedly one of ‘The Coolest’ rappers to come along in the last ten years,” noted RapReviews.com in a 10-out-of-10 rave. HipHopDX.com rated “LUPE FIASCO’S THE COOL” 4.5-out-of-5 Xs, pointing out that the set “proves that ‘FOOD & LIQUIOR” was no accident and it’s quite possible that the best has yet to come.” “Lupe demonstrates an innate virtuosity in his brainy approach to an often over simplified craft,” hailed AllHipHop.com in its 8-out-of-10 starred review, while Yo! Raps awarded the album 5-out-of-5 stars, explaining that it “has pushed the genre of hip hop music into a place where no emcee or artist will be able to lead hip hop into for awhile.”

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.”

LUPE FIASCO

On Tour 2008

FEBRUARY
26 Valencia, CA Occidental College

MARCH
1 New Haven, CT Yale University
25 Fredricksburg, VA Great Hall
29 Pittsburgh, PA University of Pittsburgh

APRIL
9 Ferrum, VA Ferrum College
10 Philadelphia, PA St. Joseph’s University
11 Providence, RI Brown University

JUNE
13 Manchester, TN Bonnaroo Music Festival

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