Lupe Fiasco @ Highline Ballroom

Words and Photos by Dashaun Simmons | @13Rose

It’s easy to forget that Lupe Fiasco was only supposed to do 3 albums. When his debut hit stores in 2008 via 1st and 15th/Atlantic, he planned to do two more albums and retire from rap. In 2017, we find Lupe returning to NYC supporting his first independent album (6th official release) entitled Drogas Light.

After opening sets by Dayne Jordan, and battle rap luminary Daylyt, Lupe took the stage with his tour DJ Double O fresh off their DC stop. Unlike other rap artists, Lupe doesn’t keep his fans waiting long. He makes good use of his stage time leaving nothing to waste. The set began with High, an interlude (which is as long as a song) from the aforementioned Drogas album. The drum kicks were played out in real time by Double O using a digital setup.

Lupe quickly reminded this audience of his rich catalog of singles and deep album cuts that keeps them coming back for more. Go Go Gadget Flow got everyone turnt in an attempt to follow his dizzying lyrical cadence. Dopamine Lit pushed the energy even higher. Kick/Push, Hip Hop Saved My Life, and even I Gotcha all got tons of love. Fans of underground Lupe releases like Pharoah Height were treated to his two latest Soundcloud masterpieces ANKH:HER and Kneelin’ On Needles. At one point Lupe brought underground NYC native Mickey Factz to the stage to perform some additional acrobatics flows.These lyrically dense moments would normally satisfy hardcore fans, but not Lupe’s. They ate them up and still chanted for other heavy songs like SLR.

The energy often shifted from head nod songs like American Terrorist to bouncing off the wall sing-a-long song Daydreaming. His range is very wide and varied. Lupe kind of started his career talking about things most rappers shy from and taking the road less travelled. It only makes sense that he’s finally become the independent artist he was always destined to be. With a solid and loyal base of supports intact, Lupe is perhaps in the most free position of his career. If you enjoy his music and follow his multiple entendre raps, you owe it to yourself to see him in this space.



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