Very few people are aware that Lupe released a new album at the beginning of this year called Tetsuo and Youth. T&Y focuses on Lupe’s experiences growing up in Chicago. I attended this show completely unaware of what was being performed. For the first time, I was late and not in the pit. But I also attended this show by myself. There were people handing out performance pamphlets, but I did not take one when offered. This was another show where there were not any openers (similarly to PND Live). Prior to this, I did not listen to Lupe for a couple of years; after, I am a fan again. The album all together, is a great work, it gave me a reason to listen to Conscious rap again. Some of the topics discussed include prison, living in the ghetto and historical events regarding Christianity.
Around 9, Charles came out and did a five song set. He was the real reason I wanted to attend. The crowd did not really vibe with him, mostly because a lot of them did not know who he was. But nonetheless, he occasionally played the keyboard and performed Brooklyn Girls and his newest track NY Raining featuring Rita Ora. NY Raining is currently very popular in the UK, standing at 2 on their charts. As he kept on performing, some people just looked on stage like “Who is this guy?” as if they did not like him. Others like myself, were going crazy. There was occasional head bobbing. After reading this portion, you might be asking who is Charles Hamilton?
Charles Hamilton is a Harlem rapper and record producer. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Hamilton is often known as “Sonic the Hamilton”, for his incorporation of Sonic the Hedgehog into his mixtapes with DJ Skee and DJ Green Lantern (for example: Crash Landed, DJ Green Lantern presents: Outside Looking, Well Isn’t This Awkward, DJ Skee presents: It’s Charles Hamilton etc.). Charles became a bit mainstream with Brooklyn Girls in 2008. He is trying to bounce back into mainstream hip-hop with NY Raining.
By ten, Lupe began his set to promote Tetsuo and Youth. Summer played in the background, as he sat on his throne. At front of the stage, there was a red skull on top of a table. Lupe Fiasco performed similarly to Mos Def (post coming soon). His first song was Mural; I describe this as eight minutes of greatness. Throughout the night, he did Chopper, Adoration of the Magi, Madonna (And Other Mothers In The Hood), Prisoner 1 & 2, Dots and Lines etc.. Some guests included Crystal Torres and Nikki Jean. As a surprise, he did a rap battle with Daylight and Mickey Factz. To close the show, Lupe did Hip Hop Saved My Life.
I think I will attend more concerts without listening to an artist’s most recent work. It helps you figure out what songs are your favorite, even though you do not know the titles yet. This made me pay closer attention to the beat and the lyrics. Lupe’s stage presence is heavy. I want to see him again.