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|9/19/06 - Chicago, IL|
For a new artist, there is no better way to celebrate the debut of your first album than a MySpace Secret Show in your hometown. However, one thing Lupe Fiasco didn’t plan for the week “Food and Liquor” dropped was a trip to the doctor. The diagnosis: strep throat. The illness forced him to cancel several performances and interviews. Rumors swirled that Lupe would be forced to cancel the Secret Show as well – sending anxiety through fans that lined up as early at 6am for “guaranteed admission.”
But like clutch-shooter Michael Jordan, Lupe came through for the city of Chicago when it mattered most. Priming the crowd was Gemini on the mic and local DJs Tone be Nimble and 5th Element on the turntables. Just when the crowd couldn’t handle the suspense any longer, right-hand-man Bishop jumped on stage, and the crowd roared with relief. As Lupe joined him, Bishop pointed out the fresh band aid on the headliner’s arm -- signifying the IV that was inserted earlier that day “on some old dramatically sh*t.” The personal banter continued throughout the night, and made the 740 in attendance laugh and feel like they were not only observers, but a part of the crew.
Throughout the night, he took song requests from the crowd, and kept checking the back album cover for reference. The hit “Kick Push” was the obvious highlight to several, but longtime fans also appreciated hearing rare favorites like “Sunshine” – not to mention songs that had never been heard live, like “American Terrorist” with Matthew Santos.
Rather than cut Jay-Z’s verse off, “Pressure,” he let the song play while dancing and pantomiming the executive producer’s lines. With a balcony full of close friends and family members, Lupe stopped during his “Hurt Me Soul” to address his late grandmother. As tears rolled down his cheeks, his mother onstage stepped up to give her son a hug.
The audience was with him all the way. The emotion running through his big homecoming was infectious. Grateful, Lupe addressed the crowd: “For those who don't already know, this is my MySpace party…this is, like, the happiest day of my life.".
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|Photos: Jeremy Weiss|
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