Lupe Fiasco talks current tour, using Chicago as inspiration

One of the biggest names in rap will be performing at the Assembly Hall on Sunday: Lupe Fiasco. Earlier this week, The Daily Illini had a chance to call up Lupe himself and ask about his Chicago upbringing, his current tour and his plans for the future.

*Daily Illini: Like many students who go to U of I, you grew up in Chicago. How did your Chicago upbringing shape your music?*

*Lupe Fiasco:* All of my music has a setting like a movie has a setting. So, for all of my music, the setting is Chicago. … Whenever I think of a storyline, or I think of a person and they’re going to the park or they’re sitting down in a restaurant, it’s always in Chicago. … It’s that kind of direct connection.

*DI: What do you hope to be remembered for musically? What message do you want people to take away from your music?*

*LF:* If I can be remembered as that dude who always tried to be positive and put out positive music, then I find whatever the specific thing that people take away, whether it’s something really kind of personal or political or social or what have you … as long as it’s positive that’s fine.

*DI: What makes this tour, Lasers, different from previous performances or previous tours?*

*LF:* We still do different reprises of older songs, but this particular tour we want to just focus on the Lasers album. And Lasers was kind of meant to be a live album, specifically to be done on stage — a performance album. So, that carries over in this tour. This performance is all geared toward making sure that we present and perform the records of Lasers with all the energy I wanted to see as I was making them in the studio and how I wanted all of that to transfer on stage.

*DI: Of the songs on the Lasers album, which is your favorite to perform?*

*LF:* “I Don’t Wanna Care Right Now” is the funnest song to perform. We do it twice in the set, it’s so fun. And we’re using this tour to shoot a video for it, so at different cities we had a camera crew come out and just shoot it live … and toward the end of the tour we’re going to release the video for it.

*DI: A lot of our readers have asked about LupE.N.D., your final three-part album — when is it coming out and what are your plans for after that?*

*LF:* I don’t know if there is going to be LupE.N.D. It was actually supposed to be this record. It was something that we had four years ago. … I probably won’t do it. It’s one of those things where it was an idea and we were going ahead with it, and it just kind of got pushed to the back burner and then it got completely taken off the stove. So, me, as the guy who would actually have to make it and go into the studio and do it, I’m not even really interested in doing it anymore in that capacity because it was specifically a three-part album, all interconnected stories, and I just kind of lost the creative push to go in and actually do it. I will be retiring, though. I’m not going to be doing Lupe Fiasco forever, so it’s in the cards.

*DI: Do you have a plan for when you might be retiring?*

*LF:* I don’t know — it depends on how I feel. I might retire tomorrow, I might retire in three years, we’ll see. … That’s kind of a personal question that I reserve to answer more to myself.

*DI: What’s one thing about you that not too many people know — something that might surprise them?*

*LF:* In this land of fame and in this world of people living vicariously through other people, there are certain things that I would just like to keep private. I think there’s ample amounts of things that people know about Lupe Fiasco and my life and where I came from and who I am and if you don’t know, there’s always Wikipedia. As far as anything new, I just kind of keep it to myself, you know, I have to have some privacy.