Wasalu Muhammad Jaco (born February 16, 1982), better known by his stage name Lupe Fiasco, is an American rapper, producer and CEO of 1st and 15th Entertainment. He also performs as the frontman of Post Punk band Japanese Cartoon under his real name.
Raised in Chicago, Fiasco developed an interest in hip-hop after initially disliking the genre for its use of vulgarity. He adopted the name Lupe Fiasco and began recording songs in his father's basement, and joined a group called Da Pak. The group disbanded shortly after its inception, and Fiasco soon met rapper Jay-Z who helped him sign a record deal with Atlantic Records.
His debut album, “Food & Liquor,” was released in 2006. The album features production from The Neptunes, Kanye West, Mike Shinoda, Craig Kallman, Prolyfic, Needlz, Soundtrakk, and Brandon Howard. The album debuted at #8 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and #2 on Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album received three Grammy Award nominations, including Best Rap Album and won the award for Best Urban/Alternative Performance for his track "Daydreamin'" featuring Jill Scott.
His second album, 2007’s “Lupe Fiasco's The Cool” spawned his first Top 10 hit single, "Superstar." The song was also certified platinum by the RIAA. The album features production from Soundtrakk, Unkle, Patrick Stump and Chris & Drop, among others. Guest appearances include Gemini, Snoop Dogg, and Matthew Santos. The album peaked at #14 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and debuted at #1 on the Rap Albums chart. It has been certified gold by the RIAA. The album was nominated for four awards at the 2009 Grammy Awards, including Best Rap Album.
His third studio album, “Lasers” was released in 2011 after a long series of delays and setbacks. Production for the album took place between 2008 and 2010. “Lasers” features production by The Audibles, The Neptunes, Needlz, Alex da Kid, Syience, and long-time collaborator Soundtrakk, among others. Trey Songz, John Legend, Skylar Grey, Sway, Matt Mahaffey, MDMA, Eric Turner and Sarah Green contribute vocals to the album. In October 2010, the official first single from “Lasers,” titled "The Show Goes On" was released. It was produced by Kane Beatz and samples Modest Mouse's "Float On" as part of the chorus. The song has been certified gold in the U.S. by the RIAA. "The Show Goes On" peaked at #39 on the Billboard Hot 100. The second official single off “Lasers,” titled "Words I Never Said," was released in February 2011 peaking at #89 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album went to #1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart.