Lupe Fiasco

Video: When Lupe Fiasco Was 17

Before he was topping the charts and gaining the respect of Jay-Z and Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco was a nerdy teen playing chess and teaching karate, but rapping was always his first priority.

The Chicago MC, born Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, wowed his classmates by showing off his skills at a high school talent show with his rap group 1500s. When he was not working as a stage manager at his school, Lupe would record in the basement of his father’s house and held down a job as a short-order cook in a greasy spoon restaurant.

Reminisce with Lupe on MTV’s “When I was 17.”