/  03.08.2011

It was an explosive night at New York City’s Webster Hall, as die-hard fans, label executives, friends, and family all came together to celebrate the release of Lupe Fiasco’s third album Lasers. Hot 97 hosted the show, while opener Black Milk got the party started. But it was the headliner who brought the heat.

Lupe unleashed all of his pent-up energy, celebrating the long-awaited day onstage. He took fans on a journey through his musical career, starting with “Shining Down” and “Solar Midnite,” while incorporating newer material from Lasers including “State Run Radio” and “I Don’t Wanna Care Right Now.” While flailing water into the crowd, he did a back-bending and rocking rendition of Japanese Cartoon’s “All Sabotage.” He then proceeded with “Gold Watch,” but before he could finish the first verse, the audience drowned him out.

Lupe showcased more material from Lasers with the single “Words I Never Said,” sans Skylar Grey. However, surprises ensued when he brought out John Legend for “Never Forget You,” following with an appearance from U.K. rapper Sway for “Break the Chain.” The Chi-town MC declared there would be a Food & Liquor II, and that his label wouldn’t get in the way this time.

After the music died down, Lupe took a breather to shout out his mother and family members who were in the audience. He also plugged the album’s release before one fan erupted with, “F**k Atlantic!” Others chimed in, but Lupe calmed the rally cries, saying, “Without Atlantic, there would be no Lasers.” He dedicated “Superstar” to his loyal supporters, who staged a protest for Lasers’ release last year.

The evening came to a close with “The Show Goes On” and “Daydreamin’.” The hip-hop superstar departed in glory, winning the battle that is now behind him and forging ahead into the future.

–Tanya Remekie


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