Article by Brian "Z" Zisook
As millions of Americans spent their Halloween dressed up as President Bush, Big Daddy Kane or Shrek, several hundred Hip-Hop fans made their way into Chicago’s House of Blues for a special October 31st performance.
Excitedly preparing the release of his sophomore album, "The Cool," Chicagoan
performed on the nation’s most popular holiday (isn’t that crazy) to a venue of adoring and loyal fans. Joining Fiasco on this night was
and DJ Paul, 1st & 15th artist
(also known as Gemini) and frequent Fiasco collaborator,
, all of who made their presence felt.
Project Pat and crew on stage
Courtesy of numerous hookups,
was comfortably seated in the posh upper balcony of the adjacent Foundation Room; in perfect view of both the stage and hooded-up crowd below that awaited the concert to begin.
GemStones kicked off the evening by performing a plethora of new material that will be featured on his ’08 debut, “Troubles of the World.” Unbeknownst to most in the crowd the Westside native showcased his keen ability to both spit rhymes as fast as
and sing as smooth as
. “Y’all know that wherever we go, I rep Chi-Town baby!” shouted Gemstones.
(L) GemStones and (R) Matthew Santos backstage with DJBooth.net
While the energy was as live as live gets, the crowd had enough of their appetizer and wanted their main course to cascade out onto the stage. Unfortunately, concertgoers knew that their hunger would be forced to wait a bit longer than 25 minutes past the start of the show.
Despite chants of “Lupe! Lupe! Lupe!” the audience was welcomed to a surprise performance from Memphis, Tennessee, rapper Project Pat and his crew. Knowing his Southern following wasn’t present in the House of Blues, Pat persuaded the masses to ‘throw up their C’s’ in an effort to embrace the Midwest-Hip-Hop loving throng of hundreds. The embracement worked to a certain extend, but by the middle of Pat’s twenty minute set there wasn’t any question who everyone came to hear.
Finally, after a quick interlude, the main attraction made his way to the stage. Dressed in a casual all-white suit, which included a smooth Jackson-esuqe blazer and matching dress slacks, Fiasco grabbed the mic off its stand at center stage and immediately went into “I Gotcha.”
At various times throughout his nearly hour and a half performance Fiasco was joined on stage by both the aforementioned Gemstones and angelic crooner, Matthew Santos. Despite
being unavailable to belt the chorus in “Daydream,” Santos filled in seamlessly and admirably while remaining on stage to wow the crowd on both “American Terrorist” and Fiasco’s newest single, “
While many rap artists take the stage armed with a posse of dozens, Lupe is one of very few who never has felt the need to dress up his image. The practicing Muslim-American is as down to earth as a rising star of his stature could be, especially while working in a light that more often than naught cast the wrong reflection. His humble nature rang true during an ending monologue, “I don’t care about record sales. I don’t care about Grammy’s. All I care about is you. You are my superstars.” On a night when various individuals dressed up as Superman or Wonder Woman, the majority of the crowd got the memo; they came dressed as fans.