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All words: Shelly Bell
All photos: Lauren Bulbin
I went to a Lupe Fiasco show and favored the french fries.

It would have been more entertaining to watch an empowered Lupe Fiasco kicked off stage for political rants than watch him perform at the Fillmore in Silver Spring on Wednesday. The last time he visited the D.C. area he was removed from an inauguration event stage for repeating the lyrics of “Words I Never Said.” This is an anti-war anthem in which he expresses his disdain for capitalism. The entire beginning of the show Wednesday was a mix of old school hits and ratchet party music by DJs from WPGC. Flex Mathews and his pal Kosher Dill exerted as much energy as a group of opening rappers could. However, Lupe fans had come to see Lupe and that’s it. They could careless about anyone else who came onstage. This event was sponsored in part by Pantene. There was a raffle for Pantene products at a Lupe Fiasco show!! Before Lupe came on stage the DJ played a 2 Chainz song. The songs were censored. This was an all ages event. WTF? This experience was totally out of sync with the conscious government cursing eccentricities of Lupe’s brand. Basically, WPGC threw a party and invited Lupe. It was actually not a bad idea! Tony Reddz, Peter Parker, and DJ Flexx kept the crowd hype while the DJ spun crowd favorites. I had more fun before Lupe came out.

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His fans are sure to have a different story. Lupe fans will most likely note the event like this…The lights dim. The opening act is a conscious neo-soul rap group that includes singers, rappers, and a live band. The crowd raises lighters and waves their hands along to the beat. After a few minutes the crowd gets tired of the opening act and is shouting “LUPE! LUPE! LUPE!” The stage clears! Lupe Fiasco’s band come out set up and prepare to rock. The stage goes black. The intro to their favorite album comes one. Lupe ascends from the rafters. They stare into Lupe’s eyes and sing along to every song. Every word he says is like hymns floating off a page!

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WROONNGG!!! That is what I expected the show to be like. Yet a comment under a picture of Lupe on the WPGC Facebook page sums it slightly – “Truth on the street the venue didn’t sell out and a lot of people came out to really see Flex Mathews Da Harbor and then left after my man Flex shut it down DMV style…” Lupe did give valuable life lessons about how he doesn’t give a f*ck but gives a f*ck. He also encouraged the audience to create more then in the next few minutes went on a rant about how rappers need to stand for something. I guess his point may be that people don’t just need to be creative but they need their creativity to stand for “something.” Totally subjective. If you’re a fan and you like to sing along to Lupe on stage you would have thoroughly enjoyed this. I am a fan of his unapologetic ability to stand up for his truth. His truth is not always a truth I can get with, nonetheless it’s his! I support people who are all about their thing. In another light I support great showmanship. If fans pay to come see you honor the all-ages rules and watch your mouth. Have LCD displays. Have a light show. Bring a band. My favorite thing about the Lupe Fiasco show was the french fries at one of the best concert venues in the DC, MD, VA area – The Fillmore.

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