Today, Feb. 16, is the 37th birthday of Chicago artist, Lupe Fiasco.

Born Wasalu Muhammad Jaco 1982, Lupe was raised in a large family on the west side of Chicago. Fiasco burst onto the mainstream hip-hop scene in 2006 with his debut album, Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor after initially catching the ears of both Jay-Z and Kanye West. Boasting production credits from 'Ye, Prolyfic and The Neptunes, Food & Liquor introduced listeners to Lupe's alternative style of jazzy, metaphorical storytelling.

Rather than mimicking the themes of gangsta rap like he did briefly in the beginning of his career, Fiasco covered many topics within his first LP, from Chicago violence and racism to love and single parenting. The lead singles off the debut were "Kick, Push" and "Daydreamin'" featuring R&B singer Jill Scott, which won the Grammy for Best Urban/Alternative Song in 2008.

Since his debut, Fiasco has come out with six more albums, including The Coolwhich was wildly successful and considered by many to be his best body of work, Drogas Light, which he dropped on Feb. 9, 2017, a day earlier than the original project's release date, and most recently, Drogas Wave, a 24-track conceptual LP based on the transatlantic slave trade. Back in the beginning of 2018, Lupe made a few waves on Twitter when he shared his thoughts on Kendrick Lamar.

In addition to being revered in many circles as an elite lyricist, Lupe has his own record label, 1st and 15th Entertainment, where he manages fellow artists like Sarah Green. Fiasco is also known for constantly giving back to his community, working with a number of charities to save his hometown of Chicago.

Happy Birthday, Lupe Fiasco!

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