WEST LOOP — Rapper Lupe Fiasco is adding another artistic talent to his resume — abstract painter.
Working under his given name Wasalu Jaco, the Chicago-born rapper recently debuted a series of paintings at Soho House in Fulton Market. The paintings will remain on display through the end of the month in The Allis, Soho's lobby bar open to the public, at 125 N. Green St.
At a reception for the artwork last month, Fiasco discussed his West African and Chicago roots — Wasalu Muhammad Jaco grew up as one of nine children in the Madison Terrance housing projects in East Garfield Park. Both his mother Shirley, a gourmet chef, and father Gregory, a skilled African drummer and member of Black Panther Party, supported his artistic pursuits, Fiasco said.
Fiasco said he was inspired to pursue art after music as it allowed him to create something tangible that took up physical space, and he was drawn to the idea of creating something that could live on forever. Before painting, the rapper experimented with photography, but was ultimately swayed to pursue painting after an artist he commissioned to paint a piece encouraged Fiasco to paint it instead.
The Soho exhibit isn't Fiasco's first — in late 2013 the rapper debuted "Wasalu Muhammad Jaco: Bound," which featured photos, film and sound from famous museums, at Anonymous Gallery in New York City.
But the 33-year-old rapper's new art collection, focused on paintings, includes includes artwork from his new album Tetsuo and Youth, along with other abstract works.
Grammy winner Fiasco, who has released five studio albums, is known for his socially-conscious, anti-establishment lyrics and a bevy of hits, including "The Show Goes On," "Superstar" and "Kick, Push."
In January 2013, he was removed from the stage after performing a 30-minute version of "Words I Never Said" at President Barack Obama's second presidential inauguration. The song contains anti-Obama lyrics.
For prices and more information on Fiasco's artwork, inquire with Soho House reception at 312-521-8000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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