Lupe Fiasco headlines Spring Concert, Shwayze and ‘Rap’ winner open

Lupe Fiasco’s album “The Cool” has been nominated for four Grammy Awards.

Fiasco is scheduled to perform at Eastern at 8 p.m. Saturday in Lantz Arena with opening acts Shwayze and “So You Think You Can Rap” winner Ian Winston.

Ceci Brinker, director of Student Life, said the University Board chose Fiasco because they wanted to add some diversity to the concert line-up.

“I believe that this concert event will give Eastern students more bang for their buck,” Brinker said. “There are three distinctly unique and different hip-hop and rap styles that will be showcased during this show; so there is something for everybody at this concert, which is different than most UB concerts in the past.”

Brinker thinks Fiasco will put on a great concert and believes that since he, along with his music, is so well known among the students, this will be a more memorable event for everyone in attendance.

“Students have talked about the need to diversify concert events at Eastern, and the UB Concert Committee has stepped-up and delivered this time,” Brinker said.

Tom Usher, UB concerts coordinator elect, thinks Eastern should not just cater to one genre.

“You should switch it up to appeal to everyone,” Usher said. “I’m a fan of both of them (Fiasco and Shwayze). I just like the genre in general, and I like how they sound.”

Usher’s favorite Fiasco song is “Superstar.”

Other Eastern students have also expressed their interest in Fiasco.

“I don’t know all the songs, but I am a pretty big fan,” said Lauren Nichols, a freshman elementary education major. “‘Sunshine’ is probably my favorite song of his.”

Myka Williams, a senior African-American studies major, said she liked the fact that the tickets for the concert were fairly cheap. Tickets were $10 for students and $20 for the general public.

“It will be a good time out,” she said. “Plus, I like the fact that he is from Chicago.”

Her favorite one of Fiasco’s songs is “Flashing Lights.”

This song is one that Fiasco performed with Kanye West.

Martin Sanchez, a junior public relations major, is a huge Fiasco fan.

“I think he was the best pick from all the other choices,” Sanchez said. “It’s kind of cool to switch it up a little.”

Sanchez thinks this concert will be more diverse than the Jason Mraz or Goo Goo Dolls concerts.

Sanchez’s favorite song of Fiasco’s is “Go Go Gadget Flow.”

He also is looking forward to Shwayze and likes his song “Corona and Lime.”

Andre Simmons, a sophomore corporate communications major, said he really likes Fiasco’s style of music.

“He brings something different to the table and his brand of rap doesn’t mention drugs, sex with women or cars,” Simmons said. “He is actually pretty intellectual in his songs.”

Hurley said that the UB would be setting up the stage for the artists Friday night and Saturday afternoon.

“We haven’t had a hip-hop artist in a while, so I’m sure it will be some people’s first concert at Eastern, and I hope everyone has a good time,” Hurley said. “The show starts with (“So You Think You Can Rap” winner) Ian Winston and after that Shwayze will be on for about 45 minutes and Lupe will be on for an hour.”

Ian Winston, one of the opening acts, is also a huge Fiasco fan.

“I listen to Lupe and I have both albums ‘Food & Liquor’ and ‘The Cool,'” Winston said. “I’d say my favorite song is ‘Kick Push,’ ‘The Coolest,’ ‘The Die’ and ‘Dumb It Down.’ I really like all of the songs on both albums, though.”

Winston said hip-hop is what he lives.

Winston said Lupe shows what it truly means to be part of the hip-hop scene and that he is not like other rappers on the radio who talk about nonsense.

Ian Winston

Ian Winston won the “So You Think You Can Rap” competition and will now be opening for Lupe Fiasco.

“This is a bigger venue than me and my buddies have had back in Champaign,” Winston said. “I will perform one of my newest tracks called ‘Turn It Up,’ ‘She Mambo,’ and ‘Don’t Want to be Right.'”

He has been doing talent shows since he was nine years old.

“I really honed my skills when I was in college,” he said. “I am just going to perform and get everybody into it.”

He said it is not everyday a person gets to perform with someone of Fiasco’s caliber.

“It’s an honor to perform at this show,” he said. “I love performing. It’s just fun feeling the energy from the crowd and going out there.”

Lupe is one of Winston’s influences along with Eminem, Nas, Jay-Z, the Wu-Tang Clan and Kanye West.

Winston has the stage name “I2K” and thought of this name during the Y2K crises.

“I was poking fun of this in seventh grade and I kept it because I thought it was funny,” Winston said.