Lupe Fiasco to retire following three-disc album?

Lupe Fiasco
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It's a tale all too common in the hip-hop world today: a rapper claiming retirement. We've been there with Jay-Z. We idly sat by while M.I.A. said she was bowing out for good (this before the explosion of "Paper Planes"). Now itmight be Lupe Fiasco's turn.

Just two albums into his career, the Chicago-bred Fiasco (real name: Wasalu Muhammad Jaco) announced details at a recent Chicago concert on what might prove to be his final album, entitled LupEND. The news comes in threes: 1) The album will be a three-disc epic; 2) END will stand for "everywhere," "nowhere" and "down here," which will be the individual names of each disc; and 3) Fiasco toldBillboard the album derives its name from video games: "When you play a video game, you can only put in three letters for your name and when the game's over, those three letters and 'END' pop up."

If Fiasco does retire, hip-hop would lose one of its burgeoning leaders, a constant innovator who stood out in a mass of interchangeable stars. It would also come at a time when his popularity is at its peak. His debut, 2006's Food & Liquor (which boasted Kanye West and Jay-Z as producers), went gold. And "Superstar," a track off 2007's The Cool, broke into the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 back in March.

LupEND has no release date as of yet, and Fiasco's label, Atlantic Records, has refused to confirm or deny reports he's retiring. For all intents and purposes, LupEND will be his last album. Unless, you know, it isn't.

Watch Lupe Fiasco's retirement announcement at Chicago's Congress Theater here:

Related links:
Lupe Fiasco on MySpace
News: Lupe Fiasco breaks into Billboard rap charts
News: Lupe Fiasco: too Cool for fools

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