NEW YORK —
The fan-organized event was dubbed "Fiasco Friday," but the event was anything but a disaster. Upward of 200 fans cheered, danced and rapped Lupe's lyrics for hours before he arrived just shy of 3 p.m. to address the crowd.
"So, y'all actually did it, huh?" he said to the audience. "The first thing I want to say is: Congratulations. The second thing I want to say is: Thank you very much for putting on a very peaceful protest. The third thing I want to say is: Lasers is dropping March 8th!"
Each remark from the MC drew a loud reaction. The event was initially organized by two New Jersey natives, Matt Morrelli, 19, and Matt La Corte, 17, as a way to help Lupe Fiasco score a release date for his long-delayed third album. The rapper had been at odds with his label over creative differences, among other issues.
But last week, he sent a picture via Twitter of himself with Atlantic Records executive Julie Greenwald with the caption "Victory." A press release was issued the next day announcing the March date for Lupe Fiasco's album.
During the rally, Warner Music Group executive Lyor Cohen addressed the crowd before the rapper showed up and played the first single from his forthcoming project.
According to La Corte, fans traveled from as far as Los Angeles to attend the event, which was transformed from a protest into a march. Fans walked from outside Central Park to the label's Sixth Avenue offices in midtown. A rally was also held in the rapper's hometown of Chicago.
"It's really an incredible moment, after doing all this work, to really see Lupe Fiasco in front of you," La Corte told MTV News of the event, which he organized with Morrelli without having ever met his fellow Lupe Fiasco fan. "I went up and shook [Lupe's] hand, asked him to make a speech for us, and it was really a culminating moment for a fantastic experience for all of us here."
"Lupe came out," Morrelli told MTV News after the rapper's address. "A lot of artists would have turned their cheek to this and say they couldn't support this. This could have gone against him. But it went the other way. He supports his fans. He knows his fanbase, and that's what we love. He's staying true to us. That really speaks to what he is. That inspires us, that's what caused this, and that's what we're about: staying true."
What do you think of the level of dedication from Lupe's fans? Let us know in the comments!