Photo by Natalie Kardos
Here's how it breaks down. As Lupe told us in an interview interview last year, the follow-up to The Cool will be titled LupE.N.D., and it will be his last album. But at a show at Chicago's Congress Theatre on Halloween, Lupe offered some more information: The last three letters of the title stand for Everywhere, Nowhere, and Down Here, which are the individual names given to the three discs of LupE.N.D. That's right, Lupe is planning to "retire" (seeing is believing-- or rather, in this case, never seeing again is believing) with a triple-CD release.
As a point of reference, Wikipedia claims MF Grimm's 2006 record American Hunger was "the first three-disc album in hip-hop history." If you're asking yourself, "MF Who?," or "American What?" right now: Exactly.
Call me skeptical, but retiring after you release one decent-ish album, one incredibly abstract and convoluted concept album [Hey! I think both of those albums are pretty great!-- Ed.], and a sure-to-be-bloated triple-disc monstrosity is not the way to cement your place in rap history.
In addition to all this, the LupE.N.D. Blog also reports that Lupe recorded a live CD/DVD at that Halloween show. It doesn't seem to be attached to LupE.N.D., which means it had better come out before that, so as not to disturb the integrity of the MC's retirement.
Attempts to ask Lupe, "Why? Just...why?" in person can be made at any of his remaining tour dates.
11-10 Santa Barbara, CA - University of California, Santa Barbara
11-12 Los Angeles, CA - Club Nokia
11-15 Storrs, CT - Jorgenson Theatre
11-17 Elmira, NY - Emerson Hall
11-22 Geneseo, NY - SUNY Geneseo Kuhl Gym
12-05 College Park, MD - University of Maryland Ritchie Coliseum
01-16 Auckland, New Zealand - Mt. Smart Stadium (Big Day Out)
01-18 Gold Coast, Australia - Parklands (Big Day Out)
01-23 Sydney, Australia - Showgrounds (Big Day Out)
01-26 Melbourne, Australia - Flemington Racecourse (Big Day Out)
01-30 Adelaide, Australia - Showgrounds (Big Day Out)
02-01 Perth, Australia - Claremont Showground (Big Day Out)