Arts

Kardinal Offishall outperforms Lupe Fiasco at Fedstock

Photo by Marta Keirkus

For most hip-hop connoisseurs, Lupe Fiasco might be a bigger and better name than Kardinal Offishall. But that wasn’t the case at this year’s Fedstock, the big party of 101 Week.

Offishall opened the night with some of his classics, including “Beautiful,” “Dangerous,” “The Anthem,” and the Juno Award-winning “Can’t Choose.”

He also performed a series of reggae-infused hip-hop songs, and the audience was treated to tracks from his upcoming album, Kardi Gras. The Toronto rapper left to cheers and adulation from the the enormous crowd of first-years.

But those cheers died down for a long while as concertgoers were subjected to a full two-hour wait for Lupe Fiasco to take the stage. Despite the lengthy downtime, a light show and small video montage introduced Fiasco before he came out full throttle with “Mission.” For the most part however, the crowd wasn’t all that familiar with the Chicago-based artist’s songs or lyrics, and the performance lost momentum quickly.

Despite Fiasco’s energy, the first large group of students started filing out a quarter of the way through his set, and other than the die-hard Fiasco fans, the remaining crowd appeared to be talking or texting. Once the radio-friendly “Out of My Head” was over, he lost his drive by following it with “Bitch Bad.”

He did manage to make up for it later with some more crowd interaction, and the female roar was loudest when the hook to “Old School Love” blasted the speakers. The crowd was most energized and at its loudest when he performed his feature on Kanye West’s “Touch the Sky.” Everyone raised their hands and sang along—and even the medical staff seemed to be into it. He then transitioned to “Kick Push,” and the crowd went into even more of a frenzy when the beat stopped and Lupe performed the second verse a capella.

The highlight of the show was Fiasco’s double-header of “Superstar” and “The Show Goes On,” perhaps his most successful singles. Some of the 101ers who seemed to be heading for the exit even ran back into the crowd.

However, that led to an anticlimactic end to Fedstock. Instead of leaving on a high note, Fiasco decided to stick around to play snippets of songs only true fanatics would recognize, and closed the show with a more sombre version of “Who Are You Now.”

By the end of the show, the crowd for Lupe Fiasco was a third of the size it had been for Kardinall Offishall. Fedstock gave the impression that even though Lupe Fiasco may be the better or at least more recognized artist, Kardinall Offishall was by far the better performer.