Grammy award-winning rapper Lupe Fiasco and Professor of Digital Media Nick Montfort have come together to engage the MIT community at the intersection of rap, computing, and activism.
Wasalu Jaco, better known as Lupe Fiasco’s work as a rapper and producer is informed by his interests in cognitive science, linguistics, semiotics, and computing. During his 2021 CAST residency, he shared insights from his work as an entrepreneur and community advocate, for instance working with the Society of Spoken Art (SOSA), an educational guild for aspiring and established rappers, of which he is a co-founder.
In fall 2021, Montfort and Fiasco led “Code Cypher,” a programming competition for language and rhythm that engages teams of MIT students in a one-day creative coding event. Lupe Fiasco is joining MIT in the 2022-23 academic year as part of MIT’s MLK Visiting Professors and Scholars Program. Fiasco, whose new album Drill Music in Zion will drop on June 24, 2022 is going to make Cambridge his home base as he engages with the campus community through class visits and by teaching a special subjects course on rap in spring 2023. His appointment is hosted by Comparative Media Studies/Writing professor Nick Montfort and Literature professor Mary Fuller.