CHICAGO (May 20, 2014) – U.S. Soccer has named Grammy Award-winning recording artist Lupe Fiasco as the Music Director for the Men’s National Team and artist Futura the Art Director for the Men’s National Team’s 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign.
Building on the “One Nation. One Team.” theme, Chicago-born and Grammy-winning hip-hop artist Fiasco will collaborate with U.S. Soccer in a variety of areas during the Send-Off Series and the World Cup. He will be creating Spotify playlists, in collaboration with his DJ group the SNDCLSH, and handle in-game music programming during the Send-Off Series.
U.S. Soccer is working to promote Fiasco’s new single, “Mission,” during the Send-Off Series. The single, which is about the fight against cancer, was released on Monday. Fiasco will appear in Times Square in New York during Fan Appreciation Day on May 30, and he will hold a music set in Chicago at the U.S. Soccer Fan Fest prior to the USA’s match against Ghana on June 16.
New York native Futura, world renowned for his pioneering role in the birth of graffiti-style artwork and designs, will provide his own flavor that will include the official Men’s National Team World Cup poster, limited-edition skate deck designs and other limited-edition items. Futura’s signature style will be tied to the team during the U.S. MNT’s road to Brazil, and he will create two “live” works at the Fan Appreciation Day on May 30 and the U.S. Soccer Fan Fest in Chicago on June 16. Those live works will be auctioned off, with the proceeds benefiting Fiasco's “Mission” campaign.
Lupe Fiasco, born Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, is a 32-year-old Grammy Award-winning hip hop artist who was once named GQ Magazine’s “Man of the Year” and Rolling Stone Magazine’s “Artist to Watch.” Since his breakout hit “Kick Push” in 2006, Fiasco has been praised for his philosophical, sharp and dynamic lyricism. His catalogue of albums, Food & Liquor, The Cool, LASERS, and Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Part 1, have all received wide critical and commercial success, earning the Chicago-born artist 12 Grammy nominations, numerous RIAA certifications and a No. 1 Billboard Top 200 album.
Fiasco’s fifth studio album, Tetsuo & Youth, is set for release later this year.
Futura, originally known as Futura 2000, is an acclaimed painter, graphic designer, graffiti artist and sports aficionado. He has been a global icon of artistic collaboration for more than 30 years. One of his earliest cross-genre projects included painting live, on-stage murals for the British rock band The Clash. He has since expanded his collaborative horizons, working with apparel designers such as agnès b, Burton and Nike. He has also served, most recently, as the Creative Director for both (RED)’s 2014 global “Dance Red Save Lives” campaign and Sprite’s 2014 NBA All-Star Game art initiative with LeBron James.
Born Leonard McGurr in 1955 in New York, Futura birthed his iconoclastic persona in the streets, and subway tunnels of New York City. He was a friend and contemporary of the legendary Keith Haring. Futura’s abstract art and aerosol strokes have become a staple in public art collections in New York, France, Japan, Hong Kong and Italy. Futura’s artwork and designs have also expanded into additional commercial commissions for the likes of Hennessy/LVMH, A Bathing Ape, Uniqlo, Descente and Levis, to name a few.