The Show Goes On (song)

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"The Show Goes On"
Single by Lupe Fiasco
from the album Lasers
Released October 26, 2010
Format Single, download
Recorded 2010
Genre Hip hop
Length 3:57
Label 1st & 15th / Atlantic
Songwriter(s) Jaco, Isaac Brock, N. Naanai, Jonathon Brown, Dann Gallucci, Daniel Johnson, Eric Judy
Producer(s) Kane Beatz
Lupe Fiasco singles chronology
"I'm Beamin'"
"The Show Goes On"
"Words I Never Said"

"I'm Beamin'"
"The Show Goes On"
"Words I Never Said"

"The Show Goes On" is a song by American recording artist Lupe Fiasco, released on October 26, 2010 as the lead single from his third studio album Lasers.[1] Prominently built on the bassline of Pachelbel's Canon, the song was produced by Kane Beatz, and the melody of the song was based on the 2004 song "Float On" by Modest Mouse. Unlike Canon, which is traditionally in the key of D, the song transposes it to the G key. The song features backing vocals from JR Get Money. It was released to iTunes on November 9, 2010 and debuted at No. 57 on the Billboard Hot 100, eventually reaching a peak of No. 9. It was released in the UK on February 20, 2011. The song was a major point of contention for the artist and a reason for the lengthy delay of the album, making the title fitting; as Lupe was told unequivocally by record producers: "If you don't do 'The Show Goes On', your album's not coming out."[2] However, XXL named it 14th Best Song of 2011.[3] The song was nominated for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song at the 54th Grammy Awards.


Lupe Fiasco announced the name of the single at the Fiasco Friday protest on October 15, 2010. On that day, Lyor Cohen came down to play the single for the protest turned celebrating fan base situated outside Atlantic Records. In a NovaFM interview, he gave an analysis of the first verse. He went on to say, "For them it was 'why is he talking about the record label, but it's still a great song. For me, I was like 'No, that's my therapy... To give you this song... Now you have to make it a worldwide smash. You have to play it on the radio... So every time you hear it, you're going to hear me talking about your ass."[4]

On February 28, 2011, what the Complex magazine published an interview with Lupe that detailed the background behind the single.[5]

In an interview with The Adelaide Tribune, Lupe expanded further on his feelings toward the record.[6]

The song was released on Lupe Fiasco's website on October 26 for download. This marked the first officially planned released single from Lasers ("Shining Down" and "I'm Beamin" were leaks re-released as street singles). "The Show Goes On" appeared on the iTunes Music Store on November 9.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "The Show Goes On" was released on December 25, 2010. It was directed by Hiro Murai and shows Lupe backstage preparing for a performance.[7] Contrary to popular belief[who?], the skull and crossbones glove is actually associated with Mastermind Japan and not Lupe Fiasco's post-punk band, Japanese Cartoon. It was MTV's last Jam Of The Week of 2010. The video itself was nominated for MTV's VMA Award for Best Hip Hop Video.

Chart performance[edit]

"The Show Goes On" peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, making this song Lupe's second top ten hit and biggest hit to date.[8] "The Show Goes On" is Lupe Fiasco's best selling and highest charting song to date. As of June 2011, the single has sold more than 3,000,000 digital units in the US.[9]

Charts and certifications[edit]


  1. ^ "Lupe Fiasco in-depth interview by Pete Lewis, 'Blues & Soul' March 2011". October 15, 2010. Retrieved June 6, 2012. 
  2. ^ Batey, Angus (March 3, 2011). "Lupe Fiasco: 'I have the right to speak out'". The Guardian. London. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "Lupe Fiasco Takes a Stab at the Music Business in The Show Goes On". 2011-02-08. Retrieved 2011-02-08. 
  5. ^ "Interview: Lupe Fiasco Hates His Own Album". Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  6. ^ "Turn It Up: Lupe Fiasco yking the making of 'L.A.S.E.R.S.":'It was destroying me'". March 1, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  7. ^ "Beyond The Video: "The Show Goes On"". 2011-01-10. Retrieved 2011-02-08. 
  8. ^ "Top 100 Music Hits, Top 100 Music Charts, Top 100 Songs & The Hot 100" (in French). June 2, 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2012. 
  9. ^ Grein, Paul (December 14, 2011). "Chart Watch Extra: The Year's Top 30 Hits | Chart Watch (NEW) - Yahoo! Music". Retrieved June 6, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Top 50 Singles Chart - Australian Record Industry Association". Archived from the original on September 2, 2011. Retrieved June 6, 2012. 
  11. ^ " – Lupe Fiasco – The Show Goes On" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved 2011-03-11.
  12. ^ "Brazil" (PDF). ABPD. October 6, 2001. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Lupe Fiasco Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard.
  14. ^ "Chart Track: Week 2, 2011". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  15. ^ "Chart #1771 – Monday May 2, 2011: Top 40 Singles Chart". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. May 2, 2011. Retrieved May 3, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  17. ^ "Lupe Fiasco Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  18. ^ "Lupe Fiasco Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard.
  19. ^ "Lupe Fiasco Chart History (Hot Rap Songs)". Billboard.
  20. ^ "Lupe Fiasco Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  21. ^ "Lupe Fiasco Chart History (Rhythmic)". Billboard.
  22. ^ "ARIA Top 100 Singles 2011". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on February 2, 2012. Retrieved 2015-01-18. 
  23. ^ "Best of 2011: Hot 100 Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-09. 
  24. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2011 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on May 15, 2011. Retrieved January 18, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Recording Industry Association of America". RIAA. Retrieved June 6, 2012.