Wasalu “Lupe Fiasco” Jaco smiles at event attendees. A Grammy award-winning rapper and a visiting scholar at MIT, Lupe Fiasco led an event for Harvard Law School affiliates to learn about the Royal Game of Ur this March.
Wasserstein Hall, the location of Lupe Fiasco’s Ur event, is located at Harvard Law School. The event was hosted by the HLS Recording Artists Project.
Crimson arts reporter Dylan R. Ragas and other participants watch as Fiasco explains the basics of Ur — the oldest board game in the world — which involves two players and originates from ancient Mesopotamia.
Participants begin to play Ur. Harvard affiliates, including alumni, faculty, and students, were present.
Ragas asks event leaders a question. Sophia Hasenfus, organizer and staff member at MIT, explains that the société internationale d'UR has been “running tournaments, teaching people how to play Ur, [and] telling people about the history of Ur” through events like this one.
Lupe Fiasco assists participants as they begin to learn Ur. Mo Light, participant and HLS alumnus, attended the event because he “heard that [his] friends were coming and that Lupe Fiasco was going to be here.”
A group of participants gather to observe Ragas’s practice game. “What’s so funny is, when I was thirteen, I made a cover of ‘Words I Never Said’ and I uploaded it to YouTube, and I had to unlist it because it was terrible,” Light noted. “But I’m here to redeem myself and have a good night and play Ur.”
Players and observers smile, enjoying a game of Ur. The tournament was conducted with multiple elimination rounds, culminating in a one-on-one final competition for a premium Ur board.
Lupe Fiasco holds up an Ur board, emphasizing that the tournament is structured for everyone to enjoy themselves and have a good time. Fiasco’s love for Ur is evident as competitors learned a lot under his guidance.
—Staff writer Stella A. Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff writer Dylan R. Ragas can be reached at email@example.com.