I ran through this interview of Angela Yee’s interview with Lupe at Rap Radar. After perusing through the whole clip I felt like this section was the most interesting point of the conversation. It’s understood that a lot of artists, musicians, rappers, or whatever you want to call them can be jerks and Lupe’s not immune to that title. Also they don’t always tell the truth about the goings-on behind the scenes. But they’re on the inside dealing with their issues while we, fans and writers alike, aren’t. Therefore they deserve their day in court unless their reputation makes you take everything they say with a grain of salt. Lupe’s gotten close to reaching that status for my tastes due to his past transgressions. But I decided to hear him out anyway since I appreciate his music.
With that said here’s what the rapper had to say with Ms. Yee on his differences with MTV.
Angela Yee: Now another thing that upset you recently was a MTV list they did a list of the top ten things you need to do put Lasers out.
AY: I didn’t think it was that offensive. Because I read the list…
Lupe: But they did a story before which was like Lupe Fiasco What Happened? And it was kinda like ‘f*ck you mean what happened? What are you talking about? And I just kind of let it go. I know those dudes personally. Why are yall letting these stories come out like this? It seems like ‘Hey Lupe we rock with you, you’re cool…’ and then it’s like ‘Oh…like, what?’
AY: But just because they know you, they still have to try to be unbiased if they really feel this way.
Lupe: Yeah but it was biased though. If it was unbiased then you would’ve reported on the protest. That’s as unbiased as you can possibly be and just tell the story directly. Get Atlantic Records’s half and get my half and put it together. Don’t put it on me like I’m just this little monster who [doesn’t] want to listen to my A&R because you honestly don’t know what the story is you know?
And they just caught me in a bad place when they came out with the second story which was the ten reasons for Lupe Fiasco to be successful. And I was like ‘you can’t dictate what success is to me. You don’t know what I have materially.’ You don’t know what I’ve achieved. And when they wrote the story I was on my way to be Principal For a Day at my old grade school on the West Side of Chicago. So it was like ‘Yo, why aren’t you talking about that? That’s success.’ That’s the success people need to see.
AY: I didn’t even know about that.
Lupe: Exactly, well you know about the top ten reasons I suck.
I’m sure Lupe knows that, when it comes to getting hits and revenue, speculation and criticism trump stories about making an impact on your community. And honestly he’s had plenty of experience on media outlets lambasting him. For instance, he got skewered for flubbing Q-Tip’s lines during VH-1’s hip hop honors show all while being unapologetic about it a few years back. But this isn’t the same situation since most of us really don’t know why his album got shelved.
We weren’t in the meetings nor listened to the album to make any conclusions on it. Simply put, you’re reaching when you wonder why a positive story gets no country in a voyeuristic culture that loves to see stars fall. You also look like Stretch Armstrong when you talk about what’s happening behind the scenes when you’re nowhere near the eye of the storm i.e. Lupe allegedly side eyeing B.o.B’s hit “Nothing on You” when, in actuality, he made a record and his label didn’t think it was suitable.
He went on to shed more light on his response to MTV and what people took from it.
AY: But see I didn’t know. I didn’t look at this top ten list of them saying you suck?
Lupe: No, no, no that’s just me being blatant. My reaction to it was very well crafted. And they caught me in a really funny place because we just started this book club. And the first book we just read was called Empire of Illusions. And if you want to join hit me up on twitter and find out how to get down with the Reader’s Book Club that we just started online.
And I just read this book on the empire of illusions and how corporate America and corporate media distract us from what’s going on and I know it’s true because I’m a part of it. And then you come with that? My response was like ‘Pfft, put it out for the world to see.’ And 98% of the people that commented back to what I said agreed with it. It was like ‘he’s not being to rash’ or ‘he’s not being an asshole. He was speaking the truth.’ And they were like ‘now what [are you going to] do?’
Finally Lupe commented on his “beef” with blogs leaking his music. I say “beef” because the aforementioned blogs, including this one, will continue to post his music after awhile if it’s hot. Lupe is a polarizing figure in rap to say the least. But he has enough clout to make unavoidable hits. All this nonsense will die down when that happens. But I digress.
AY: I would love to hear another Lupe mixtape before the album. Is that going to happen?
Lupe: Maybe, but…
AY: Because I remember you said before ‘we’re gonna put one out’ and then you got upset about music getting leaked…
Lupe: Yeah because I felt like the same blogs we were sending the music to first, these were the same dudes who, a day later, would put a picture on their iTunes with six of my songs on there. And then two days after that the songs just magically started to leak. And I was like ‘Nah, If you give me the opportunity to put out this mixtape to say that ‘Oh there were some unreleased songs’ or some unreleased records off the mixtape and it just so happened to be “Beamin’ ” you know what I’m saying? Beamin’ was not on the mixtape. It was never meant to be on the mixtape. Everything was there. So for me it kind of [made me] take a pause to figure out what was going on because I had people emailing my blog talking about we want to sell you some Lupe Fiasco records for $125.
Lupe: Dead ass!
Ay: Are you kidding me?
Lupe: No, dead ass! That’s the whole beef between me and 2dopeboyz and Nahright and a few other blogs. [That’s] why I approached them and i was like “Really, what the f*ck are you doing?”
AY: This whole internet stuff is tough.
Lupe: Yeah, I just want to cater to my fans. I love to rap and I love to make mixtapes but I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot just trying to put music out there. And when people say ‘you need to put out more songs’ I just did two Good Friday records, there was the Common record that drop yesterday, there was “Go To Sleep” before that on top of the mixtape itself. Then there are other records that leaked out with the mixtape. So I got at least 10-15 records out. You want me to put a mixtape out and while we’re still trying to put a single out…
AY: Well the fans want you. What are you gonna do?
Lupe: How [do] you know that though? If you want to see Lupe Fiasco perform some records come out to a show.
Here’s the thing. Getting your songs leaked, blatantly or not, is nothing new in the music industry. That doesn’t mean artists have to take it lying down. Instead, the least they can do is not be surprised by it and come up with a way to make up for the leaks. Lupe has been on a few records recently so his name is buzzing outside of his rabid fanbase. So it looks like his machine is rolling again.
Like I said this is just a snippet of the whole interview. He drops some gems every now and then throughout and talked about about his issues with getting Lasers released on Atlantic Records. Check out the rest at RapRadar.