Complex caught up with Lupe, and he speaks on why he kinda sorta doesn’t f*ck with his own album Lasers. Basically Atlantic Records doesn’t really give you a lot of artistic freedom. They want you to make the records that they feel will allow them to make money. I’m not mad at that mentality, because at the end of the day it’s a business. That being said I don’t know if what Atlantic wants is what an artist’s fans want, which is pretty much Lupe’s main point. Plus from what I ‘ve heard their is a lot of shadiness involved with Atlantic’s songwriting/publishing splits. I mean the boss of all bosses over there is just pimping the system.
Lupe is a bit of a complainer, but I gotta co-sign his stance on these things. Below are two perfect examples of Atlantic forcing Lupe on that pop wave, and it simply not working. This music ain’t no “Gold Watch“.
- “One thing I try to stress about this project is, I love and hate this album. I listen to it and I’ll like some of the songs. But when I think about what it took to actually get the record together and everything that I went through on this record-which is something I can’t separate-I hate this album. A lot of the songs that are on the album, I’m kinda neutral to. Not that I don’t like them, or that I hate them, it’s just I know the process that went behind it. I know the sneaky business deal that went down behind this song, or the artist or singer or songwriter who wrote this hook and didn’t want to give me this song in the first place. So when I have that kind of knowledge behind it, I’m just kind of neutral to it like, ‘Another day, another dollar.’ As opposed something like The Cool, which is more of my own blood, sweat, and tears, and my own control. With this record, I’m little bit more neutral as to the love for the record.” I don’t like the process behind Lasers. The music is dope but I just don’t like the process. We were literally at the point where all this music was done except for a couple songs that we did after the protest. So the bulk of the album was done. And we were talking about shelving the album and going to another label, that’s where we were like, ‘If you put the record out, put it out. Either move on to another album or can it and we’ll do other records at another label.’ The business of it got solved. I’m happy for the fans, this is their album. This is the album that they fought for and that’s what made me do songs like ‘Words I Never Said’ and ‘All Black Everything.’”The [fans] came and put their lives on the line in some instances-because you never know what could happen, it could have been a stampede. I look at that as very inspiring and motivational. That was one of the only reasons the label got on the phone and wanted to have that meeting, they seen the outpouring of support and the critique that was beginning to mobilize via the Internet. CNN, MTV, and Village Voice was picking up the story of the protest and actually interviewing the kids and the kids was speaking their piece. And it wasn’t the most glorifying things that they were saying. I think that, as well as the pressure of the business itself, where it was at a point like, ‘Look, Lupe is not going to come into the building at all.’ It was periods of stalemate where I wasn’t going into Atlantic Records. I had nothing against the average employees-a lot of those people are my friends-but the executive attitude was something I did not like.”