child rebel soldier
Everyday Is Not A “Fiasco”

Lupe In EW

lupe-fiasco-entertainment.jpg

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Tell me about where your first single, ”Superstar,” came from. That seems to be about the experience of a musician rising to fame, right?

LUPE FIASCO: I took the looseness of the record from a Tom Waits song off his new album, Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards. The record comes from taking different themes and very dark, very macabre scenes, and placing them in a very poppy, commercial realm. There’s many instances in the song, but one of the main instances is, [if] going to heaven was like a club, and so you had to wait, and the beautiful people went in front of you. Then there would be situations where I would contrast an execution [that] looks like a performance — people are waiting to see this person die, and they fill up the front row to watch a man die. It comes from, how am I digesting being famous and celebrity? It’s like success and fame balanced with tragedy and infamy.

Another new song, ”Little Weapon,” was produced by Patrick Stump from Fall Out Boy. What was it like working with him?

He called me, like, ”I want to do a record for The Cool.” And I was telling people, ”This album’s dark, so the music needs to be dark but futuristic.” So he sent the beat for ”Little Weapon.” And I had a set list of things that I wanted to address on this album: I wanted to address the climate, which I didn’t really do, and I wanted to address child soldiers. I actually met these guys that run this organization called Invisible Children backstage at a Fall Out Boy show, and I did ”Little Weapon” as an ode to that [issue]. My partner Bishop G is on there taking the last verse. And the twist in the story is the little kid playing the video game — is he any different from the child soldier actually killing people? Because death is death, whether it’s digital death or real death.

How about ”Streets on Fire,” where you bring in the character of The Streets?

At the beginning of the song, [singer] Matthew Santos lists all these tragedies, and then it says, ”She’s out there smiling.” It comes from 1984, the book, where there was so much double-talk and double-think in the first few chapters. That’s my favorite book. I tried to put that in a record. So it’s like, ”Believe/So say the neon signs by the loudspeakers/Repeating that everything is fine.” You know? ”A subtle silence/To demolish the troubled conscience/Of a populace with no knowledge/And every freedom denied.” It comes directly influenced by 1984 — using it as a vehicle to introduce one of the characters very abstractly, very subtly.

”Dumb it Down” is another song that I heard a few weeks ago on YouTube. Those catchy hooks with different people urging you to dumb down your music. Do you really get that a lot?

It’s kind of perceived. My peoples that frequent clubs and go in the streets and things of that nature, they’ll be like, ”Yo man, this is what they’re saying in the hood: ‘I’m not really feeling Lupe.”’ Those are real conversations that I get the gist of. And then the second hook is more Big Brother-influenced, which is that unspoken — and in some cases spoken behind closed doors — mentality and agenda of a lot of different [record] companies. To actually be like, ”Let’s push some bulls— today.” That song touches on one of the base themes for The Cool: I went to go see Cornel West speak, and he said, ”If you really want to affect social change in the world, you have to make those things which are cool and destructive, uncool. You have to make it hip to be square.” ”Dumb it Down” was showing that. Like, the verses are super-duper complex, but the hook itself is telling the verses, like, ”Damn, yo, dumb it down! This is why we’re saying you need to dumb it down. Nobody just got that verse you just said, and that’s why you’re really not going to sell too many records.” It’s showing that: ”They’re starting to think that smart is cool, Lu/Dumb it down/They’re starting to get up out the hood, Lu/Dumb it down.” It’s like, ”We need to keep them there so we can constantly sell them things.”

I heard in a few songs there you mentioned the name of your next album, L-U-P-End. So I take it you’re sticking to your promise of making three albums and then you’re out?

Yeah, I think so. I’m 85 percent. My final album is L-U-P-End, and it comes from video games. I love video games, especially Capcom, and you can only put three letters when the game is over — three letters and ”END.”

Read entire interview here!

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4 Responses to “Lupe In EW”

  1. Gotta give thanks to Lu for picking up the ball. By far, you are the most thought provoking figures in mainstream media, and Hip Hop. This is a movement for our generation. Much respect.

  2. Man I dont want to read some of that cause you giving away too much about your albums, I like listening to your music to try and figure out what the hell your talking about like on “the instrumental”.

  3. Yes Lupe there is a HUGE difference from actual killers to those who play video games and those who kill people. That’s like putting Anthony Hopkins with Charles Manson because Hopkins portrayed a serial killer.

  4. no..
    sigh
    i get over whelmed thinking ull retire and it leaves me speakless
    makes me sad but i know its only lupes desission.
    lupe you make great music 🙂

    this artical was wrote on my birthday lol 23rd nov.


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