Lupe Fiasco Speaks To Chicago High School Graduates, Blasts Education System

Lupe Fiasco hit the podium with, "Congratulations, you have graduated from one of the most terrible, substandard school systems in the entire world." He also pledged financial support.

Chicago, Illinois emcee Lupe Fiasco was among distinguished presenters at this past weekend at what is being called the Mass Black Male Graduation And Transition To Manhood ceremony. Held at Chicago State University, the Atlantic Records star made a speech lambasting the education system and praising their efforts.

“Congratulations, you have graduated from one of the most terrible, substandard school systems in the entire world. You have just spent the last...12 years receiving one of the worst educations on earth. You are at least four, five steps behind people in other countries that are younger than you,” began Lupe, according to The Chicago Sun-Times. He also said, "Transition to manhood is the most important thing that’s going on right now. The caps and the gowns and your tassels and your honorary blah blah blahs don’t mean nothing. That’s just dress. That’s just some clothes. Meaningless clothes, too, because they have no real purpose in life. They don’t keep you warm. What do they do? They just represent to someone else that you’ve achieved something. But then when you look back at it, what have you achieved?” He continued, “For young Black men...it is one the last things that we have . . . and one of the last things that we can control. Manhood is connected to humanity.”

Fiasco reportedly offered $100 to each student who attended the event. The newspaper claimed that approximately 150 grads appeared to see the Food & Liquor creator.

Philip Jackson of The Black Star Project organized the event. He praised Lupe's strong words, “[Lupe Fiasco] gave the young people their first real dose of reality."

The Chicago Sun-Times covered the event in full.

RELATED: Lupe Fiasco Removed From Stage After Making Anti-Obama Comments

Advertisement

More Audio On HipHopDX

83 Comments

  • punaniVamper

    true. i went to school in the US up to 8th grade and then i moved to poland and i was on a six grade level over there. fuck no child left behind

  • Anonymous

    https://soundcloud.com/crimson-james/we-win

  • JA RULE X HARRY FARUD

    JA RULE X HARRY FARUD

  • JA RULE X HARRY FARUD

    JA RULE X HARRY FARUD

  • JA RULE X HARRY FARUD

    JA RULE X HARRY FARUD

  • Anonymous

    New Jay Z Magna Carta Holy Grail go get it www. hiphopgood .com

  • 666

    http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/2EtfZocT0Fo/mqdefault.jpg

  • REL

    Nobody cares about this bum didn't this nigga retire? Like 3 times? Stay there homie. NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEXT

  • whoopi

    lupe str8 looks like whoopi goldberg in that pic

  • xsss9

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRFmnAw1siY

  • JohnBoy

    Good shit Lu. More people need to start appealing out about this type of stuff. America once had the number 1 school system in the world and that was as recently as the nineties. Now we are not even in the top 20. People should start asking what changed so quickly.

    • yup

      Exactly,but when you don't put money into te school system ou cabt expect to get anything out. Trust me my moms was a teacher 4 awhile n schools just took a turn 4 the worst.

  • S-Matik The Oracle

    ya'll missing the point and overly complicating it beyond it's intent... Yes he's saying that just because they graduated from one of the worst school systems in the nation, they shouldn't take it as too major of an accomplishment... He's also letting them know, regardless of any pre-defined status they may acquire, the only true title they have control over is what it means to them to be a "man" or what defines their "manhood". Anyone can get pushed through school and be called a "graduate", even as far as being a "bachelor of" or "Master/Doctor of"... but to be a man, is ones own self-defining moment... and thats what he was challenging them to aspire for greatness in, to be greater individual beings overall... Not to settle for the title of a graduate as if it's a "be all, end all", but to strive to become a greater individual in all facets of life, not just academically, but economically, domestically, and all other categories that may, and eventually will apply at some point in life. Peace!!!

  • jacksjus

    Lupe is deep. It's hard to believe a young cat has so much to say. What he said was absolutely 100% the truth.

  • e2300

    goig out their now start throwing them out their windows

  • micheal myers

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-7zFV6ypZg

  • 666

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bt5rCgHN1Gc

  • JASONNN

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3a1dxE1tVoA

  • Hiroko S. Hill

    as Gloria replied I didnt even know that a student able to make ($)5882 in a few weeks on the internet. did you see this web page... can99.c.o.m.

  • Anonymous

    Prolly has an album coming out.

  • 007000

    http://tfwiki.net/mediawiki/images2/thumb/5/56/DW_devastator.jpg/800px-DW_devastator.jpg

  • Anonymous

    Has anyone ever had peanut butter n honey biscuits? soo good

  • Anonymous

    alright so a cap and gown wont keep you warm on a cold winters eve... I fail to see his point beyond that

  • KING YEBO

    THIS IS THE BEST RAPPER, LYRICIST AND ACTIVIST IN HIP-HOP OF ALL TIME. Y'ALL NEED TO WAKE UP, HE SHOULD TELL A LIE JUST BECAUSE OF THE VENUE? I SWEAR THAT HIP-HOP FANS ARE DUMBER EACH YEAR, Y'ALL SHOULD BE HAPPY FOR PEOPLE LIKE LUPE FIASCO. HE IS NOT SCARED TO TELL HIS OPINION, HE'S NOT SOME IGNORANT ASS NIGGA. AND AT THE SAME TIME, HE IS THE BEST ROLE MODEL AMONG RAPPERS - EDUCATED, NEVER PROMOTED VIOLENCE, DRUGS OR ALCOHOL, NEVER TOOK THAT SHIT, HE'S NOT IGNORANT. FUCK CHIEF KEEF AND ALL THAT FUCKING IGNORANT STUPID ASS RAPPERS WHO NEVER EVER GOT A SINGLE BOOK IN THEIR HANDS. THE SOCIETY AND HIP-HOP IS TOTALLY FUCKED UP BECAUSE WE STILL HAVE PEOPLE WHO ARE ABLE TO CRITICISE PEOPLE LIKE LUPE FIASCO.

  • Anonymous

    Download Jay-Z Magana Carta Holy Grail at www. hiphopgood .com Nice SO Far

  • Philip

    Philip Jackson is a retard. These kids have had a real dose of reality since they were 3 and had to hide on the floor under the crib because shots were being fired outside. They had their first dose of reality when they got jumped into gangs on their way to elementary school. They had their first dose of reality when their friends got shot and killed in and outside their schools. Lupe Fiasco is right about one thing. No one gives a rat's behind about these kids or what they accomplished. I'm not going to say he's right about stating the obvious (the quality of their education)

  • Anonymous

    he basically said that graduating highschool dont mean shit, which is true its all about what you do after highschool, its the skills that you teach yourself

  • Kramer

    STFU Asshole hipster liberal.

  • Anonymous

    People are mad because he wasn't "inspiring" well inspiration comes different for every person. Lupe obviously gets inspired by people telling him he can't do something. He likes to be challenged. Others are mad because graduation is supposed to be joyous and a celebration well Lupe is trying to say you should expect to graduate but it shouldn't be the finish line. You have more work to do and if you can't see that for yourself I'm going to tell you how far behind you are. That to me is inspiring. If you can't be inspired by the challenge to be better then maybe you are the type of person that is okay never improving their life.

  • wolfman

    Really.. It never ends. Someone burn this conception that speaking out against shit makes you superior. Unless you're offering something better, I don't give a fuck.

  • 1010

    music wise, he's amazing, but i hate when he talks, all he does is talk down on society, he tells black teens not to trust government, don't vote because every politicians corrupted, now he's saying graduating high school is meaningless...and then he wonders why black teens are becoming ignorant & ending up like Chief Keef,

    • Anonymous

      When did he say graduating high school was meaningless? He said that the kids have graduated from one of the worst school systems in the world, and have received a half-assed education. That's true, look it up. Chicago's school system plays a huge role in creating the Chief Keef's of the world...

  • Graduate from that high school

    I iz sooper smrt becuz i dunn gradyouated! Loopy iz jst stupid he dont know what he talkin bout.

  • Anonymous

    Lupe should have handed them copies of 'Kill them before they grow' to go along with that talk.

  • Anonymous

    Master P's daughter is Filipina though

  • triPAUD

    real talk lupe. i'm critical of him when he talks some bullshit, but this is good.

  • Anonymous

    Fuck outta here Lupe. Seriously. No one cares. You ain't Chuck D. Just shut up already. You're losing people, not winning them.

  • Me mvc

    All he is really saying they haven't really done shit, which is true, in a since. You SHOULD expect to graduate from High School and that your journey is just beginning. Nothing wrong with a dose of the truth.

  • chris

    don't act like these kids don't already feel that way. he's not telling them their degrees are meaningless. he's attempting to empower them by saying "these teachers who said you couldn't...who didn't really care about you and just pushed you through...tried their hardest to hold you back, but you made it anyway. that takes courage and strength. if you can make it through that, you can do anything." ya'll uppity "fit into the mold that hates you" booker t negros are laughable. this is the real world. lupe said some real ish. step outside yourselves. only by telling it like it is and exposing the truth will things change at all. and look at chicago. SOMETHING needs to change. the event organizer agrees with him. the kids agree with him. maybe when they grow up, they'll force the change that their parents' generation was too scared to let happen.

  • Anonymous

    speak the truth lupe

  • Anonymous

    I'd also like to add that there needs to people telling kids how to go through college with minimum loans or as even without student loans (though that is difficult to pull off) I also think that we need to make learning a trade more well known because while college isn't for everyone I think there are a lot of people who could learn a trade and have some success. Occupations like plumbers make decent money

  • Anonymous

    I don't co-sign on telling kids who just graduated that their degrees doesn't mean shit. But...Lupe gave the same speech my dad gave me when I graduated high school. I too graduated from a pretty bad high school with a less than 50% graduation rate. I wasn't there so I don't know the full speech but my dad pretty much told me I can only get so far with a high school degree and to either go to college or learn a trade, he also told me to not join the military due to bad experience. So mixed feelings. I don't think every kid that graduated had the upbringing I had so it can potentially demoralize them. My high school was shit, I knew it was shit so I understood that having a high school diploma wasn't shit when I graduated

  • Ballin

    Lupe's right about the education system. Education system sucks for those in poverty & inner cities. As for the college level, tuition keeps rising & makes it difficult for people to go to college. IMO, education is the #1 issue in this country now. Education leads to money, which leads to needs being met, which in return helps economy & lowers crime (as people have no need to result to black markets, crime in order to get money/make a living/spend their time). However, Lupe should have praised these kids more. Kids put in work & should be cool with themselves.

  • Eazy

    From kick flip to dressing like Spike Lee and acting like you know everything now. Shut the fuck up Lugay.

  • RT

    Read the transcript, and some of the reactions from the students, and parents. Nothing anybody else says or thinks matters.

  • 079900

    http://tfwiki.net/mediawiki/images2/e/ea/MTME1_Reflector_camera.jpg

  • thetruthhurts

    This is why I don't support Lupe. He's a dumb ass hypocritical fool who doesn't know the meaning of time and place and I'm tired of hearing him open his mouth on a variety of subjects with his conspiracy theorist ass. When you are speaking at a high school in one of the worst cities in America for crime and violence, you don't then tell those kids who managed to survive and graduate that what they did was entirely worthless. That it doesn't mean shit. I'm sure there are kids in that audience who are the first to graduate from High School, or kids who graduated while their close friends were killed in the on-going Chicago violence. Lupe did not think about the words he was speaking for very long, because if he did he would not have made such a worthless speech. What he did was entirely self-serving and not reflective of the actual realities Chicago kids are facing these days. What Lupe said is worthless because it does not actually call anybody to action, it does not actually inspire anybody to want to improve some of the realities he is talking about. It was a totally worthless speech. Those kids would have been better off seeing the speech that Corey Booker gave at Bard College. It has reality and truth and is truly one of the most inspirational speeches I've ever seen in my life. There is not a single person watching that speech that could not say, "Ok, I think I can improve my life after this." Corey had the same premise as Lupe in a way. A degree is but one step in life and does not guarantee anything. However, he also compounds that by saying that you need to be true to yourself and live completely in the moment, don't hold yourself back by caring only about what you think is possible, etc. He uses vibrant and inspiring examples from his own life, mistakes he's learned from, moving experiences, and finishes with the reality that you see that what he says is true because look at where Corey is today after living the reality he is trying to instill in others. Lupe's speech amounts to you got a terrible education, your degree ain't worth shit, here's $100, bye. Keep going Lupe, you're losing fans by the day. The people who support this type of bullshit are idiots too. Wake the fuck up you fucking idiot Lupe fans. He's not really about shit, he's not really helping the black community or any community for that matter. He's just all talk. We need more people like Corey Booker, who put action above words in their daily lives. This speech by Lupe was a travesty. The Corey Booker Speech I was talking about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTipijEvjQU

  • Anonymous

    WHO'S THE BEST RAPPER OF ALL TIME? Is it Eminem, Tupac, Biggie, Jay-z, Nas, or Other?? VOTE NOW @ Bigblogtalk.com/ ALSO: FREE Downloads on the hottest songs of the week! By the hottest artist in the Game! Send in your songs to be on undiscovered talent.

  • Anonymous

    You can say he's an idiot, a dick, his music sucks,that it wasn't the right place or time whatever but you can't say he's wrong and have the logic to back your argument. smh at ya'll emotional motherfuckers.

    • urinalcakes.com

      thetruthhurts: This is why I don't support Lupe. He's a dumb ass hypocritical fool who doesn't know the meaning of time and place and I'm tired of hearing him open his mouth on a variety of subjects with his conspiracy theorist ass. When you are speaking at a high school in one of the worst cities in America for crime and violence, you don't then tell those kids who managed to survive and graduate that what they did was entirely worthless. That it doesn't mean shit. I'm sure there are kids in that audience who are the first to graduate from High School, or kids who graduated while their close friends were killed in the on-going Chicago violence. Lupe did not think about the words he was speaking for very long, because if he did he would not have made such a worthless speech. What he did was entirely self-serving and not reflective of the actual realities Chicago kids are facing these days. What Lupe said is worthless because it does not actually call anybody to action, it does not actually inspire anybody to want to improve some of the realities he is talking about. It was a totally worthless speech. Those kids would have been better off seeing the speech that Corey Booker gave at Bard College. It has reality and truth and is truly one of the most inspirational speeches I've ever seen in my life. There is not a single person watching that speech that could not say, "Ok, I think I can improve my life after this." Corey had the same premise as Lupe in a way. A degree is but one step in life and does not guarantee anything. However, he also compounds that by saying that you need to be true to yourself and live completely in the moment, don't hold yourself back by caring only about what you think is possible, etc. He uses vibrant and inspiring examples from his own life, mistakes he's learned from, moving experiences, and finishes with the reality that you see that what he says is true because look at where Corey is today after living the reality he is trying to instill in others. Lupe's speech amounts to you got a terrible education, your degree ain't worth shit, here's $100, bye. Keep going Lupe, you're losing fans by the day. The people who support this type of bullshit are idiots too. Wake the fuck up you fucking idiot Lupe fans. He's not really about shit, he's not really helping the black community or any community for that matter. He's just all talk. We need more people like Corey Booker, who put action above words in their daily lives. This speech by Lupe was a travesty. The Corey Booker Speech I was talking about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTipijEvjQU

  • TheeGinn

    Damn way to shoot down there dreams. I get what he is saying but still, high school graduation is supposed to be a joyous occasion, especially for kids in that area that have such a high drop out rate. They should feel proud of themselves that they stuck it out. Maybe take it a little easy on the cold hard truth. I do dig Lupe anyway, always have.

  • Hate These Revolted Niggas

    Be a teacher then nigga. Quit talking so much shit.

  • GQ

    Lol, so many clowns on this website. Once again Lupe speaks the truth, and everyone attacks him. FACT: A high school diploma in this country does not count for anything. I know more than a few dudes unemployed or in jail with a HS diploma. FACT: The public education system in the country is trash and is only getting worse. FACT: What really counts is what you do after high school. You clowns think those kids can go to Google, IBM, or GE with HS diploma and get a well paid position? Lol, negro please.

  • amaterasu

    damn, this dude talkin like dead prez. didnt know he was about that life

  • Industry Advocate

    Lupe is a dope rapper, and that's cool and all...but they really need to stop asking him to speak at places that's meant to inspire more than "BE REAL"! I get what he was saying and he may have been right, but that wasn't the place for that to be said. That was a place and sense of encouragement and accomplishment and he basically said what you've accomplished ain't shit! Unless he's giving all his time, money and blood to make things dramatically different, he should not keep going to public places that's meant for one thing and be so damn gloomy and "real" in his perspective! I'm a college graduate, and I would be damned if the guest speaker got up there and said all he said after I bust my ass to become whatever it is I need for my own success, whether it comes from disappointment or not. That's life, and he has no right to steal anyone's joy and feeling of accomplishment! I erase that cat from any library I attain of his music! He's doing more hurt than help! ASS!

  • FREDYYY

    http://i1129.photobucket.com/albums/m501/LiquorInTheFront1985/936full-freddy-krueger.jpg

  • Anonymous

    I 2nd Danny's statement!

  • well

    They just graduated high scool. Lupe all you did was sound like a giant dick. Congrats. You're the big winner huh? Tries so hard to be anti establishment but just comes off sounding like a retard. oh and return to making good music. something you haven't done in two albums.

  • Drake runs rap

    lupe is such a pussy faggot cry baby. His last 2 albums were trash and hes become garbage and irrelevent and wishes he was half as influental as drake is.

    • Anonymous

      Statements like this goes to show just how dumb people really are!! Shit ain't about rap. That's real life shit he talkin about. You a dumb a fuck!!! I bet you're black. I'm black myself. Damn shame bruh. Pathetic nigha

  • 490717

    Lupe is as real as they come

  • Assassin221

    Lupe to new graduates: "That education you just earned ain't shit, the cap and gown you just earned the right to wear ain't shit, now go be a man." Thanks, Lupe. Typical Fiasco. Sounds like there were some good intentions in there somewhere, they were just buried under Lupe's need to act all different and deep and superior.

    • mjbrown22

      i still don't get how someone could be so lyrically brilliant and still not know how to give a speech to inspire. it seems like everything he does is so self-serving...

    • Daniel

      We don't know what all he said, your a fool if you think he just said those 2 statements. I just graduated from College and I feel the same way about that situation. It aint shit.

    • yup

      co-sign. good idea. Piss poor execution. Doub't he will give too many more speeches.

  • dentaldamboy

    You think Lupe talking to graduates is awesome? Wayne's contributions to education is actually being a teacher to kids one day, teaching them english, and math. Wayne's smart.

  • Marx1684

    Lupe knows what's going on outside of the states. What he's saying is true. I knew two 9 year old kids from Germany who could speak fluent German, English & pretty good French. We are behind. The media isn't to blame but light does need to be shed on things of actual importance in this country. It's just hard to break out of. It's a shame that this post will most likely be followed by more of the same mindless garbage I find here on the regular basis.

  • Bobyahed2dis

    Lupe Fiasco is a wack rapper. His flow and lyrics suck. He seems like he's tryin to hard to look like Chief Keef. He gives Chicago rap a bad name.

  • Anonymous

    JUST LOOK AT CHIEF KEEF AND THEM