Great Debates: Lupe Fiasco - Is He An All Time Great, Or A Fiasco

HipHopDX's new series looks at Lu's triumphs and tribulations, from an actual debate between our editor Omar Burgess and staff writer Slava Kuperstein.

Arguably one of the worst things about the Internet is the lack of any kind of coherent, civil discourse. Classic barbershop debates such as who won the battle between Jay-Z and Nas or if Notorious B.I.G. and 2Pac really are the greatest emcees ever can’t happen because most of you are too busy hiding behind fake screen names and hurling insults at each other to have an informed, calm discussion about it. You’re still more than welcome to insult each other and us in the comment section. Since it helps keep the lights on around here, we hope you keep doing it. But in the meantime, we hope to bring back those arguments to the Digital Age courtesy of the occasional “Great Debate.”

As a matter of timeliness, we thought we’d set things off with Lupe Fiasco. There are probably few emcees in Hip Hop as polarizing as Lupe. His combination of cadence, storytelling, subject matter, timing and technical precision make him one of the Top 10 emcees to emerge within the last decade. And this isn’t just hyperbole. Lupe’s first two albums ( Food & Liquor and Lupe Fiasco's The Cool) scored favorable reviews from your favorite Hip Hop magazines and websites as well as more mainstream outfits like the Washington Post and Entertainment Weekly. The accolades were topped off with three Grammy nominations in 2006 and a Grammy win in 2008 for “Daydreaming.”

Each piece of Lupe-related content HipHopDX posts generates both an insane amount of traffic and an equal amount of fighting among readers who choose to comment. But it hasn’t always been this way, and we were curious to find out why. Since Lupe’s or any other artist’s popularity isn’t exactly something you can quantify, longtime fellow HipHopDX writer Slava Kuperstein and I took a long look at all the factors to see if the recent Lupe backlash was overblown or if Jeff Weiss’ 2008 statement that “no one wants to smoke a blunt with Lupe Fiasco” was the proverbial handwriting on the wall.

Words I Never Said

Slava: Well, I think you and I can begin by acknowledging that Lupe Fiasco is, without a doubt, among the two or three most talented emcees to come out since the mid-2000s, so no one here is questioning his music abilities.

Omar: Yeah, I would totally agree there. He had all the things I look for in an emcee: technical precision, personality, storytelling, etc. etc.

Slava: Interesting that you threw in the “had.” Any brief thoughts on the new album?

Omar: I love the subject matter on most of those songs. Few current emcees have the balls to make “Words I Never Said” or “All Black Everything,” let alone make them palatable and not preachy. But…the production is ass, in my opinion. And he's using simple cadences and lazy metaphors. Where’s “Go Go Gadget Flow” and “Daydreaming?”

Slava: I essentially agree. A brief run-through is more than enough to show that the man’s on cruise control for almost the entire album. A friend described this as an “inferior Blueprint 3,” and I can’t say I disagree.

Omar: Word. I figured we agreed that this laser beam misfired...The main knock on Wasalu, and I guess the point of our editorial, is that there’s a real disconnect with die-hard Lupe fans versus even a seasoned Hip Hop listener, let alone the casual fan.

Slava: That could mean a lot of things. I imagine that several things would put off someone who grew up listening in a bit of the earlier times. Perhaps the primary issue is whether Lupe’s spoken/rapped rhetoric is in line with his actions.

Omar: That's interesting…I mean, it's a valid argument. But I'm old and jaded, so I don’t assume any of these rappers are doing what they actually talk about

Slava: Well, that's certainly true. I mean, look at Rick Ross and Dr. Dre. One was a C.O., the other wore sequins. My issue isn’t with whether Lupe is authentic. My issue is, what that authenticity, which he goes to great lengths to champion, makes him feel entitled to.

Omar: Aha…

Slava: Perhaps we can cue a sound effect of a petulant child. We'll get the audio folks on that.

Omar: You might have hit the nail on the head. Because whether you're talking about his blog beef, Atlantic or his fans, you’re coming across issues of entitlement on both sides. The online community helped get Lu to where he is. Bloggers and Internet-savvy fans championed him as the next great emcee when casual listeners didn’t know who he was

Slava: Without a doubt. No one was trying to sign a rapper rhyming about robots and skateboards in 2005. Aftermath's thugged-out run from 2003-2006 should be plenty evidence of that.

Omar: But does that entitle some of them to free music?

Slava: Certainly not. But you have to look at the way the game goes and has worked. Mixtapes have been around since lord knows how long, and emcees have been hocking free music for ages. It’s pure arrogance for any artist—particularly a rapper (particularly one not named Eminem or Jay-Z)—to think they can get by without giving something up for the crowd.

Omar: Very true. So on some level did Lupe think the same fans that created his buzz were obligated to spend money on his music?

Slava: I’m sure he did. And that’s a fair assertion. But what’s everyone else doing? How does Raekwon get by? Cuban Linx II had the Internet going nuts, but the guy didn’t sell that much. And yet, Rae’s participated faithfully in dropping joints online intended for free release. He knows that’s the game now.

Omar: Agreed. So there go two fairly clear-cut cases of entitlement, where neither side made any concessions. Lupe ends up with less viral/online support. Bloggers get less Lupe-related page views. Everyone is in fact losers, not lasers.

Slava: Not to mention Lupe’s decision to confront certain bloggers—both on Twitter and by other means (which he vehemently denies). The rub about this, the thing that really gets me is: why, when you bite the hand that feeds you, are you surprised when you no longer get support? And it’s not just the blogs. MTV, who has given Lupe love in the past, released an editorial about him, to which he responded like a little kid whose lunch money was stolen.

Omar: Well, I can count on one hand the amount of times a rapper or blogger has apologized to me for obviously being in the wrong. But with the MTV thing you now have a pattern of him confronting an outlet he had some kind of mutually beneficial relationship with then vehemently denying it. For those of you keeping score, that’s A Tribe Called Quest/Hip Hop Honors, the blog issue then MTV.

Slava: I’m glad you mentioned the Hip Hop Honors “fiasco.”

My question is, and it's a very, very simple one: Why would you agree to do an award show, for which the purpose is to honor another artist, and come out half-assed like that? What part of being a “great emcee” is that?

Omar: Unfortunately there’s a long list of artists mailing in similar performances. Obviously only the parties involved know the truth, but the show’s producers and Q-Tip are repeatedly keep saying they didn’t specifically beg him to perform. Lupe stuck to his story that they did. Somewhere in all of that lies the truth.

Slava: I see it like this: Lupe’s a smart guy, and even though he denies listening to A Tribe Called Quest growing up (let’s just say I find that claim questionable), he has to recognize the artistic similarities between the two - thus presenting him with a market he can tap into.

Omar: I’ll concede that. Songs like “Go, Go Gadget Flow” or “Superstar” have way more in common with Tribe than 8Ball & MJG, Spice-1 or the other people Lupe has cited as early influences.

And we’re in a climate where fans don’t have to buy your album. That shit is on Pirate Bay two weeks before the release date. So if people can illegally get it free with little to no repercussions, what’s the incentive to give you $12 for an album if you appear to be entitled and show possible authenticity issues?

Slava: Ah, but you’re forgetting! Lupe used to rap about bussin’ his guns in ‘03. In ‘06 and beyond, he’s the conscious, Muslim emcee!

Omar: See, that's where we differ. I vaguely remember some tough talk early in his career, but I didn't pay much attention because records when Lupe was in Da Pak or some of the “Mean and Viscious”/“Lupe the Killer” type stuff? He very well could’ve had a change of heart. I care as much about his former “gangsta” persona as I do about Rick Ross’ (nee William Roberts) C.O. days. It’s the post-Food & Liquor behavior that puts me off.

Slava: Maybe it’s just as inconsequential, though I certainly disagree. Rick Ross is a cartoon character. Who really believes that he knows Noreaga, “the real Noreaga?”

Omar: I think as a paying fan, you have the right to demand that of any artist you support. Whether they’ll get it is a completely different story.

Slava: Funny thing is, I don’t think fans can demand that the artist be genuine. Art is art. All that matters, at least to me, is what you get out of it.

Omar: But, I look at some of the online comments and get the feeling a large amount of Lupe’s fans are demanding he be genuine—which I think is totally naïve.

Slava: Agreed. My problem is that Lupe has found a “conscious artist” niche for himself, which is fine. But uses that as a platform of self-entitlement, indignation and that awful self-importance. I call it “Nas syndrome.”

Omar: Wearing the conscious hat can be the kiss of death. Because fans then assume you don't fuck promiscuous women and enjoy making money. I don’t mind the early “gangsta” stuff, because at best, it makes Lupe one of Hip Hop's conversion narratives. The fact that people like Trae ride for him and the Chilly allegations, suggest he really did live that life at one point. Which is neither a good nor a bad thing in my book. Maybe the conscious hat is him overcompensating? I don’t know. I’m no fucking therapist, but it’s a theory

Slava: Not just the allegations against Chilly, but also that Lupe was heavily implicated in that whole mess. Though, and we should be clear with this, there was no formal charge against him and no one is presuming that Lupe was/is guilty of anything.

Omar: It’s semantics but “heavily implicated” is a slippery slope. I don’t want to get sued, so here is where we paste a copy of the court testimony from the Chicago Sun-Times.

“While prosecutors did not present evidence of a link between Patton's drug dealing and the recording company he owned with Fiasco—whose legal name is Wasalu Jaco—the connection was implied, authorities said.

“Fiasco, who has carved out a national name for himself as a Muslim rapper who doesn't drink or dwell on rap's negative themes, was never charged. But he was at Patton's home when Patton was arrested in 2003 -- and he testified at trial about several phone conversations with Patton.

“In the recorded conversations, Patton and Fiasco discuss splitting up 'whole yellow' and 'whole red' ones.

“A prosecution witness directly involved in Patton's drug operation testified the colors referred to the mixing and prepping of $10 heroin packets. Fiasco, testifying for the defense, said they referred to mixing and prepping of music tracks. He denied any involvement in drugs.”

I only brought it up to say, that maybe his overuse of the conscious hat is more about his former life than trying to grandstand. But we’ll never know.

Slava: Perhaps, but it certainly spills into how he conducts himself. All I can say with regards to how Lupe “transformed” is this: if it looks like shit and smells like shit, you probably don’t need to eat it to tell that it’s shit.

Omar: As a one-time fan and a listener, I’m genuinely intrigued when someone like Jeff Weiss says, “Lupe doesn't seem like the type of person you would smoke a blunt with.” Then his peers Phonte and Q-Tip call him out. Yet Trae says he’s like a brother to him.

Slava: Well, I guess the closest thing to a conclusion on this particular facet of the discussion that I can come to is this: whether it matters that Lupe is who he says he is depends on the individual fan. But, looking at all the factors we’ve discussed: I ain’t buyin’ it.

Omar: For some reason, I don’t care about that part. But in the authenticity department, there has clearly been enough of a disconnect with knowledgeable Hip Hop fans to damage both his popularity and sales.

Slava: And maybe it matters more to me than Rick Ross’ obvious farce because I’m more concerned about people pushing subtle half-truths than obvious full-blown lies. And especially when their fans feel that they’re gaining something positive from the music.

Omar: Good point. I think there are a segment of fans clearly more emotionally invested in Lupe than both you and I. It sounds like you’re saying they have been persuaded as opposed to won over.

Slava: Agreed. I think we should run with this theme of Lupe “shooting himself in the foot” and get your thoughts on how he’s handled the whole Lasers situation. To me, that’s a perfect microcosm of everything we’ve been discussing.
 

Omar: If you listen to “High Definition” or “Superstar,” that's as commercial as Lupe can get. Those songs were not only dope, but effective and catchy. When he reached the point where they were asking for him to be more commercial, he and Atlantic didn’t know their respective limitations. Because if you really don’t want to make an album, you either pull a Saigon. Or give back some advance money and go independent. But saying, “Atlantic made me do it” is a weak excuse in my opinion.

Slava: The crazy thing to me is the triangle between Lupe, Atlantic and the fans.

Omar: Exactly! There’s enough entitlement to go all around. Each entity is kind of sabotaging the other.

Slava: Before Lupe ever even mentioned anything about label pressures and whatnot; he encouraged and thanked fans that petitioned Atlantic. Which seems strange to me. Because months later, when the songs from the album began leaking to reviews that were, at best, mixed—all these stories about label pressure came flooding in.

Omar: Yeah, you kind of see him playing Atlantic against his die-hard fans and doing the same with bloggers. But there’s an overlap between some of those groups, so it gets muddled.

Epilogue

When it was all said and done, Lupe moved 204,000 copies of Lasers in one week. By way of comparison, last December, Michael Jackson’s patched-together, posthumous effort, Michael, sold 228,000 copies during its first week. Those aren’t Kanye West or Nicki Minaj numbers, but in a declining sales climate, they’re enough to give Lupe the top-selling Hip Hop album of the week. Despite several interviews where he seemed to trash his own album, Lupe and Atlantic managed to pull off the great compromise. Die-hard Lupe Fiasco fans purchased this album, and the commercial success of “The Show Goes On” generated enough crossover success to bring in some new fans.

Omar Burgess is a Long Beach, California native by way of Flint, Michigan. In addition to contributing to various magazines and newspapers, he is an editor at HipHopDX.com.

Slava Kuperstein has been a staff writer for HipHopDX.com since 2006. He is from Odessa, Ukraine and lives in Maryland.

222 Comments

  • antonio

    Omar, with all respect: I'm from latinAmerica, my english is not the best, but I'll try to do my best. First I read your article about Talib, defending him from being a big sell out, and a big disappointment . And now I read this one about Lupe. I'm an activist from a country who has suffered all the evil vision of USA corporations and massive brain washing through the music, media, tv, etc.How can't you and the people of this foro see the whole picture? What happen with you? I used to love US Hip-hop with all my heart, I used to respect it. But people like Lupe ( who actually likes me before this rubbish album) are the more fake, hypocrite corporations tool's, but nobody seem to notice that fact. He represent today's double standard world, he represent the source of all the confusion that have a high percentage of humans in poverty, with their brains burning, burning every time them listen to this "rap conscious music". All that history behind Atlantic records, all his pepsi commercial ( where he plays a puppet, do I have to say more?) make me sick, because people like lupe fuck up our brains and create more poverty and few possibilities to black and latin people around the world. I don't need to say bad words, I just hope that you understand what I was trying to say.

  • Brian Okoro

    My theory about you guys' last point is that lupe had to redo most of the album after Atlantic said he could release it. I believe this because songs like "Shining Down" and "I'm Beamin" were more like old lupe, and we were made to believe they'd be on Lasers, but neither of them were.

  • LUPE

    WTF? yea i sold drugs..yea i'm a conscious rapper.. yea lasers was trash.. it still sounds better than all the bullshit any of these mother fuckers record put together..hop off my dx faggots

    • Panama`

      If you're really Lupe then I applaud you on all your work. You've been my biggest inspiration and I hope someday to be at a point where collaborating with you will be possible. I know at times you have to make sacrifices to move forward. For example you sacrificed Lasers to the studio. But IMO you still had some dope songs like "Words I never said". To the writers of this article, please stick to mixtape, video and album reviews. Perhaps if you guys didn't sound so damn biased on your opinions they would actually be worth reading. I feel like I've wasted my life reading this worthless review. And if you're doing a all time great it should be his music and strictly that. Quit trying to break down his personality with your biased opinions!

  • Bad Kid

    I think hiphopdx should stop with editorials, debates, etc. And stick to news and new music everything I read on this site just comes off as stupid

  • Bad Kid

    Even if lupe is sabotaging his fans or overcompensating for his gangsta persona he's one of if the best rappers right now....and thats what should make him a all time great right? His lyrically ability who gives a fuck about that other bullshit

  • Konga860

    I want the 10 minutes it took to read this conversation back. Either these tools strayed off topic completely, or they forgot to change the title. I clicked on this page thinking I was going to read a well informed article on whether Lupe is G.O.A.T. or not, and I ended up reading two bafoons' jargon about his past and his behavior. They talked about everything BUT the content of his lastest album and his lyrical powers in general. These fools need to go back to college and take Freshman composition over again.

    • dg

      smh. dude, firstly...it's your ass who needs to go back to composition school. The title says "all time great" not "greatest of all time". Polish up on your jargon. also, the sub-heading(those bold letters at the beginning of the article!) clearly states the content of the article or as you put it "bafoons' jargon about his past and his behaviour. put simply, it's your dumbass who is at fault.

  • critical thinking

    Is this a lupe fiasco man hunt. The title of the article was lupe G.O.A.T or a fiasco. That means the artcile should've been about his lyrical prowess or lack of lyrical prowess. Instead you guys got into issues that had absolutely nothing to do with his music. Which makes me wonder about your position as a fan of hip hop or as a fan of true journalism. You attacked his past with any proof just he say she say none sense. I know Lupe personally he have been the same way since high school. So if your going to say he is not a great artist based on how you feel about his music then you have every right to do so. However, you do not have the right to judge him on his past, present, or future if its not related to his music. Since neither of you guys know him; please don't judge him. Stick to the topic at hand his music which in my humble opinion he is one of the best out there right now. Stop judging him because you are doing the same thing you accused him of doing. Your attacking him the same way you accused him of attacking bloggers. So with that being sad lasers wasn't his best work but it's better than most of the mainstream albums that has dropped recently.

    • dg

      lol, did you read the article? everything they mention is related to him as an artist not just his music. His persona, attitude online, interviews are all part of his music because thats what he presents as an artist which makes them valid for debate and/or criticism. the one exception in which they talk about chilly is in reference to lupe's earlier musical persona and if his real life had an influence on him. Again, related to his music not whether he is a good person or not.

  • Life Accordin' To Dutch

    ummm..LUPE FIRST OFF is from the middle of the westside(CHICAGO)..its every gangsta u can think of outside your door...real talk..so u questioning his authenticity around gangstas is hilarious and you did no research...2nd point-HIS ALBUM IS JUST WACK..NO DEBATE NEEDED..THEM BEATS IS TERRIBLE..THE SUBJECTS-EHHH..THEM FEATURES-SNOOZE BUTTON..THE MATERIAL WAS JUST SUBPAR..NOTHING TO DO WITH HIS FANS OR LABEL..THE ALBUM HAS NO REPLAY VALUE..AS FAR AS THE CONSTANT ROSS REFERENCES..YALL ARE LAMES..SHOULDNT NOBODY GIV A FUC ABT AN ENTERTAINER'S JOB BEFORE HE WAS AN ENTERTAINER..I LUV BIGGIE TO DEATH BUT IM SURE HE WASNT PUSHIN FRANK WHITE STATUS COKE..LAME ASS NIGGAZ..ROSS MAKE HITS..THATS HIS JOB..MOST DUDES THAT DENY THAT FACT USUALLY ARE "DIRTY-BACKPACKERS"..NIGZ WITH NO CONCEPT OF WHAT GOOD MUSIC SOUNDS LIKE..AND USUALLY DISLIKE EVERYTHING BUT SOME OBSCURE ASS RAPPER THAT NO ONE WILL EVER HEAR

    • comachonvargas

      DUTCH has a point definitely... but it has to be more than just makin hits cause in order to do that in the game today you really have to focus on drugs/cash/bitches if you havent been in the game 5+ yrs [and the vets do it plenty... yeah Im talking to you Jay]... hip hop is seriously lacking in creative MCs with mainstream platforms and listeners that are willing to accept content that isnt one of the topics I just mentioned... I dont care what someone did before rap but just because they get $$ from rhymes doesnt mean thats all they should talk about

    • dg

      lol @ dirty backpackers. listen at the end of the day, u listen to music that you feel. I just don't be feelin what Ross raps about cuz that shit just aint REAL. the fact that he was a CO just makes it laughable. to ross, makin money is cool-feed your family dude, but that's all the substance you got? keep it movin. simple as that.

    • steee

      honestly... i gotta say... that is all some real talk. everyone tries to be saying shit they think is somethin new that no one knows about... but its just really the same shit everyone else says. people dont take enough time to look at the obvious. and fuck whatever... lupe is one of the dopest rhymers ever. period. ross can be wack but can make some dope shit, and thats undeniable. and 99% of rappers make up shit they rap about, including your favorite, and including the greatests

  • Anonymous

    Fuck Hip Hop. I'm done with this shit. . . I don't think we'll ever see hip hop the way it used to be. Originality, sampling of classic records, the unity, the breakdancing in parks, graffiti on the walls of NY, and cyphers. . . Hip hop is being controlled by the white man. The white man controls what music the artist puts out. The white man feels he is the smarts cause he runs big record labels, and only focuses on making money. Shoutouts to all the emcees on Indie labels, they keepin it real. If lupe was granted the full opportunity to make music to his potential, he would def. be on some Canibus level shit or beyond. . .

  • word?

    both of y'all biatches (omar and slava) need to go home and slurp on some fat juicy balls. i see what you mofo's tryna do here. trying to get good honest niggas to argue amongst themselves, causing violence and shit. AYO LISTEN UP PEOPLE....THESE NIGGAS IS EMPLOYED BY THE GOVERNMENT TO DESTROY THEIR OWN KIND. BOYCOTT THIS BITCH BOYCOTT THIS BITCH!

  • the13thangle

    While your conversation was interesting. Im not sure what your aim was? you bounced around on subjects;while filling them with interesting facts. your questioning useless shit was this album good or not review tracks, production, flow , and metaphors the sad thing is I actually read the whole article waiting for you two to give your opinions about the album but instead im reading the shit that is killing everyones brains; nuances about someones character. Richard Pryor was a drug addict but his comedic genuis(art) was all that mattered. Bloggers and "internet savvy fans" are just motherfuckers who dont support music because they read this bullshit ya'll right and get "persuaded" into some bullshit as opinion. I buy albums based on an artist history of apeasing me or not. I wonder if there are any people who dont believe what every site writes. Or for that matter anybody who can actually give an unbiased opinion on someone elses art?

  • Anonymous

    lupe is top 5 right now hands down, not even a question

  • Anonymous

    I didn't read it yet, but as a lupe fan im already decided. Too early for that label, but he'll deserve it in the near future.

  • J-Spenc

    Its funny how Hiphopdx has some sort of agenda against Lupe, i read this shit and there not even talking about his music, its like there trying to justify there terrible review of the lasers album, and what the fuck is nas syndrome

  • s1mons3z

    "fans" (fanatics) put people on a pedestal that nobody deserves, so they feel they can judge. a true artist shows their perspective of society. perspectives change as people do, and nobody is perfect. people bitching about artists while supporting them are often hypocrites. should anyone really be a "fan"?

  • Riptide

    So it turns out I did have to comment. Lmao, some of these comments are hilarious. I agree with some of your points, but here's what I say: As far as I know, Lupe has beef with two major blogs.. there are probably more. The situation seemed to have come up because they had been leaking his songs. Now, maybe I'm a bit old fashioned.. but would you like you're nowhere near finished songs that haven't even been mixed leaked? Just because he's a rapper, doesn't mean that he has to follow all the conventions some of his peers do. Sure I wouldn't have minded some material to hold up over apart from EOTS, but we'll see how it all goes. In any case, I'm a huge Lupe fan.. If a Lupe song exists on the internet, it's on my computer. Honestly I feel that Atlantic did him dirty with Lasers. It wasn't his best effort by any means, but it has some gems on it (see Words I Never Said, All Black Everything etc.). I didn't see you guys addressing his actual rapping to any great extent either. Why is it that so many people revere him so highly? I see the "GOAT" popping up in the comments too.. he's in my Top-Ten at least... notice I said at least. Greatest XXL Freshman too; he's had commercial success and much more importantly, he's a true wordsmith. Let's see where it goes from here though. Peace.

  • Anonymous

    So it turns out I did have to comment. Lmao, some of these comments are hilarious. I agree with some of your points, but here's what I say: As far as I know, Lupe has beef with two major blogs.. there are probably more. The situation seemed to have come up because they had been leaking his songs. Now, maybe I'm a bit old fashioned.. but would you like you're nowhere near finished songs that haven't even been mixed leaked? Just because he's a rapper, doesn't mean that he has to follow all the conventions some of his peers do. Sure I wouldn't have minded some material to hold up over apart from EOTS, but we'll see how it all goes. In any case, I'm a huge Lupe fan.. If a Lupe song exists on the internet, it's on my computer. Honestly I feel that Atlantic did him dirty with Lasers. It wasn't his best effort by any means, but it has some gems on it (see Words I Never Said, All Black Everything etc.). I didn't see you guys addressing his actual rapping to any great extent either. Why is it that so many people revere him so highly? I see the "GOAT" popping up in the comments too.. he's in my Top-Ten at least... notice I said at least. Greatest XXL Freshman too; he's had commercial success and much more importantly, he's a true wordsmith. Let's see where it goes from here

  • NC King

    Here in lies the reason we can't have a dissuasion about the greatness of an emcee. There is too much political talk. If you aren't talking lyrics and material first then there is no reason to move to who he is perceived by the public or how many units he can push or how many blog temper tantrums he throws. They gave a brief pass over the quality of his last album and then NOTHING further about lyricism and artistic value!

    • Anonymous

      Well put, there was absolutely no talk about his lyrical prowess. Which in my opinion, should be first in the TopTen discussion. We're talking about hiphop & lyrics shuld be the first thing these emcees get critiqued on.

  • Coma

    "Slava: Funny thing is, I don’t think fans can demand that the artist be genuine." Especially when your employer is "telling" you to "dumb" it down. I think that's what happen. He's by far TOP 10 ALL-TIME MC's to do.

  • Manni

    Lupe is one of the best artists in Hip Hop. He tells a story which all the best artists do, Biggie, Pac, Nas, Jay Z, The Game, Kanye West, Lil Wayne to an extent (Misunderstood, Georgia Bush for example) and Lupe. We obviously disregard the underground. We should not forget Immortal Technique who holds some of the best lyrics relating to politics I have ever heard. Back to Lupe. His political lyrics and good beats, with lyrics on reality; which inevitably is that we all live in a materialistic world and that we feed off the Middle East. His song 'Show Goes On' where he says "He's unaffected by the glitz" shows how materialism is part and parcel in the industry. He is a well respected artist because of his fearless and confident approach when answering and speaking on highly controversial topics . He backs his answers with evidence and logic instead of just throwing comments out there like Kanye West. DON'T get me wrong, West is one of my favourite artists as he tells a story. But his realism is now lacking. The Game is the next album I anticipate. No comment on Detox tbh.

  • bonnie

    Lupe has a big dick.

  • K

    The issue here that most of you are missing is that Lupe shines with the lyrics, but he has such lofty claims and it seems from certain points of view that he fails to live up to them at all. And I've heard personal stories that describe him as an elitist snob that really isn't much of a people person and doesn't match the energy that is communicated through his music. Just thought I'd add my 2 cents. This article/debate is not about his lyrical prowess. That's not debatable. And to all the die-hards. The hero worship should end at 22 at the most. Following a man is a sure way to lose your soul, which is why I can appreciate Lupe but I don't worship him. He makes good music. That's it.

  • RZA

    if your going to challenge lupe's past because he may or may not have sold drugs than last challenge Malcolm X past for being a drug user and armed robbery last challenge Martin Luther past for beating and cheating on his wife. the point i am trying to make is your ability to do good things are teach good things shouldn't be based on prior mistakes. the title of the article doesn't match the materials presented in the argument stick to the topic the number one rule in journalism is focus which you guys didn't do. i am not defending lupe's bad decision making but you guys disregarded your own title and made it a lupe fiasco lynching. stick to the facts and stick to the purpose. and yes lupe has made some fucked decisions but name one person who haven't. i hope you guys keep doing articles like this because it's something hip hop needs but just stick to the topic

    • Me

      He's using an analogy you dumb fuck.

    • nobody

      dont compare Malcom to lupe you imbecile. hip hop doesnt need any more lofty talking major record label signed jive ass mfas cuz in the end thats all lupe revealed himself to be. and in that sense he is comparable to that martin luther individual.

  • StrictlyHipHop

    Not to mention Lupe’s decision to confront certain bloggers—both on Twitter and by other means (which he vehemently denies). The rub about this, the thing that really gets me is: why, when you bite the hand that feeds you, are you surprised when you no longer get support? And it’s not just the blogs. MTV, who has given Lupe love in the past, released an editorial about him, to which he responded like a little kid whose lunch money was stolen." slava the jew is talking about his jew/illuminati brothez at atlantic and the lupe speaking the truth about zionist faggotz "israel dont take my side cuz look how far i pushed them"

  • Anonymous

    $WonDough$ will be in the same league as the all time greats

  • ddaa

    Its corny how this is all about his image and not about his music.

  • G. Lorenzo T.

    I think this conversation is very hit and miss. In the conversation of authenticity Lupe spits on "Coming Up" (Lasers) "If you from the burbs, if you in the hood Recognize where we come from In my day, mane, I did a little somethin some- They like "how come you don't rap that?" Cause that's a backtrack and I ain't tryna back back I'm only moving forward homie that's that" I became a Lupe fan from the Fareinheit 1/15 Series. NO ONE has a more complete series of mixtapes where Lupe shines on Dead President, It Was Written and FLAWLESSLY rips it. He has given away free music to fans. its just now he's "on" (another Lupe track) he has to expand his message. Lasers isnt my favorite album. But i appreciate what it is. Music of progression, he is spittin on issues that affect us over pop beats. A feat i don't see many rappers doing. the next album he said will be less "progressive" more hard. so there will be more urban street sound i believe. I dont like how the Atlantic situation was handled. It wouldve been better to take the protest, release the album, and stuck by it. No "Atlantic's album" that was wack. Lupe is smarter than that. Probably too smart.

    • Riptide

      I don't even have to drop my comment anymore, you hit the nail on the head. I've watched Lupe grow from those mixtapes to now.. he's my favourite MC. I also don't see why it's a problem for a rapper to have an issue with blogs leaking his songs.. Kanye HATES it. In the end, no one really knows everything that happened with Atlantic, but it couldn't have been anything positive (for the music at least). Looking forward to F&L 2 to see what he's really on now though. Peace.

    • Chris S

      Very good point about the Farenheit series. I remember him saying in an interview something to the extent of "I've already proved what i can do on miztapes. I don't feel like i have to go there any more". When you're that good at your craft, different rules apply. But as far as the Atlantic comment goes (if i'm reading it correctly), i really think this was the best he could get out of it. This is the 4th version of Lasers, so i'm sure he tried to get his "non-Atlantic" versions released. They just had too much leverage.

  • Naah Son

    so you guys are basically just going into his personal life? I didnt know DX turned into people magazine faggots

  • Chris S

    This article is retarded! And very misleading at that. A couple points need to be made: First, where are the arguements regarding his actual rapping skills? Stuff like "Do two phenominal albums and the three best mixtapes ever released merit enough to put someone into consideration of All-Time Great?". I just wrote a paper about why Lupe is a better poet than Harryette Mullen. And to back up that claim, I took apart his first verse of The Coolest. I didn't mention anything about his label situation or drig dealing. Secondly, on the topic of drug dealing, just look at the lyrics to his songs. I'm not going to go into too much detail, but Lupe The Killer pretty much explains everything "two thirds submerged below the surface where you surf"...so that means you actually have to do some decyphering. Lastly, obviously you two don't follow his music very closely because he has never really had a change of style until Enemy of the State and Lasers...which were both forced. Lupe The Killer was on Farenheit 1/15 Part II: Revenge of the Nerds...which also featured the song Glory. Find me a more conscious song than that, not named Sing for the Moment or Conflict Diamonds (also on that mixtape coincidently). Knockin At the Door and Ooh were also on the same mixtape as Muhammad Walks. So he's always rapped about both. And that's part of what makes him so special.

    • Chris S

      haha. Thanks man. Like Lupe said, "you gotta be educated when going against the grain"

    • Sean Cody Mahoney

      you just ether'd an article.

    • Aquze

      Read this was directed towards the comment above mine, because dude said some real shit. Fuck my comment.

    • Aquze

      READ THIS. READ THIS. READ THIS. Lupe isn't Ross, or any other rapper so base opinions on him & him only, because your article is convoluted, and basically explains nothing. Yeah he has burned some bridges, but that's his life why trip on him if he still makes great music. And as much as some feel LASERS wasn't as good as his first two studio releases(It wasn't) it still was better than 95% of releases in the last couple years.

    • G. Lorenzo T.

      cosign this

  • JoeM

    Good read.. although much wasn't really said. I don't know if Lupe practices what he preaches but I'll tell you what, I like what he preaches. The way I see it, Lupe is DOPE, doesn't always have the best production but songs like "Put you on game, daydreaming, the instrumental, dumb it down, go to sleep" there's no arguing those are on a different level to what is now the norm in hip hop.. you know, the ring tone rappers.

  • Mr Flamboyant

    I swear some of you niggas who comment should be banned from doing so. As Nasir Jones said to Jay-Z on the infamous and world renown Ether: "Y'all niggas deal with emotion like bitches" What do you all NOT understand what these two gentlemen are saying in this debate? Can you read as well as comprehend? The points which they preach are VALID. Lupe has gotten to the point where he feels his ish doesn't stink as well as a very obnoxious sense of entitlement. Lupe has bitten more hands that fed him to the point it's like "well damn... thanks for nothing." Oddly enough, and people won't like this, I'll attribute this situation to the same as President Obama. Obama leaned on the grassroots and youth, i.e. the internet community, to propel his way into the office. He promised more laws and ways to help them (the age group basically of 18-25; although it consists of more) as well as the hip hop era chidren and also rap. Get him in, then when he's in, all of the things which he spoke (jobs, better chances for college, lending a better ear to all of these people) not only never materialized but they were properly ignored and deficated upon. The voices of the aforementioned were disregarded, let alone ignored. Which brings me to this dude who is properly named "fiasco". The underground brought him to be known; The internet community championed him; The hip hop community empowered him. And he shits on all of them efficiently every day. This is the best quote from the article that should have had everyone silent: "Slava: Agreed. My problem is that Lupe has found a “conscious artist” niche for himself, which is fine. But uses that as a platform of self-entitlement, indignation and that awful self-importance. I call it “Nas syndrome.”" And Nas is the GOAT MC arguably plus one of my favorite artist...but I've always said how dude is a smart dumb nigga who just shits on his fans and supporters by doing things in spite. The Nas/DJ Premiere LP, anyone? The fact that he always has to go against what people want, especially AFTER he was the one who initially brought it up (Nas/Preem LP; Nas/AZ LP just to name two). Do not take a stance to go out of your way not to do an album...just do the album cause that's what the people want for hip hop's sake; not because you feel you are being controlled by the fans or you feel being pigeonholed. It's all about quality customer service. And I'm glad that Raekwon has learned to do such and is reaping great benefits here on out. Lupe has passed enough blame everywhere while shitting on those who help "make him" so to speak. And 200,000+ were stupid enough to go out and empower him even more by supporting a trash ass album. Stop trying to convince yourselves that it is good. It's not. Lupe himself knows it isn't. Hold him accountable as well. If it was that serious, then why did he release it? Why weren't the songs "Shining Down" and "I'm Beaming" included on Lasers, each song with a much different production than the songs on this wack album? He and Atlantic played the f outta all y'all. And they both are laughing to the bank. Lupe was a hustler before all of this stuff. And he hustled the ish out of all of y'all. I respect that much.

    • ss

      bite tha hand that feeds him ....bitch shut the fuck up its not like they signed him cuz they wanted to make him rich and they dont get any paper from him, he basiclly stated he doesnt know what he made with atlantic these jews will rip you to the last cent

    • Hmm

      To the original poster: I don't disagree with what you said, but if you're going to cram a bunch of big words into a rant in an attempt to prove yourself, use the words correctly. Lol. Lupe efficiently shits on people? I think you mean effectively. I'm sure Lupe's form in the Number Two Department is nothing short of graceful, but I don't think that's what you were going for. Carry on.

    • Aquze

      Shining Down & I'm Beaming were on the "Deluxe Version" along with his music videos. $1 more than the normal version.

    • yo

      matthew santos was dropped from his label, no way matthew woud let that sog get released

  • donny

    i just want to know why this article has nothing to do with his lyrical ability and barely anything about his music. because i know that i think Lupe is the best rapper alive, not my favorite but definitely the best. and i don't give a shit about his personal life because i'm not like that. and somehow you guys are trying to say that he really isn't who he says he is but still has the capability to make Food & Liquor or The Cool? please tell me how someone can be a drug dealer or someone who lives in the streets and takes part in the same things that all the other rappers, who rap about these things, can only rap about these important issues.. things that you can only know as much as he knows about them if you research them and keep up with the issues. well that's it, stop talking about his personal life and talk more about his lyrical ability, ironic how these 12 year olds talking about each others mom's got more down to the real subject in hand then you "credited" editors have.

  • steee

    This is a sort of interesting read... i don't think that you really broke down lupe musically to the degree that you could have. And I dont get what the whole deal is about trying to decide if he's a conscious rapper but his lifestyle doesn't match it. Firstly, Lupe's music is much broader than just conscious rap. But more importantly, you guys are actually debating whether he is allowed to rap about different shit than guns, money, hoes, and drugs. I love big, kane, jay, g rap as much as anyone... but i never thought that we would be criticizing an artist like lupe's drive to creatively touch on different subject matter, many of which does shed a positive light. While positive messages are maybe a subtheme in a majority of his music, I don't think that it necessarily dominates most of his music... and even if it did, I really don't get why you would be debating whether or not he has the background to do so. Basically... Yeah, Lupe raps about different shit than most, and a lot of it is positive, i just don't think a majority of your "debate" should be about whether or not he's allowed to be creative and rap about other shit than we here from anyone

  • Anonymous

    so where exactly was the debate towards Lupe Fiasco?

  • thebasedgod

    This article seems less about the scope of lupe fiasco's lyrical and musical ability and more about what you think of his antics and off mic "situations"...a fail of an assessment...

  • Doubl Negative

    The law of diminishin' returns adequately describes Lupe's career. This article was still fun to read, and I'd like to commend the dx guys for tryin' something different and injectin' some intelligent debate into these pages, instead of havin' to read the asinine missives most idiots post on this site.

  • Khurram Idk Siddiqui

    L U P The Greatest

  • Sean Typhon

    Being an inde artist, I see part of lupe's problem. He wanted to make lasers his way, some 3 years ago. Meanwhile, Atlantic wanted him to make a more Crossover friendly album, knowing from their point of view that top selling hip hop tracks aren't thought provoking, they're about money, cars, drinks and girls. The conflict lupe had was about finding a middle ground, how to make the music he set out to make and how to honor a contract that only had 2 more albums needed. I think we've only heard 2 songs that may have been from the Lasers lupe wanted to make. The truth is, even with a Half assed effort, he still made a dope record. Lupes lashing out was a result of stress if you ask me. I'm a minnow in a game full of sharks, and i get stressed. I imagine for lupe, on the bigger scale, the stress is 100 fold. i say Lasers is a B+, and lets wait till lupe's Food and Liquor 2 is out before we discount him

  • sharksbreath

    American Terrorist maybe the greatest rap song of all time. The way I separate artists is buy how many rappers could make a song that separates them from everyone else. There are only about 4 rappers who have ever lived that could make that song. Pac, Nas, KRS1. Lupe who made it. I can do the same thing for Pac. How many rappers could have made Dear Mama or So Many Tears. It's the sings that separate rappers from there peers that make them great. That's why I don't give Biggie that much credit. Jay Z has made every song that Big did 20 times over along with a million other rappers. It's the content and originality that separates the greats for me. To me Lupe is the 21st century KRSI. Speaking on issues 99% of the rappers in this generation can't. So yeah I would put him as one of the greatest. Right with Pac, KRSI, Nas, Kool G, LL, Rakim, Scarface, Ice Cube, GhostFace and Snoop. Biggie wouldn't make my top 20. One great album. That double CD showed that he was already starting to fall off. To me KRSI and Pac are the greatest to ever did it. No one can go song for song subject for subject with those two dudes. That's not an opinion. It's a fact. All Eyez On Me shits on Biggie's double CD. It's not even close.

    • Chris S

      Hmm, you are absolutely right. KRS might be the coolest person of all time. But definitely an average rapper. I honestly consider 2pac in the same category. Good rapper but his persona causes people to grossly over rate him

    • Hmm

      I'm glad you brought up KRS-One. Why not do an article like this on KRS-One? I agree that the man says some of the most insightful, intelligent things that any rapper has ever said. With that being said, is he really THAT GOOD of a rapper? ...C'mon man! Don't get me wrong, every time I hear a WOOP WOOP, I know that's the sound of da police, but I think KRS-One the PERSON has added way too much credit to the KRS-One the rapper. He's a damn good rapper, but I can list 50 guys with better lyrics & flow than that man. Seriously. Quit lying to yourselves.

    • Ben Frontdoe-You Know'me

      ^^^Agreed^^^ as we all can see the irrelevant comments cease to exist because they rather hear this and that versus a dope ass READ.. the list of the greatest is kinda epic too ha.. still have a lil faith in Wale though!!

    • buckeyewu

      you are wise beyond your years with these statements. what you just said is nothing less than the truth.

  • jason

    Lupe is trash. Lil Wayne >>> Lupe by leaps and bounds when you factor in everything.

    • nobody

      nah lil wayne speaks to experience peopel cant relate to whilst truth is not measured in mass appeal how can you bring change without making your material accesible to a larger mass in order for them to shift the construct we call reality, also your point of inteligence is problematic because it reeks of that self righteous egotistical nonsense that makes most smart people utter fucking idiots think about that one let it marinate. Btw Bush could have never as dumb as his public persona potrayed seeing as the bush family is a major player in the energy field the amount of dough he raked in off Iraq would give you nightmares...just saying

    • Anonymous

      you probly think bush was a rhode's scholar, gtfoh faggot

    • sharksbreath

      When you factor in that Lil Wayne appeals to complete idiots. Which most of the country is. I would see your point that a complete idiot which outnumbers the intelligent people in this country would agree with you.

  • huey

    It's not a debate if both people have the same opinion.

  • Grandson

    Its true, I wont argue that, but there are alot more emcees That have been out longer than lupe that i feel do not get the credit that they deserve, like my man joe budden said. "A million busta albums, he's still not mentioned with the G.O.A.T"

    • ur trippin

      everyone that said joe sucks needs to listen to mood musik 3. who even cares about busta anymore.

    • anon

      Joe Budden's delivery is so overexaggerated. plus, nothing he ever says is anything jaw-dropping, I listened to the whole Slaughterhouse Busta Bus is definitely one of the most underrated, even when he slaughters chris brown on a track, people say he's wack

    • seantyphon

      Agreed, Busta has been slept on his whole career

    • andre

      Joe Budden sucks hard! Honestly!

    • Anonymous

      LOL @ most of their music is made for the club. Do you know who Joe Budden is? He is amongst the greatest.

    • sharksbreath

      Because Busta and Buddens albums are usually trash. They are both single hitters and have never put out a great album. Add to the fact most of their music is for the clubs which are filled with drunk and high people it kind of leaves them off the list.

  • toxicturn0122

    I am a die hard Lupe fan I bought 3 copies of Food and Liquor, two for myself and one for a friend, and two copies of the Cool; which I stood in line for who knows how long to get autographed by Lupe. I liked the conversation for the most part. However I do think that the two of you or atleast one of you has never heard the songs you referenced. "Lupe The Killer" nor "Mean and Vicious" were gangsta rap songs. I just want to clarify that for the casual fans. "Lupe The Killer" is one of the sickest non album tracks of all time in my opinion. The song was about him killing the track not a person. He had Several metaphors with triple and in some cases quadruple meanings/ references. That is one of my favorite of his songs. I consider myself a student of hip-hop. Although non fans and casual fans will disagree,based off of the first two Albums, the mix tapes before and after. I can say that nobody else has done what he does with words the way he does it. I'm not saying he's the G.O.A.T. but much like Em and Jay-z stand alone so does he. Lazers was a fail for what ever reason. I dont care why it was. I would rather have no album than to have an album that blemishes his reputation which is what non fans and the record company wanted anyway. so they still win.

    • Chris S

      glad to see another die-hard Lupe fan out there. but two things: I agree about Mean & Viscious, but if Lupe the Killer isn't a gangsta track, i don't know what is. Really listen to it man. And Lasers was absolutely not a failure. Take the album for what it is. He still flows better than anyone not named Eminem and his delivery is also on point. Also, Beautiful Lasers makes the purchases worth it.

  • Train

    Most of the shit you two were talking about had nothing do with rapping. How the hell do you talk about commercial shit and not highlight the shit that makes people think of him as a goat? How does the fact that he dropped two classics not come into play? How does the fact that his metaphors and concepts arent matched by any one in the game today(underground or mainstream)? Who cant you honestly say can out rap lupe outside of maybe 5 mc's? yall dont even seem like yall listen to the cool or food and liquor. I miss when hip hop was about rapping instead of trying to air out shit about somebodys and judge them for that and not music. The nerve of you nigga's....how many great verses does it take til he's there? Who will ever top failure? He's the 1 of the few thats been pushing the bar for hip hop in America. This why hip hop sickens me

  • Mike Meraz

    Is he an all time great? Wtf LMAO!! No Shit. No disrespect lol

  • Mike Meraz

    I dedicated last week to Food&Liqour and this week to The Cool..And It reminded me of just how much of a genius this guy is. He's an amazing writer, lyricist, his style. People hated on him but he's one of the few that talks about real problems. Another that comes to mind is Immortal Technique. Not just problems on the streets like Pac did. Lupe talks about problems and the streets and overseas, the people, ect. You listen to "Food&Liquor" and there's so many epic tracks that deal with real "problems": "The Instrumental", "Hurt Me Soul", "Just Might Be Ok", "American Terrorist"; besides that Food&Liquor had songs that he's known for to casual fans such as "KickPush", "DayDreamIng", "Real", "Sunshine", "I Gotcha"... You listen to The Cool and you got tracks that deal with real "problems" like "Streets Are On Fire", "Hello/Goodbye", "Put You On The Gun", "Little Weapon", "Intruder Alert", "The Coolest" "Gotta Eat", "The Die".. But he also has great songs like "Superstar", "Hip Hop Saved My Life", "Fighters", "Gold Watch", and probably one of the best HipHop songs of all time in Paris/Tokyo. -Not to mention "Dumb it Down" which is a pretty ironic song for obvious reasons. Lasers? Besides "Words I Never Said" which is one of his most Epic Songs, and besides "All Black Everything"? Every other song PALES in comparison to any of the songs mentioned on his previous albums. "Words I Never Said" is maybe the only song that touches on "Real Problems", I mean how many great quotes can pull out of that song? "If You Don't become an actor you'll never be a factor", "I'ma part of the problem, my problem is i'm peaceful", "I really think the silence is worse than all the violence",ect.. Those verses are epic but the rest of the album? wtf. After weeks passed since Laser's release, If your a Lupe Fan and your still satisfied with Lasers? idk what to tell you. PeaCe!

  • poop the scoop king

    Lupe is pretty terrible brother. I really dont care what you talk about as long as you say something different and fresh. Lupe doen neither he's a loser/laser/douche/waste

  • Stretch

    just a fiasco, dont get me wrong i love lupe and he is great but not on the level of biggie tupac and eminem...there just too many rappers like lupe that dont get enough credit for lupe to be all time, like mos def and talib kweli. And if u got a chance go check out "aasim". Im not advertising for him i just think no one gives him any credit and hes ill. Hes the ghostwriter for badboy and diddy has been holding his album back

    • Chris S

      Lupe raps like Biggie better than Biggie does himself. "Check out Knockin At the Door" and "Ooh"...and the second verse of Switch

    • anon

      that money/bling shit has always been there check old rakim videos

    • sharksbreath

      Biggie had one great album. I wouldn't put biggie in my top 20. His double CD was half garbage. Biggies greatest gift was raps greatest curse. Biggies greatest gift was making simple songs and rapping slow. That style was easy to copy. Before Biggie you couldn't recite word for word with your favorite rapper. Think Nas, Kool G, Rakim, LL. There are songs that you still can't recite with those rappers word for word. That was a talent. Now every rapper and their mother is talking over tracks. Plus Biggie brought to the top the worst part about rap now. Money, Money, Money. That's all rappers talk about now. Before him you couldn't make it in the game just fronting.

  • name

    atlantic fucked this album up, it's still good music, but it ain't as dark as the previous 2, and they watered him down, except for i'm beaming and a few other tracks, the clever lines are missing due to atlantic's bullshit

  • Steven C

    I am also confused. I know what you're saying but I don't understand what any of that has to do with him being a "GOAT". But on another, related subject, I like Lasers. I think the biggest problem people have with Lasers is that they expected it to be better than the Cool which I never thought it would come close to. "The Cool", album, had a great story and concept set up from one of my personal favorite song of all time (I listen to all genres, more heavily Hip Hop of course) "The Cool". There was little that I feel he could do to turn another one of his excellent songs into an excellent album. Off the top of my head I doubt think there is any other song he can take and turn into an album. Certainly not a song as good as "The Cool". Of course it's hard to look at anyone's work without comparing it to his other work or artists with similar styles or songs but when you look at it as an individual album it's not bad. His worst album? Of course but still a good album.

  • G5

    Oh yeah, and one thing for the writers. If your going to write an article you should at least have something positive to say about the artist. That's my only issue with this. You used this as a platform to go on a tirade rather than really debate and show the great things about Lupe as well as the bad things. All your doing is giving him justification for addressing this type of dumb shit because your so lopsided in your vantage point. Yall are usually on point so I won't hold it against you but you need to get that shit under control. There's enough blog sites and news sites that spew opinion instead of true journalism and you don't need to add yourselves to that list. Sorry HipHopDX.

  • Joe Ramirez

    Lupe, IMHO, will never be one of the greats. He has no depth in his music, no quality. Yeah he has a few tracks on each album (such as Words I Never Said) but other than that, he's hot garbage. Jay Electronica is someone to be talkin' about even though he only has a handful of tracks. He's better than Lupe in every way as an emcee. J. Cole is better than Lupe as well.

    • ilexx

      I am a Lupe, J. Cole and Jay Electronica fan..... Lupe is probably nicer than both of them. I cant believe u attempted to say Lupe has no DEPTH.... And to the guy shitting on J. Cole u obviously dont listen to J. Cole's music at all if u still dont know his story. Dude is from North Carolina and got a scholarship to go to school in NY @ St. John's University but really used it as a avenue to get him on the rap scene by being in NY, he never thought he would've had to finish college.. he thought he woulda blown before... didnt work out like that and he got signed in like his senior year or right after graduating. So dude has a bachelor's degree and shit. Ironically he waited over 2 hours outside of a studio he heard Jay-Z was gonna be at and tried to give him a beats cd for American Gangster album and Jay dissed him but 2 years later turned around and signed him. Bro I know this story from just listening to 'The Warm Up' and late last year we got 'Friday Night Lights' which was ill as fuck. How can you say J. Cole has no story? Just because he isnt from the streets? Dude has a story and is obviously also one of the few rappers with a Bachelor's degree, his story is one that should be told more often actually.

    • sharksbreath

      You lose all respect when you mention J Cole. His biggest problem is who is he. What does he stand for. What's his story. He has put out a bunch of mixtapes and you still don't know. Because he has no depth and is just a talented spitter. It's obvious you don;t know what your listening to to even make that type of comment.

    • train

      Please stop love cole and jay elec even though he doesnt hav a body of music and been out for years, but if you think either of those 2 can see lupe lyrically you must be deaf or dont understand his lyrics

  • G5

    Great read. I'm from the Chicago area and a huge Lupe fan and I pretty much agree with most of your post. I'm not going to go into the whole street life shit with Lu but I'll put it like this. He's definitely not a avg. back packer and it's a reason why a guy like Trae (certified street dude) has so much admiration for him cause he's not a bitch. Plus do the simple math, no knock on the Muslim faith but dudes in Islam are about any means necessary as long as it helps their ideology for the greater good. I'll leave it at that. In regards to Lasers. LOL, that album is trash compared to Lupe's previous albums but his bullshit is better than most artist good shit on a great day so he'll get away with it. I do agree though that he's got to get off this fight every battle shit. Some shit doesn't need a response. I mean look at Jay-Z, he doesn't take on all comers and it has allowed him to survive generations whereas a 50 cent although not as lyrically inclined just as marketable will never return to his previous status regardless of his quality of music because he has separated himself so much from the rest of his peers and addressed every issue that comes his way. I think Lupe should take notes from Jay and apply it to his career as well as go indie. He's a much better artist for that climate and with only 6 rappers going gold a year what's the point of signing a major deal. Just my thoughts but yeah, I want the cool Lupe back cause Lasers is wack as fuck. Sorry Carrera Lu but when you start off making some of the best bodies of work in hip-hop ever it's hard to put out half ass shit and get the same response. You might have sold more first week on this but you and I and your fans know that had nothing to do with the quality of your product. I hope your listening.

  • Right On

    honestly, i never even got into listening to lupes shit til a year ago and i still havent heard all his albums. all i heard and read about was the hype for this cat and i was diggin the shit people were saying, i waited anxiously for lasers cause i wanted to see if it was all legit. lasers was a disappointment, but i still see good things in the future for him

  • NRG

    What did I just read? I dont understand what the point of this was, at all. You guys just came off sounding jealous that he sold 200k+ copies in the first week.

  • @ThaLand21

    I like the comparison of 'Lasers' to 'I Am' by the "Lupe is no less authentic than the rest of us" commenter....that was a good one

  • @ThaLand21

    I've been a lupe fan since '05. He's said in interviews that he doesn't do 'gangsta rap' anymore b/c he doesn't want to perpetuate those negative messages any longer (i do believe that statement). He does have an entitlement complex, especially w/ having ppl buy his records. Every artist gets bootleged yet he felt above that, and took it out on the fans by refusing to release any mixtapes or new songs (not counting that 20 minute 'enemy of the state' BS). Still as far as skill goes, he amongst the best (if not the best). Lasers was not as good as his 1st 2 albums but was still quality music. And as far as being considered 1 of the all time greats, more time, and more top notch albums are required before he can enter into the discussion......oh and as far as authenticity goes, whichever side of the debate i'm on is, for the most part, a minimal factor...if the music is good i'll still listen to it (I still bump teflon don), as long as the reality and the public persona are not of extreme nature

  • nada

    you guys know shit about shit.

  • ULTIMATE HIP HOP HEAD/OBJECTIVE MUSIC LISTENER

    How many times did you guys jack each other off while having this (mass) debate?

  • TOM CONRAD

    Why don't you guys shut the fuck up. I started reading this expecting to read a cool article about Lupe Fiasco until you two idiots started insulting us and telling us what we should and shouldn't write on YOUR website. Why don't you guys keep your fuckin stupid ass comment to yourselves and stick to trying to keep the articles interesting enough for us to wanna comment on them. But since you guys can't stand my comments so much you've got to go out of your way to say some shit like that, thats not even relevant to the article I'll just stick to listening to the music and keep my comments to myself. Or maybe I'll go somewhere else to listen to music like AllHipHop, 24Hour, WorldStar, Thisis50, theres alot of other places to go. THANKS FOR NOTHING... Fuckin Assholes

  • acc04

    I'll stick by it, dude is so overrated. Had a few nice tracks on food n liquor, but I'm sorry... Lupe ain't anywhere near an alltime great, or a name that should be remembered in a year or 2.

  • Lupe is no less authentic than the rest of us

    Ok lemme make this clear. I think that Lasers, although it was above average, was a huge screw up for Lupe. It ruined his perfect track record. Although I agree that the "Atlantic screwed it up" excuse is weak you guys have to admit that you would do the same thing in his shoes. Why should he defend or take the blame for a label that raped his music? On the other hand I can see how some would interpret this as "selling out". Think of it like this, Lasers is Lupe's 'I Am...' (or more recently) his 'Relapse'. It's only a matter of time before he comes back with F&L II. As for this matter of 'authenticity', I think you guys are overanalyzing him. He's a Muslim, although not all Muslims follow the Quran to the letter (I myself am not a very good Muslim), it clearly states that all men are created equal. So if Lupe practices what he preaches, which he says he does (in his songs), then he isn't all fake and high and mighty like you guys make it look. He just doesn't fuck around. What's so wrong about that? And as for your "doesn't enjoy fucking promiscuous women and making money" theory, even Big said "Mo Money Mo Problems" now does that sound like a man who enjoys making money? But nobody gave him shit about it, maybe it has to do with Lupe being Muslim? And about the other thing, come on...what sane heterosexual male creature doesn't enjoy getting pussy? Fuck outta here with that...I know a lot of "conscious rappers" who love money and women. Common, Mos Def, Black Thought, Cunninlynguists, K'Naan, Nas (recently he's been rapping consciously), Talib Kweli, Tonedeff (he's not as conscious as the others) and TUPAC. Although I think that Lupe shouldn't turn on the internet because that's biting the hand that feeds him, he only turned on specific bloggers/sites. Other than that, ya'll are just giving him too much shit cause he had a bad album. Get off his back people!

    • Anonymous

      I Am is 10 times better than this shitty excuse for an album from a lyrical rapper called Lasers. The lyrical content is very good, but the beats sound too polished. I Am could be a hell of an album if it wasn't for these commercial beats.

    • sharksbreath

      Laers is a great album. This album is a political album. It's for getting your mind right. If your mind ain't right you won't get it.

    • Nucca

      bitch dont compare i am.. to shitty lasers....get yo bum ass outta here

  • D. $cience

    Oh man, yall opened a can of worms for the Lupe Fiasco stans!!! Hahaha!!! Okay, as far as for this article... Although this "conversation" did jump around too much, you guys made some valid points. You guys really didn't explain whether he was the greatest of all time as far as the music go. You did, however, made a few tidbit points on certain events that Lupe was involved with (Hip Hop Honors, Lasers/Atlantic, etc.) that can be related to how these situations messed up his potential GOAT status. What I was looking forward to (and thought you guys would bring up) is how Lupe Fiasco is the greatest of all time based on what the online community says, but what do casual or seasoned hip hop heads think of him. See, Lupe is constantly praised as the greatest emcee strictly off his image in the online community. Lupe definitely have skills and is ONE of the best new emcees of the decade, but I believe he's the first emcee to be hyped up on the Internet with barely any weight to his catalog. It's almost how Nas was highly regarded when Illmatic got 5 mics, except Nas didn't have Okayplayer back then. F&L was a great album, The Cool was solid (not classic to me), but none of those albums hold weight to Illmatic or Reasonable Doubt, yet the online Lupe stans swear his albums are greater or equal to those debuts. No hate, but I think Lupe got by with an alternative image back when it was cool to be 50 Cent thugged out or a crunk/trapping Southern rapper...which at times made me question his authenticity as a conscious-skateboard loving-high fashioned- emcee. To me, that alone was like a UFO in hip hop that heralded Lupe as a "GOAT" rapper; because he was different, and separated himself by being the alternative, he's automatically the GOAT.

  • Anonymous

    $WonDough$ is gonna hang with the all time greats cause he great, fuck those that hate

  • carlin

    what the fuck was this? yall didnt even talk about his music. you just speculated on whether or not he was ''real'' or ''authentic''. tip: don't do exactly what you bag on in your article.

  • Joshua Williams

    This interview was all over the place. Instead of being guided by casual discussion of rumors and controversy, there should have been questions poised moreso in regards to lyrical content, substance, musical inclinations, etc. How does this article at all proves if Lupe is an all time great? To be honest, it doesn't even bring back that barbershop feel, it simply duplicates the useless conversation that are seen on blog sites, and community sites. ANYWHO, CHECK ME OUT. I PROMISE GREAT MUSIC. ITS A PROMISE! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdylMPXtisY

  • Anonymous

    Did it really take that much time to just discuss how you think that Lupe can rap, but you don't like him in general? How is it a debate if you two agree on bashing him but then going "Oh but we liked Go Go Gadget Flow"? Come on, people.

  • Rain

    I have to agree with Jason's Comment. After reading this whole article I do have to agree lupe can be a bitch sometimes. The whole tribe called quest thing was horrible, and how in the hell is he gonna say tribe is not that big in hip hop and 8ball mjg better WTF. But his music is what counts for the most part and I think its just as good as some of the goats if not better (food liquor, Cool). I felt like something was going on fishy with Atlantic record and Lupe, I never felt like it was Atlantic fault for crappy lasers album. I hold both of them accountable for it, I didn't really believe everything Lupe said and I'm probably the biggest Lupe fan. Where the hell is the mixtape he promised us, Lasers ain't cutting it.

  • Nathan Harvey Malcolm

    Lupe is Amazing. & i like lasers just as much as his other albums.

  • AC

    So you debate if he's a legend in hip hop but never mention his ability to rap? Lol, he's my favorite rapper and I'll admit his a bitch about a lotta situations like the ones you mentioned but he has unparalleled wordplay and a great flow. I don't think he'll be able to make another The Cool, but his first two alone make him a legend. Maybe next time you do one of these, you should talk about the rapper's rapping skills

  • KUPERSTEIN

    DEAR: Omar Burgess and Slava Kuperstein (LOL) PLEASE STFU YOU'RE BOTH CORNBALL FAGGOTS

  • jason

    I found this article to be very interesting in how you look at both the pros and cons of his career, however I felt that this round table focused more on the man rather than the music. After reading, I left with more questions than answers. Yes, his music has worsened in addition to his excuses however even his worst music is able to spark such a debate that he should be in consideration for at least one of the greats in the past decade. I felt the question presented was never really answered

  • problemz/problema

    So two Pseudo intellectual hipster dweebs have a discussion that turns into a diatribe about good Lupe and bad Lupe..seriously?it took all that dialogue to establish that Lupe is immensely talented but acts like a diva and his tortured artist routine are wearing thin...I could have summarized that in 5 sentences.oh P.S one of the writers is from the Ukraine by way of Maryland? If you had put that at the beginning of the article dudes would have logged off sooner than they actually did..rflmfao...

  • Dreadrock

    It's waaayyyyy to early to even be having this conversation.

  • mbr

    WASTE OF TIME TO READ. Lupe is a good rapper end of story. No debate needed.

  • Ikh-em

    Ahhh yes...the show does go on. Nice new feature, HHDX. Would be nice if 'you guys' would allow for us, commentators, to give questions/topics and have a debate on that. Btw next guy you should do Nas, obv. Please and thank you. (Y)

  • Work N. Progress

    I'm not going to lie you brought up a lot of interestign points you guys. Mainly the "Atlantic made me do it" cop out made me say "Dag..." Now that I think about he should've just sheleved the shit and kept it pushing. As far as the tough talk rhymes in '03 I feel you on that but even then he still had that wit and wordplay and clever storytelling we love hime for than just straight up thug shit. He was pulling that "tough guy shit" on Fahrenheit 1/15 Vol. 1 ('Knocking at The Door' for example) but he was putting a fresh new spin on it so even though the subject matter was "hood" it was like he was speaking from a nerd's point of view. As for that A Tribe tribute he did fuck that shit up and I still smh at the fact he never listened to Midnight Marauders. The best part of the interview was when ya'll pointed out how the game has changed and in a way he's biting the hand that has fed him. I agree. Personally I miss his Fahrenhiet/Enemy of the State mixtape shit, because he's strictly on the mic and not on a soapbox and his storytelling and wit is so much more raw, and he doesn't fully present himself as this 'conscious' emcee but just a dope emcee in general. i kind of feel with those two albums even though they were good and thre were some dope tracks (Daydream, The Coolest, Put you on Game, The Die, DUMB IT DOWN!) to an extent as a fan I felt he was 'trying' as opposed to just 'making'. And honestly EVERYTHING is leaked on the interent these days so he really should stop whining and just drop 'Friend of the People' already, and make like Barry Reese and get a personality change. LASERS was bleh... Although I LOVE ALL BLACK EVERYTHING but hopefully he can keep it raw on F&L 2. The snippet of the Intro sounds dope. I think this was actually a chill piece. Good job.

  • Rexhep Gashi

    stilL THE SHOW GOES ON...................

  • Rexhep Gashi

    SO IT SEEMS THAT YOU GUYZ HAVE BEEN PAID TO SAY THIS ABT LUPE BECAUSE HE IS A MAN THAT KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING EVEN EVERYONE AS A DIRTY DOG MAKES A PRESSURE ON HIM FIRST BECAUSE HE IS A MUSLIM AND BECAUSE HE ALLWAYS SPITS THE TRUTH I HOPE LUPE GET'S OUT OF THAT DAMN ATLANTIC EVEN FOR HIM IS BETTER TO LIVE THE WHOLE THIS FAKE INDUSTRY HE PROVES HE IS A MAN AND FOUGHT AGAINST ALL FAKERS AND AT EVERY HIS SHOT HE KILLED THEM ALL

  • Anonymous

    lupe is the g.o.a.t.

  • SuperGucciRap

    Only anti social nerds like this guy. Lupe Fiasco stole his style from Kanye and acts even more of a faggot. What the fuck is the Show Goes On? That's probably the gayest song on the radio on right now. Never Say Never by Justin Bieber has a better message and more meaningful. It's Gucci Time!

    • Anonymous

      another incompetent lifetime faggot it's a rap site, not for fags like you, plus show goes was a compromise, so take gucci's dick out ya head and shut up

    • Rexhep Gashi

      gucci gucci gucii mane mane mane guccci gucci mane ahah hahahhHAHAHHA AHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAH new style of T"RAPPING" HAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHHAHAHHA

    • hiphop

      how the fuck has he stole kanyes style they nothing like each other..lmfao if you listen to gucci fucking faggot

  • NaSty

    GOAT NaS- "a rapper's rapper", created the best hip hop album ever, at age 19. he has survived the times, 20+ years in the game. he has been through it all, ups and downs. lyrically superior and most creative: rewind, i gave you power, fetus and so on.. Lupe wouldnt even be a rapper without NaS' classic and underrated "It Was Written"

  • Anonymous

    Let me just say I LIKE the new album. Take it for what it is. So far I liked The Cool best that was crazy. He seemed like he was coasting on this one, but that's okay, overall the music was good. As far as all the authentic debate or whatever, he is a person, we've all done things and thought things which may or may not have been in tandem. Ive done things I regret, only to go out and do them again. I've also tried to show others the "right" thing to do even if I don't always do it myself. When you write, in general, you are putting your feelings and thoughts on paper, so Lupe may or may have not "buss his guns" or "split the yellow ones" but it's clear by listening to his music where his heart lies. I think he is a great lyricists, and a very good artist. One of the best we have in hiphop whether you're a fan or not. The new album's sound may play to the "europop" beats or commercial music or whatever, but like I said, you gotta take it for what it is, I listen to it, enjoy and it dance with my baby son to it. Just note that I'm a "90's nicca" who is also a hiphop artist and my biggest influences are WU, Nas and Roots. I've written songs where I talk about busting my gat- cuz I did that when I was a teen- but I've also written love songs where I'm fuckin signing, so fuck it, that's called being a musician, an artist. Everyone cool the fuck out and let Lupe do his thing

  • Anonymous

    yeah yeah yeah declining sales...everyone keeps saying that as if they can't sell merchandise or some other shit at the end of the day if your a rapper your a business think like one!!!!

  • drico

    take this down. I will never come to this sit again because there is no journalistic integrity in this piece or in its headline, this is my last comment and visit to this site

  • d

    BLACK PEOPLE ARE DOOM... WE GOT WAY WORST PROBLEM THAN THIS WE FUCK UP LIKE BOBBY HEMMIT SAID

  • 2GunnsUp

    2gunnsUp: You guys are jokers! What exactly did you guys achieve with this inane article? You all sound intelligent but you obviously lack common sense. Did you guys actually try to draw comparison btw Ross & Lupe's background? On one hand you have a fake irredeemable rapper with vacuous lyrics passing the wrong message to the youth and then you have a redeemable rapper with a positive message. Who cares? I actually enjoy both rappers music and thats where it all ends. Get a life. This article failed!!!

  • Duke

    i'm not sure what your guys definition of a debate is but when two people mostly agree with what one another is saying thats called an agreement. neither guy really went against the other and if they did it was in a nice way such as "i don't really care about that". if you are going to debate one person has to agree on the subject and the other has to disagree. you can't worry about hurting the other guy's feelings you go in on your stand point and make the listener or reader agree with you. i don't want to read to guys having a casual conversation.

  • KickinKnowledge

    Aren't there numerous underground rappers with more talent than Lupe Fiasco? Who is really the greatest emcee of all time, and by emcee I mean vicious lyrical skill, flow, and substance. A rapper in my opinion is an emcee with skill and mainstream success. What if all these underground Hip hop tracks were put out like Lupe's daydreamin and Kick and Push, what if underground talent was mainstream. Who would be the greatest of all time then?

    • Vic

      its impossible to come up with one great emcee that everyone will agree on because in my opinion there are several rappers who are equally qualified (in terms of lyrical skill) to hold the position and at that point it all comes down to which artist you happen to like more or which one has better production.

  • hippydude

    see...i had to stop when yall said that no rapper that's not Eminem or Jay should feel like they don't have to give something up "for the crowd"...yall hip-hop niggas are really fickle and the fans are so fucking wack its pitiful! you realize hip-hop is like the ONLY GENRE in modern music that FORCES their artist to put out MAD free music! You have to put out an average of 3 FREE ALBUMS with big budgets and great music just to get in the door these days. there are virtually NO indie/alternative rock artists or even alot of R&B artists releasing ALBUMS AND ALBUMS worth of FREE material for the "fans"...and i use the word "fans" loosely because most of you are just spoiled, talentless cunts that just feel like they can sit back and judge something that somebody put every ounce of their life and soul into, yall use it and throw it out like old rubbers, NO ARTIST OWES YOU NIGGAS FREE MUSIC! GET THAT THROUGH YOUR FUCKING HEAD! BE GRATEFUL AND SHOW SOME RESPECT FOR ART!

    • datdudefromnyc

      THANK YOU. HHDX should be fucking ashamed for even posting this article. i stand by Lupe, good and bad. just like i stand by all the artists i like Kanye,etc. news flash they are not fucking monkeys beamed from some mothership sent here on earth to do shit as you please. and even if Lasers wasn't as crazy as The Cool... listen to the album its still better than half the shit out right now. and when he does food and liquor 2 HHDX will be back on his nutsack again , claiming he regained his position of power. this article made me sick to my stomach.

    • Devante Introspective-Dialect Bennett

      add me on facebook dude... we need to talk more in depth... This is how fans should truly behave...

    • EliRootZ

      Aint it the fucking truth brother, preach the fuck on, ungreatful people.

  • poor debate

    This 'debate' is disappointing. Why can't we judge the man on his body of work? Food & Liquor was an incredible album. The cool was critically acclaimed. Lasers was Lupes 808's and heartbreak. If there wasn't this controversy people would have enjoyed it more. The tracks seem dated but weren't when they originally were to come out. Letting go, dont wanna care, those songs were great if they were release 2-3 years ago when that was the style. Who gives a fuck who he is just like we dont care Kanye is an egotistical douche, because he makes incredible music. you guys nitpick the tiniest shit and don't stop to say, wow he has personally made a change in the way people make hip-hop music. This debate was slanted, sad, and pathetic. I expected os much more

    • Anonymous

      Lasers isn't Lupe's 808's & Heartbreak. 808's was a consistent piece of art, that like it or not, held together theme that Kanye wanted to put out there. Lasers was stitched together commercial bullshit (bar Letting Go & Beautiful Lasers) that Lupe wouldn't put out in a heartbeat. I'm a GREAT fan of F&L and The Cool, but Lasers? Nah. And these two cats debating hit the nail on the head w/Lupe Fiasco. Words I Never Said was him trying to fly the flag for the Friend of the People/Enemy of the State persona he seems to be promoting nowadays, which is fake as hell and playing into a bunch of morons who see a few videos about the Illuminati on YouTube and thing they know a thing or two. That being said, I'm waiting on F&L2 for some 'Go to Sleep' type music.

  • shone jones

    The more Lupe talks, the more he makes a fool out of himself. Lasers is a mediocre album. Some of y'all are bending over backwards trying to come up with excuses for Lupe. If he didn't stand by the finished product, or knew that the songs were "forced" on him, he could've stepped forward and said that at any point, instead of thanking fans for organizing a petition. Like I said before he could've kept it 100% like Ghost and Rae and said "this isn't a good album". He didn't. It is what it is.

  • MookieDC

    I agree with everything said, love all of it... until the end. Why the abrupt conclusion? Why the soundscan-based epilogue? I'm confused. I like to compare hip-hop to basketball, they're very clearly related on many levels; some obvious and some not. On talent and skill-level alone, Lupe has to be on the short list for GOAT. In basketball, that list can include anyone from Michael Jordan to JR Smith to Len Bias to Vince Carter to Isaiah Rider to Kobe Bryant. Point being, in ANY and EVERY realm of art, you have to be about what you produce in order to be considered truly great, because without soul there is nothing worthwhile. And that can only become apparent with time.

  • war22

    if we talk about lyrics my top5 is 1.Em 2.ROyce 3.Tech N9ne 4.Crooked 5.Immortal if we talk about sells Eminem shits on all of them...best lyricist + sells makes Em the GOAT...face it a white dude won a black game..

  • Dilli

    That was way too long.

  • D-Money

    A real honest debate between two people! This is what the game needs! Please continue this segment HipHopDX!

  • this is gay

    This shit is stupid.... Hip hop gossip bullshit. Its about the music.

  • noheavenforagangsta

    I think the jury is still out. We can all agree that we need to wait for more material before we can come to a final conclusion about Lupe. I prefer to give him the benefit of the doubt... every artist makes a bad record from time to time. hopefully he can step his game up on the next project remove all doubt

  • Mike

    And yo is this dude seriously gonna say he is more worried about the image Lupe is portraying then Ross? So now rapping about uplifting things is bad? You don't think kids listen to Ross and believe him about wanting to be Big Meech? You don't think rapping about drugs has a bad side effect on the youth, even if it is obviously bullshit?

    • Vic

      I completely agree and this isnt a debate, both editors pretty much agree with each other. To make it a debate one of you would be defending Lupe's position and the other would be attacking it.

  • GLOCKWORK

    I hate this discussion. You claim to discuss whether he is an all-time great and then debate about things that pertain to Lupe as an individual and not an artist. Personally I don't give a fuck if he sold drugs or changed his public persona; all I care about is his music. And as for his music, I felt everything he did up until Lasers, 'gangster' mixtapes included. So Lasers wasn't the best album, I wasn't expecting it to be after all the delays...remember Lupe was thinking about quitting rap so he can't have been completely focused. Nobody disputes that Eminem and Jay are two of the greatest and even they have their 'Encore' and 'Blueprint II' respectively. So I think Lupe is entitled to at least one bad album...and even so, only a few albums deep, I can confidently say that he is one the best rappers of all time.

  • da1

    This was a very insightful read. I still think lupe is the best lyricist in the game, fuck what anybody has to say. Even if he was a drug dealer back then, maybe he is trying to redeem himself with the conscious raps. I'm pretty sure he does care about money and loves fucking groupies or whoever. No one is perfect and I don't expect him to be a saint. I just love his music and thats basically the reason why you had this little debate. Is lupe an all time great?(yes) Not is lupe an all time great person?

  • Angel Xavier De Peña

    Joe Budden > Lupe Fiasco

    • Miranda Cassidy

      also Miranda swallows

    • Angel Xavier De Peña

      Son ur mom is reallly good at sucking dick....fucking.... so i cummed inside her and had you.... i know u dont know me because ur a fatherless child and for that im sorry....but dont be such a hater because ur lonely and scarrrrrrrrred... bitch

    • Anonymous

      i sure efing agree

    • Anonymous

      look at cha changing your profile pick to not look so fucking gay. guess what? you still look fucking gay!

  • Mike

    You guys should be ashamed for writing this article. This was so biased it wasn't even funny, you only talked about the "bad" And Lupe has said multiple times in the past that people around him told him to use his skills to rap "consciously". Yea he used to rap about gangster stuff, but he realized that his words have an impact. But because he doesn't rap about that he is a phony? Get the fuck out And lol at the dude saying his personal sides have hurt his sales when he just sold as much as Rihanna did in her first week. Dumb niggas

  • Sam Ritz

    This is what I think: Lupe was a refresher. Nas(top 3 just because of illmatic) was ultimatly right- In 2006, hip hop was dead, or at least dying. Then Lupe came. He was totally different than anything anyone had seen. In my opinion, he blinded people simply because he shocked the game, and people started loving him. The Nas compasion is very true, except this isn't illmatic. This is Food and Liquor. It was a starting block, not the podium. To me, the morbidity of the game 5 years ago was enough to propel him to "best emcee in the game" status. His style is a anomaly.It didn't revolutionize the game. To me, Cudi, not Lupe, is the artist who changed. He was the forerunner, not the catylyst.

  • DJ

    I have to agree he is certainly one of the better rappers to emerge in recent years. But you spend most of your discussion debating his past and his current status within the industry. In the title you ask is he an all time great or fiasco. I don't think you answered that question. If anything from reading I assumed you guys are fans but you think he's somewhat of a fiasco. I was hoping to see more discussions about his music. I mean if you're going to call someone an all time great isn't that what really matters? The music? Granted he has 3 albums and a slew of mix tapes, but still it's a start for the debate right? I think if you're going to debate if someone is one of the greatest at anything their body of work should only be considered. Whether that's music, sports, writing, acting, etc. Personal background and current behavior should be left out.

  • Anonymous

    MOST YOU DUMB BLACK DUDES ARE TOO STUPID TO UNDERSATND HIS LYRICS

  • hmm

    people are afraid to rank Lupe high cause he's still young

  • Luiz Fillipe Graziadio

    top 5 dead or alive!!!

    • Anonymous

      hahah! KRS Blu Common Nas Jay Joell Ortiz Tash Pun Big L Rakim and thats just a quick thought....do your homework son.

    • Luiz Fillipe Graziadio

      top 5 dead or alive ! face it

    • Rick

      please rewind your life back to the minute brfore you found hip hop and choose another form of music to write your wack opinions on....Milli Vanilli, Backstreet boys, nsynch, etc.

  • Malik

    There was very little conversation about Lu's actual music in this outside of the terrible 'Go Go Gadget Flow'. Also, no one with only 3 albums under their belt deserves to be even in the top 50 conversation, much less greatest of all time. Unless you genuinely believe that those 3 records are 3 of the best albums ever made. And no Lu stan believes that, much less the general educated hip hop masses. He does have great potential though. I can't put him up there with someone like Ghost for example who's been releasing at his worst only 'good' material and has classic solo, duo, and group albums in his career.

    • Joe G.

      "no one with only 3 albums under their belt deserves to be even in the top 50 conversation, much less greatest of all time. " Sorry BIG

  • Alex

    I find it deplorable that the conversation of whether Lupe "is who he says he is" even comes up. Instead of being the typical rapper talking about all the girls he sleeps with, the yay he moves and the AKs he busts, he talks about real issues like abandonment and other family issues (aptly titled "Real"), child soldiers ("Little Weapon") and the struggle of artists and their labels ("Dumb It Down" and the entire "Lasers" album save two or three songs). And then people call him out because he maybe used to be involved in that street shit and he doesn't rap about it? Get the fuck outta here with that bullshit.

    • Alex

      Also, I don't think that Lupe is among the greatest ever (yet) as far as a total package, but I agree that he is in the top ten since 2000, and one of the best technically of all time.

  • ptone814

    LUPE IS THE GOAT.

  • andre

    Of the last 5-6 years Lupe is no doubt one of the best, but considering the all time greats that made music back in the days he doesn't even crack the top 30.Even if he rises to his full potential he still can't touch the top 30.Than doesn't mean that he didn't make good music.He's more than decent.

    • oohla vegas

      your completely wrong... besides the pioneers who get Great status because they started the art. He has potential and even cracked the top 30. Lupe has managed to sell over 260,000 records without giving away that much free music (did we forget about enemy of the state and the bi monthly random songs?) and blogs. if your big on the blogs your music will only get downloaded. Lupe has die hard fans who will support him and his music. that's a true great.

  • hiphop

    not best rapper ever but makes my top 10..no one can choose the top 10 rapper list unless you have listened to all the tracks from all the artists i think, people might put scarface in their top 10 but i havnt heard a lot of his tracks so wouldnt even make top 50 whereas ive heard a lot of ice cube,mos def,talib,big l,andre 3000,big pun,biggie,rakim tracks and they would all make my top 10

  • kingofkings

    Everybody loves when you ballin', but nobody wants you when you fallin'...lupe WILL strike harder after all this hating shit..what dont kill you, only makes you stronger..and lupe was already strong..greetz

  • Kashif Ilyas

    Lupe is one of the greatest of all time. Perhaps people will accept this fact after he releases two more albums of the quality of "Food and Liqour" and "The Cool" I dont need to wait for that. I already know he's one of the best ever. Lasers was a compromise because of the label's pressure. I cant believe you guys are hinting otherwise. Atlantic was not letting him release an album for more than a year. Doesnt that prove it? Just like Nas had to go through Nastradamus, Lupe had to go through Lasers. But I am positive Lupe will be on top with his next efforts. Cant wait for the great american rap album and food and liqour 2.

  • Killervibe

    Lupe's past is now kind of irrelevant. He may have initially been putting up an act but I believe he ended up really making that transition genuinely in the process. Honestly, who the hell would climb Mt.Kilimanjaro as just part of an act? You have to have some genuine feelings towards the cause in order to do that sort of thing.

  • Rick

    Are you serious? this guy doesnt even belong in the top 100 PERIOD EXCLAMATION!!!

    • rick

      says the guy who doesnt know the difference between " your" & "you're". And youre not just smart enough to know what a REAL MC is. Do you homework son...Oh, and stop ditching your 3rd period English class...STAY IN SCHOOL FOOL!

    • Anonymous

      yOUR TOO DUMB TO UNDERSTAND HIS LYRICS

    • Anonymous

      This. Lupe is nice, but there are 100+ better mcs.

  • Jimbo

    In your debate about Lupe, of which the title is "Is he one of the all time greats", you fail to give the counter perspective. Yes, you acknowledge his technical capabilities, but your panel only focuses on the negative spots on his career. There is no focus on the good he has done, besides saying Superstar and Hi-Definition are catchy and that you want more Go Go Gadget Flow and Daydreamin'. The Lupe you criticize is the one you say is mired in contradictions. Even Lupe himself will admit that. The whole point of Food & Liquor was to talk about the balance between good and bad. It would have been nice if you guys had discussed the influence he has had already. In the past decade, the music of him and Kanye has helped open up a new lane for rappers who don't have a gangsta image. J. Cole has cited Lupe as the beginning of when lyrics started to matter again. Jay-Z has called him a breath of fresh air. I think your main issue is that he "might" have dealt drugs in his past. When reflecting upon his old gangsta music, he said it was real but it wasn't helping anyone. Who is to say that gangsta Lu was not the real Lu and conscious is? You focus on his "self-entitlement" when it comes to blogs, the fans, etc.. At least to me the situation with the blogs were about unfinished songs. Lupe has given out free music and plans to give out more...that is not the issue...he just hates leaks. I am disappointed at how little actual debate there was in this panel. To me, as a Lupe fan, all I saw was one side.

  • Rodney

    Great piece. '06 Lupe > '11 Lupe. Lupe on the mic > Lupe opening his mouth. Glad the album sold well though, better than Gucci Mane.

  • Anonymous

    He hasn't been around long enough to even be considered. Unless he ends up like pac and big and get shot before either of them have a chance to slip, maybe. But its just too soon. Plus we got some of the greats still doin it today.

  • GZ

    HE IS ONE OF THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME DX

    • 2gunnsUp

      You guys are jokers! What exactly did you guys achieve with this inane article? You all sound intelligent but you obviously lack common sense. Did you guys actually try to draw comparison btw Ross & Lupe's background? On one hand you have a fake irredeemable rapper with vacuous lyrics passing the wrong message to the youth and then you have a redeemable rapper with a positive message. Who cares? I actually enjoy both rappers music and thats where it all ends. Get a life. This article failed!!!

  • timothy adems

    SMH. You guys hit the Lupe Fiasco issue on the head. Lasers is a piece of shit, and he was gung ho when fans petitioned for it, then he started complaining about atlantic when people didn't like the weak contrived verses he spits on the album. I was also a fan of Lupe fiasco. His first two albums and the "gangster" Mixtape material were my favorites (I mean come. In "The killer" he spits "Like a underground bar/burying the toast/dodging the raid like roach"). Then suddenly he switched his flow, dumbed his lyrics down, and delivered an album shittier than B.O.B's last effort (with less hits). Nonetheless when Lu' is on his game he is a top 5 MC. I'm waiting for FNL2 and the great american rap album. If he doesn't step it up on those efforts his core fans are gonna be gone.t

  • Dexter Caffee

    lupe is awesome

  • Oliver 'Oli' Jensen

    Lupe is the SHIT!