''The most difficult part of the music business is the label," says Lupe. "What I want to do and what they want me to do - creatively - is in conflict. It doesn't keep me up at night. I look at it as a challenge. It's not meant to be easy.''
Despite a measure of success with hits like "Superstar," Lupe says his label doesn't have an accurate idea of what his fans want. ''There's a misunderstanding with my fanbase. People [at Warner] feel they know my fans more than I do. They want me to step out of my comfort zone and step into theirs. I don't have necessarily the celebrity success they want me to have but it's more social success and being able to speak at a college about world affairs. That's a success, to me."
On 2007's Lupe Fiasco's The Cool, the rapper detailed others' expectations about his music on the track, "Dumb It Down." But while this issue isn't new to Lupe, he remains steadfast in what his idea of success is. ''I don't want to be Jay-Z and be worth $400 million and perform on every awards show. It's getting in touch with somebody who needs to improve their self-esteem. As opposed to driving a Bentley and putting some chains on.''