Lupe Fiasco Talks Label Troubles

The Chi-town emcee talks about a disconnect between he and his label's vision.

In an interview with theage.com.au, Lupe Fiasco recently spoke about the difficulties he has with his label.

''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.''

51 Comments

  • lilylonely1986

    Welcome to the largest and most successful interracial dating site in the world! ______ www-BlackWhiteDate-com _____ is for sincere singles of all races, seriously looking for an interracial relationship or interracial marriage. Thousands of new members daily. Join now to meet your dream date in this comfortable community of different cultures and ethnicities....

  • lilylonely1986

    Welcome to the largest and most successful interracial dating site in the world! ______ www-BlackWhiteDate-com _____ is for sincere singles of all races, seriously looking for an interracial relationship or interracial marriage. Thousands of new members daily. Join now to meet your dream date in this comfortable community of different cultures and ethnicities.//

  • toby

    cool... lupe has got his head straight http://watchthishiphop.blogspot.com

  • TheListener

    MY NINJA!...I applaud him. Waaaaaaaaaaaaiting on tha album.

  • bobby_b_nice

    Lupe is my friend. gotta give him respect for saying that he's above the petty shit in hiphop and actually committing to it.

  • ram29

    Lupe > Lil wayne, drake, BEP and all that other pop, corny sounding shit

    • DriZzY

      Naw take out Black eyed peas and i'll co-sign lol , you can't compare the black eyed peas to any of the people you listed , and realistically they're the only real artists left in the pop genre

  • MIndCOntroller

    Record labels are fuckin stupid, they're actually the main reason why main stream hiphop turned pop, if they let the artist make real music about life then using auto tune, hip hop would be in a better state also im sure more ppl would by albums.

  • R.O.D 253

    There u go Lupe never sellout to the white crowd..lol naw just kidding..Lupe is this generations last hope to revive hip hop?..the mainstream is tryna push all the legends to the side b-cuz they keep it real...Ice cube,Nas,Common,Rakim,Mobb Deep,N.W.A,Wu Tang Clan,AZ,Bone Thugs,KRS One,2pac,Biggie etc... is music..90's hip hop forever.

  • Quiet Dog Bite Hard

    Major labels just own artists & fuck them around till they get what they think will bring them in more money. That sucks for Lupe (& many others really). How many times has an artists career been on the rocks because of label disagreements? Shitloads.

  • Da Fella!

    LUPE!! Da shit homie just get with THA! Leather!!! genuine PURE QualiTY!!

  • HardKnockHustler

    Wana Hear A Joke?.... Lil Wayne Pure Garbage

  • HardKnockHustler

    "God is Great, So Aint No G.O.A.Ts" Lupe Fiasco Enemy Of The State

  • Giovanni Ibarra

    This is why I love Lupe Fiasco. He is a rapper for the fans. He isn't a sellout like Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, or Gucci Mane. He is confronting his label about making him step out of his comfort zone and make music that he doesn't want to make. He doesn't want to send the wrong image. He doesn't rap about money, sex, and drugs. That is one of the reasons why I enjoy listening to Lupe Fiasco. He has good instrumentals and catchy music that I get hooked on like "Hip Hop saved my life" "Superstar" and his classics like "Kick Push" . He isn't about the money. He doens't want to make a fortune like Jay-Z and he doesn't care about the fame. He just wants to be able to tour and talk to the kids about world issues and other important matters. Make sure to follow me at my blog. We post the latest in hip hop and make sure to follow. http://desng.blogspot.com/

  • yaboyla

    i hate you Pariscity.

    • ParisCity

      Ok, do what u want...I knew I would make friends talking like that about Lupe cuz I think he's maybe the most critically acclaimed, everybody seems to like him...but I DON'T! That doesn't mean I diss him. There's a difference between "diverging opinions" and "hate" but there's a lot of people in here who don't make that difference (I'm not only talking about you Yaboyla). That's why discussions often end up with insults. C'mon guys, be open minded and stop hating when somebody disagree with u cuz in the real life that kind of attitude will get you nowhere...That's all I had to say, now I'm outta here!

  • ParisCity

    I know I gonna make a lot of enemies by saying that but fuck it! I DON'T LIKE Lupe Fiasco. I recognize that he's talented and that he knows how to play with words but I've never liked the beats he picks up. Those are not "wack" beats but it's just not my cup of tea....Ohh, plz, people, don't come here to hate on me cuz I gave my opinion, hopefully everybody has different tastes in music...That beeing said I hope he'll find a label even if I'm not gonna buy his album...

    • bobby_b_nice

      i agree its a pretty legit point of view. i am a lupe fan and i think his beats are usually nothing to drool over. but he more than makes up for it with insightful lyrics.

    • YungRich

      Looks like you care about him enough to read a story about him so maybe there's hope for you after all.

    • spaceman

      Its not a bad argument at all, but Lupe Fiasco's fanbase cares more about his lyrics than just beats. Thats why He can go gold with only 1 top ten hit & artsits like Flo Rida can have record breaking singles & catchy beats & hooks and barely break 200k.

  • Drewcifer

    Y'all are some dumbasses. Lupe should really just leave his major label and stick with his own independent releases. A major mistake that non-sellout artists that rap about real shit do is sign with major labels that want to turn them into autotune, radio friendly fuckstix. Lupe keeps it 100, he just needs to void the contract and do his own thing... REAL TALK.

  • www,twitter.com/shuttlesbmore

    Lupe is very talented and gifted. The times right now are just not right for his style. Like Joe Buddens said in his song Anti "Swear you and your label should prayeth/ Thank God I was placed in this decade by mistake/ I don't belong here dad fucked mom in the wrong year/ Wrong peers amongst niggas with wrong ears/ Wrong advancing funny sounds every songs weird/ Wrong fashion its like everybody's gone queer" Follow www.twitter.com/shuttlesbmore

  • lilylonely1986

    Welcome to the largest and most successful interracial dating site in the world! ______ www-BlackWhiteDate-com _____ is for sincere singles of all races, seriously looking for an interracial relationship or interracial marriage. Thousands of new members daily. Join now to meet your dream date in this comfortable community of different cultures and ethnicities.

  • WHOSHOTCAM

    Lupe has a right to produce the music he wants and Warner has the right to reject it.. when you sign that line and take the cash, you have to know strings are attached to it. Lupe is distracted by world issues that he alone can't solve. He can say he doesn't want to be Jay-Z, when in actuality, he does. If he had Jay-Z money, he could buy a country, make his own laws and attempt to provide for these people and conditions in the world. He who has the Gold makes the rules. If you have no Gold, all you can do is complain and wear a back pack and spit such verbage that you don't want to be mainstream. U2 is mainstream, they have raised more awareness for Aids in Africa more than an African American ever did. Independence comes at a cost. Lupe is right, he didn't think it would be or should be easy. He's got to get on his grind to fine tune what his BOSSES expect of him. It's called having a job!

    • Dj Lexx

      Its more called BEING OWNED... Lupe understands that he has enough success to make a difference in people's lives and thats what he wants to do... he doesnt want to be Jay-Z because Jay-Z is a corporate puppet... and even though Jay has all this money, he still doesnt do much to help the rest of the world with his money. Lupe actually wants to help and actually cares about making music for his fans, he is not seeking major commercial success through selling out... it if it happens he wants it to happen through the kind of music he already makes.

  • Black Admiral

    He can talk about Jay..Jay co-signed dude off his first Album and did one of his hottest songs.....Anyone who think this dude isn't a great artist is most likely ignorant.. His point is he wants to make money and touch people..not make so much he's untouchable..

  • G

    Just listen to that last mixtape by lupe fiasco enemy of the state. Especially the ones he raps over Fireman and The One beats. FIRE !

  • TKX

    This kind of talk keeps hip-hop from going six feet.

  • TKX

    This is the kind of talk that keeps hip-hop from going six feet.

  • duce1106

    @rip_proof&dilla word but hopefully niggas will wake up n stop tryna get cash fast money only = dummies niggas dat sell out.....niggas should want they voice heard but most weak minded dudes give em the strings an get used like puppets......ay much respect lupe im down for the cause 100 we not losers but lasers

  • skepta

    some pple are stupid for commenting against lupe fiasco. what lupe has done, can lil wayne or that garbage wacka flocka do it? no because they are dumb fools. Lupe continue with ur style and dont mind those dumb pple. dont jack from fake ass nigga fam

  • truest

    ''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.'' hip.hop.period. 1.Em 2.B.I.G. 3.Big L 4.Lupe Fiasco

  • glo-A

    That quote from Da Police was the funniest shit i heard all day....it's still early though.

  • da police

    maybe his label decided to put out some good music instead of this bullish, no more boring rap, like wacka flacka says, we dont need no dictionary rap, we need more rappers that are like wacka flacka. i say hip hop has never been at a better place with true rappers like gucci mane and oj da juiceman.

    • Rival X

      is this guy serious? please tell me he's just joking

    • POWVEN

      SetGecko, I agree with you. What is this dude thinking? Other genres of music are not glorifying violence and drugs and materialism as much as hiphop, so why can't we have a variety of choices? It is probably boring to him because he can't relate and does not want to better himself, but rather contribute to the stereotypes that are already present.

    • SetGecko

      Lol man,that was funny! the sad thing is that some niggaz really think this way

  • wu you foo

    ''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.'' hip.hop.period.

  • big teezy

    If it was more rappers like Lupe and more rappers that shared his ideologies then hip hop wouldn't be in its casket right now...

  • Ol' Qwerty Bastard

    Nice to see Lupe's main field of excellence continues to be being a dick. Like even getting asked to perform at an awards show will be something he needs to worry about after that VH1 shambles a few years ago. Anyway, didn't he say he was "retiring" after his next record? Isn't that kind of a Jay-Z kind of thing to do? The sooner this dilettante jackass gets out of hip-hop and onto the speaking tour circuit, where he can lecture impressionable college kids about lizard people and 9/11 conspiracies, the better.

    • Mazinga_Z

      Anybody with an IQ above 12 won't even question Lupe Fiasco's musical credibility. Instead of judging him by his actions and calling him a dillettante, perhaphs you should sit down and listen to his music and while your at it, stop pulling out shit out of your ass. Lupe Fiasco is clearly trying his best at not selling out for his label. THAT is the point of this article.

  • what what

    lol at Jigga. Though Jay-Z is worth a lot more than that, he still is irrelevant.

  • dontgiveafuck.

    i really respect his music perspective ! he rather acts according to his soul than sell hisself out for riches !

  • Charles ExSavior

    ...More shiity album titles like "We Are Lasers"? Of course the label's gonna want what they want... it was put on paper along with his signature. This album better be worth the wait.

  • RIP_Proof&Dilla

    Can u Imagine how much quality would be out there if everyone had that kind of plan for their career.

Most Discussed News