Lupe Fiasco Remembers Frustration With Atlantic, Discusses Apathy Towards 'Lasers'

Lupe says his battle with Atlantic Records made him apathetic about releasing the album, even now.

If ever there was a rapper who knew the power struggle between an artist and his label home, Lupe Fiasco is it. His public battle with Atlantic Records to release his album Lasers raised greater questions about consumer behavior, artists' lack of control, and the fan's ability to sway the decisions of record labels. Lupe sat down with Rubyhornet.com to explain his frustration with Atlantic while negotiating the release of his album.

"At one point in the process, it was really like the phone calls to the label wasn't even about Lasers [anymore]. It was like, 'Yo, we want out. Like, what do we need to do the album? Do you want money? Do you want rights to the rest of my songs for the rest of my life?' For a while it [seemed] like, this album wasn't coming out."

And pessimism over whether the album would come out influenced his work, Lupe said. He admitted that his interest in Lasers began to wane as time passed.

"It took so long that I started to get into other projects. And [people would ask] 'What about Lasers?' And I'd be like, 'I don't know, ask [the label].' So I would lie if I said my heart was 100% in Lasers like that, during the creative process and even now. Because I know the pain that went into it. But when you listen to the album, you won't hear that [pain]. You won't feel that...But at the same time it's matched with a certain level of excitement and happiness getting past that, getting it out."

If anything positive came out of this experience, it is surely Lupe's new relationship with Atlantic.

"It'll change the way they do business with me. But I'm just a small guy with a very big mouth. With fans with a very big mouth. And I carry a lot of weight."

Lasers releases in the spring of 2011.

33 Comments

  • Anonymous

    nicee Duce Rivas -F*ck The World [Official Video] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxEtfs36qpg

  • Anonymous

    NICE Duce Rivas -F*ck The World [Official Video] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxEtfs36qpg

  • da1

    and foreal bascially he will flop cuz he took to long to come out. its like ppl forgot about dude. so they was probably like u have no hits on this album. so u need to go back to the drawing board

  • da1

    you wack lupe. but u need to just drop another name re due the trax and release that bad boy in like 5 years n call it rare and unreleased. and you wack anyways doe but do you. they need those chicago niggas to come out.

  • big teezy

    LUPE IS THE GREATEST MC OF ALL TIME

  • BR

    The Show Goes On is a sick track and so is Never Forget You..... LASERS is gonna be the album of the year, better than Cole World nd Venom nd Gutter Rainbows nd even Detox. Lupe puts so much into his work. Makes these fakes like young money nd dicksquad look like fools. They shouldnt even make music. But I agree, they are trying to hard to sellout that the songs arent as sick, "Go To Sleep" is one of my all time favorite songs. Amazing song, wish every song on the album could be like that. LUPE WILL MURDER THE ALBUM, WE ARE NOT LOSERS, WERE LASERS!

  • Cultures Clothing

    Funny thing is, Lupe's probably not saying half of the B.S. that he had to go through with Atlantic. I've heard some terrible stories about Atlantic from Artists and friends of artists. They want some of these artists to sell-out and dumb down the music to appeal to the mainstream. That's why we saw those pushbacks of Apathy and Saigon's albums. I respect Lupe for sticking to his guns. Also: 1) To the guy talking about Gucci Mane, he's probably the worst rapper in recent memory. He can barely speak English, and he spits remedial nursery rhymes. On top of that, he punches women in the face. That's who you support? 2) To "Vinnie Paz": It's ignorance pure and simple to call Lupe a "Homo" and to claim that he's not Hip-Hop. Lupe's one of the most well-rounded hip-hop artists out there, with topics ranging from the AIDS epidemic, to trouble in Haiti, to rape, etc...which is a lot of the same kind of stuff that Vinnie Paz was rapping about when he first started with Jedi mind Tricks. After you compare JMT's "Shadow Business" to Lupe's "American Terrorist", you'll probably wind up feeling really stupid.

  • problems/problema

    damned if you do damned if u don't..Food and liquor was dope but nobody copped it...he does a song for the radio "superstar" and it hit and now the label wants 100 more of those records..smh..You can tell from the songs that leaked like The show goes on and that song with john legend that he is trying to compromise with the label..go to sleep is ridiculous..straight fire..but atlantic wants to push records by appealing to dudes who are ignorant and cop waka,gucci oj,etc..who wouldnt be apathetic after a while..

  • mbareche

    i can't believe some people talk about Gucci mane being the GOAT i mean the only thing you di is prove that you don't know nothing about the art of hip hop so stop posting shit like wiz or gucci are better than lupe maybe they are better to you cuz all u care about is smoke and weed and all those type of lyrics now dont get me wrong wiz is good i like him but lupe is on another level lupe is true artist who cares about the music about the fan who want to change life of those who listen to him his an inspiration for people strugglin and hopin for a better world just read the manifesto of lasers and u'll see so stop ruinin my day so stop posting shit like GucciMane is the GOAT

  • g-hoppy

    and i forgot to say that most rap fans gotta kinda big mouf lol thats why we likin it cuz we feel home at a place where we can say what we feel, unlike in da rest of this fake world

  • g-hoppy

    keep ur head up lupe, u did the right thing cuz u still can look in the mirror after all. Making yourself happy is more important than what others might think of you. at the end of the day its your life and ur responsible and when u feel like there is no way back u prob need to find a new way as soon as poss (as soon as the contract let u out)

  • D4L

    I'm looking fa Mrs. Bubble Gum I'm Mr. Chik-O-Stick I wanna (dun dun dunt) (oh) 'cause you so thick Girls call me Jolly Rancher (Oh) 'cause I stay so hard You can suck me for a long time (Oh my god!) Girl this ain't no dance floor this a candy sto' And I'm really geeked up And I got more dro I pop, I roll It's soft I know It's the summer time But your laffy taffy got me froze (oh) Gone get loose (oh) Gone get low (oh) don't be shy Hoe I'm Faybo? (oh) I know you wanna ride You're a star and it shows (What's happening? What's up? What's up? Let's go, let's go, let's go) this is the best verse of all time

  • WIZ

    Currently @ Atlantic: Wiz Khalifa > Lupe

  • GucciManeGOAT

    Yo niggaz, this nigga sucks ass. Listen to Gucci Mane. My nigga OJ killed him on the XXL Freestyle. Even that nigga 50 Tyson is better than this nigga. It's Gucci Time!

  • aME

    Lupe could go bar for bar with just about anyone..

  • mike

    im THE biggest lupe fan so dont take this the wrong way. But does this kind of seem like a little bit of an excuse as to say "if lasers isnt as good as you thought it would be this is why"? i hope not..

    • SixStar General

      I don't think it's so much an excuse, but even if it is the album most likely won't live up to the hype. It was just suppose to be another studio album he put out. Not some amazing classic that will go down in history. It just got hyped up due to Atlantic not releasing it, the petition, and all the anxious fans waiting that they expect it to be off the charts. No matter what it is Lupe, and he won't disappoint. Damn HipHop sites and magazines need to give me a job.

  • ??

    im THE biggest lupe fan so dont take this the wrong way. But does this kind of seem like a little bit of an excuse as to say "if lasers isnt as good as you thought it would be this is why"? i hope not

  • Vinnie Paz

    This faggot nerd rapper is bitching about money. Fuck this homo. Listen to real Hip Hop like Jedi Mind Tricks, Army of The Pharaohs or Vinnie Paz, not this gay nerd rap.

    • Anonymous

      lupe fiasco is hip hop

    • ryan

      You obviously never really listened to dude. i listen to jedi, hiero, living legends ect. This dude is mainstream underground. this dude is fighting to put out his music, not the labels. the only reason Del, Opio, Jedi dont go mainstream, is cuz they'll never conform to put sumthin out that wasnt their music. hes done the same. expand your mind before speaking on sumthin youve never wanted to hear. open your mind, underground is cool, but respect rap, respect hip-hop, respect good music. your still gonna be cool jus cuz you like mainstream.

    • Jahorse

      Wow you must be the retard. He's bitching about creative control, do you know anything about his struggle with his label? You're a fool if you think this album was pushed back because they weren't paying him enough. You shouldn't be allowed to make a post with the name Vinnie Paz because people who don't know him wouldn't be willing to give him a chance when they see retards like you listen to him.

  • r.pgh

    I think I heard two or three leaked songs that are supposed to be on Lasers. For all the dudes telling me Atlantic didn't want to put this out b/c the album was wack can eat a fucking dick b/c the leaked songs were fire, and i can only imagine the rest of the album will be the same.

  • khordkutta

    "Beamin'" was effin phenomenal!!!

  • Anonymous

    SERIOUSLY, IT AINT ABOUT LASERS, IT WAS ABOUT ATLANTIC PUTTIN ALL THIS MONEY INTO GUCCI AND WAKA, MILLIONS, AND THEIR RETURN WAS SHITTY, 100,000 COPIES FOR EACH ALBUM, THATS IT???, THESE WERE MAJOR RELEASES, THEY WERE SCARED TO DROP LASERS. BUT NOW THEY KNOW LUPE CAN SELL MORE THAN THESE GUYS COMBINED. 2011....LASERS

  • phuckyou

    labels are so stupid... if they would let lupe do his thing his record would be huge... dont' tehy realize that the commercial shit is played out. look at kaynes album... its gonna be a top seller and he don't have no commercial shit. if you make good music the rest will fall into place.

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