Even though “Kick, Push” helped make Lupe Fiasco a national artist upon its release in 2006, the Chicago rapper says that the song was not embraced by all of the skateboarding community upon its release.
“There was some very insecure skaters, Tony Hawk not being one of them, fortunately, who just felt like I was trying to encroach on their territory when I really did the song as a tribute for a skate shop,” Lupe Fiasco says during an interview with Skee Live. “It was never ‘posed to be a single, never meant to be a single. It was for a skate shop called Uprise for a skate DVD and then it just took a life of its own…But when you’re the first through the wall, you always get a little bloody. Then it paves the way for the Lil Wayne’s and the other people to kind of come in and capitalize on the culture even 10 times more than I did. From there all the way up until now, I always try and make things that I’m personally attached to, that have a personal vibration with me that I feel are real and honest and wherever that takes me. So whether that’s skateboarding or having a grandmother that passed away from cancer and homies that are fighting it right now to make a song like ‘Mission,’ it’s all in the same boat.”
As he decides on the material that will be included on his forthcoming Tetsuo & Youth album, Lupe Fiasco says he is looking at some of the process from a business perspective.
“I only get paid for 11 records,” he says. “There’s a cap on your royalties where you only get paid, the record label only pays you for 11 records and in my position, anything over 11 records is not just free, like, ‘Oh, you’re just doing extra joints.’ It actually pulls money out of my royalties. So, every time I do like The Cool, you do 19 records, you’re getting banged. That’s why [Nas’] Illmatic only has like 10 songs because back in the day it’s like, ‘You’re only paying me what? OK. Then I’m only giving you this.’”