Lupe Fiasco Says "I Can't Wait To Get Off" Atlantic Records

The rapper says "they treat me like a third-class citizen up there" because he wouldn't sign a 360 deal.

Speaking with Torae on "The Tor Guide” on Hip Hop Nation on SiriusXM Radio, Lupe Fiasco detailed his label frustrations and anticipation to leave Atlantic Records.

When asked about his current relationship with the label and how he’s been treated by Atlantic, Lupe explained the issues.

“Bad, to keep it a thousand,” he said. “I can’t wait to get off. Even with that said, I’m coming with the biggest records of my career over the next two albums just to set myself up for that post-Atlantic Records career. I’ve had a very interesting run for various reasons. I don’t even think about it anymore. I just go ahead. I rock with my homies at the label who are my homies...but that executive level don’t fuck with your boy too heavy. And it’s good, it is what it is.”

Explaining the rift, Lupe said that his reluctance to sign a 360 deal after his sophomore album angered the label heads.

“I don’t have a 360 deal,” he said. “Since they can’t eat off my merchandise or my publishing or my touring they treat me like a third-class citizen up there. I paid the price for that.

“I got my deal in like 2005, so that was when they were still trying to make that thing happen,” he went on. “By the time I got to my second album, The Cool, they really had it in place. I didn’t want to have to do it. They tried to negotiate it with me, it’s just, the money wasn’t right. It just wasn’t right. And we were like, ‘Nah.’ Then they were like, ‘Well, if you don’t sign this 360 deal we can’t guarantee we’re gonna promote your records.’ I was like above a Wiz Khalifa or B.O.B., like, ‘You gon’ be down in the basement.’ It’s like, ‘Alright.’ We just roll with it. Then we come with the hits, we come with our Grammy nominations. We still keep it going in the midst of that.”

With Torae suggesting that his loyal fan base has helped his longevity, Fiasco agreed and outlined his relationship with the audience.  

“It’s a gift and a gift,” he said of audience loyalty. “And then it could be a curse ‘cause you gotta stay true to it and you gotta keep your fans inline at the same time and let’em know too, ‘I’m a real person just like you’re a real person. We can politic and have fun, you can come backstage, I’m not tripping. But, you know, I’m not your toy either. You just can’t talk to me anyway or tell me anything.’ We real people. With that said, [I have] the most amazing fan base in the world, supports through thick and thin, talk their piece, which is cool. They get at me sometimes same way they get at the label. But it’s all love. I think these next two records, we’ve been kind of holding off on really going hard ‘cause we knew we didn’t have that support. Now, when we ain’t got no choice, every album after this is just going for heads. We’ll see.”

Promoting the website companion to his cancer awareness single “Mission,” Lupe described hopes to grow into a foundation in the coming months and years.

“We gon’ be using that to launch a bunch of the platforms that we got going,” he said. “So we partnered up with Stand Up To Cancer, doing some stuff with Eff Cancer, a few other collabs that’s going to be pretty cool. Hopefully by the end of this we’ll have some type of foundation set up where if you from the hood and you wanna find out how you could involved with cancer research, support groups, in your hood for the people around you. Hopefully we’ll have those services set up in a few months or a year, however long it need to take.”

For more Lupe Fiasco coverage, watch the following DX Daily:



  • Anonymous

    I just got paid $6784 working off my laptop this month. And if you think that's cool, my divorced friend has twin toddlers and made over $9k her first month. It feels so good making so much money when other people have to work for so much less. This is what I do,,,,, ========================= WWW.CASHTOT.COM =========================

  • Anonymous

    lupe iz lame hipster

  • Money First

    First off let me say this: When it comes to any contract even a 360 everything is negotiable! Especially in terms of time limits meaning how long they eat off of you etc. It just depends on your team i.e. attorney, manager, etc knowing how to negotiate for your long term career. Don't be afraid to negotiate even with your salary when getting a job....Just make it palatable for each party and that will keep it honest. The label will work just as hard to promote your records mainly for themselves but ultimately benefiting you because they want to get paid too!!!! Then when you set the terms you can take that fanbase/momentum and move how you wish...Renegotiate, new label, independent whatever you choose

    • An AP MAjor

      That sounds fine and dandy but even if Lupe were to hit do you know how many of a major record labels signed artist flop? It's like 95% and the way that they balance that out is by essentially robbing their hit artist or taking a huge chunk of their profit, including royalties. If Lupe said the money was bad, its probably because it was even after negotiations of a 360. There are few entrepreneurial endeavors that Lupe has ever spoken about pursuing and that would be mainly writing a novel about a window cleaner. With there being a continuos drop album sales and Lupe having a limited number of financial ideas/opportunities to capitalize on, of course he wouldn't accept a 360 deal! The industry would try to milk him for what they can in all arenas because thats what they need to do to stay a stable business .

    • Anonymous

      ^This is a guy I would hire to consult. Unfortunately they ain't gonna remember this but you're spot on.

  • Anonymous

    Lupe had his chance, that moment years ago when the fans petitioned to get his album out. Lupe went up to Atlantic, came out and said "everything is alright", and dropped that B.o.B. throwaway album called L4ZERS instead of getting his release and dropping another F&L like he wanted. Lupe full of it.

    • Come On

      @Anonymous: Fuck you Lasers was better than any B.O.B album I don't know what the fuck people problems with lasers is. "all Black everything" Is one of Lupe fiasco's best songs, yah it was different from his other stuff but that doesn't means it sucks.

    • V-Nasty is God

      @BP EXACTLY. Stupid motherfuckers think that Atlantic is just gonna let him off that 6 album contract so easily. If it were up to him he would have been ghost.

    • BP

      yeah dumdum, that was BECAUSE Atlantic held up his album. after the Superstar single they wanted Lupe to make more of that, Lupe wasn't down with it so they held his album up... he got coerced into dropping that Lasers album, people still bitchin about Lasers today like it dropped last year, but people easily forget who was really behind that album... Lupe didn't have that much clout back then, he was only two albums in

  • jay

    Label still force him to rap over the label A&R cornball tracks and pimp him for that publishing. They don't allow him to release his own music from his producers... Negro got a yoke around his neck.. Industry niggass. lol Talking about the labels.. Indie is the new major.. Today, your buzz tanks as soon as you sign your life away.You have to be retarded to sign one of those 360 deals...

  • Anonymous

    Congrats on the real issue movement i.e. fighting cancer, fuck all the music bullshit.

  • Anonymous

    real niggas listen chef keef

  • Anonymous

    Can't blame the labels for the 360 deal thing. Nobody buys music anymore, there just trying to stay in business. Lupe did the right thing by not signing it though. He'll wind up independent soon enough, and atlantic will find somebody willing to sign that 360 and everybody will be happy.

  • abstract

    SEE hears the thing...lupe should of thought twice after releasing The Cool and going the indie route. timing would of been perfect if it was done back then.

    • BP

      that's hindsight talk. soo easy to say that now. but the fact is Atlantic allowed The Cool to have that little bit of commercial sell, they promoted that Superstar single, they even had Jeezy and T.I. on the remix, and had some of his tracks appear in movies(Street Kings). would you immediately decide to go indie after that? no nigga would choose that. Lupe was on the come up. only then did Atlantic decide to coerce & seize him, tryna get his whole next album(Lasers) to have that Superstar feel

  • John Boy

    He smart for that. The 360 deals fuck rappers over. Just about every new artist is forced to sign them which essentially makes you slave to the label.

  • FewPointsExtra

    At least one artist won't sell his soul

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