“No matter how much you prepare, you can still pull a Kanye West on Saturday Night Live,” Lupe Fiasco said to HipHopDX from the set of his video for “Superstar” as he referred to Kanye West's flubbing of his own lyrics on live television. Fiasco is 2 days removed from his slip up of Phife’s verse of "Electric Relaxation" at the VH1 Hip Hop Honors which has caused a whirlwind of controversy throughout the internet world.
Lupe Fiasco was asked to take part in the tribute to A Tribe Called Quest at the VH1 Hip Hop Honors, after being against the idea at initially, Fiasco finally committed. While the performance was considered high powered and full of energy it was Fiasco's two bar slip up that has gotten all the attention.
“The label brought the idea to me and I told them that I didn’t think it was cool because I didn’t grow up on them. People are going to think that’s phony,” Fiasco stated. “I think people who know that I haven’t listened to the Midnight Maurauders album are going to look at me and say its phony. They gave me mad press kits on Tribe and I was like ‘I know who they are!’ but now this was becoming (even more) phony because I had to beef up and play a role that I know them. Just for the sake of putting on a facade for my fans? I’ll never do that.”
Even though he was against the idea, Lupe stated that it was Q-Tip personally reaching out that finally brought him on board.
“He could have picked anybody but he picked me for whatever reason so I can come out and represent the young people - which is the generation I speak for,” Fiasco said. “Tip knows I can’t speak for their generation. I didn’t grow up in their struggle. So whatever his purpose for putting me on there, he put me on and I’ll honor him. I did my best.”
Lupe cited that things were a bit last minute and while he isn’t making excuses, asks for people to look at the facts.
“(VH1 and my label) approached me 2 ½ weeks about the Tribe performance, they didn’t get the lyrics together for the songs they wanted us to do until a couple of days before the show. They were waiting on Q-Tip to verify the lyrics and the lyrics I got from the network were wrong!”
“I’m not even tripping on that though,” Fiasco continued. “I went in there and did the best that I could do. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. I perform in front of 30,000 fans and have forgotten my own lyrics! I’m not embarrassed and I’m not apologizing. Because that’s what it is. You go out there and do the best you can do (with all performances) and if you stumble you pick up the ball and keep it moving. Because I turned right around and did Busta’s verse from ‘Scenario’ and killed it. Don’t nobody want to say that! They want to focus on me messing up the last two bars of Phife’s verse from Electric Relaxation. I’m a disgrace now?”
Lupe explained he was honored to be considered and worked hard on nailing down the verses but felt uncomfortable considering he didn’t grow up on Tribe - but got his musical influences from the likes of Spice 1 as well as 8Ball & MJG albums which are “just as important to hip hop as A Tribe Called Quest was.”
“I can’t say that I’m sorry for not growing up on Tribe, that’s just the way it is,” he continued. “ I’m not being egotistical, I’m not boasting but the fact is that the era that Tribe was rocking in was my big sister’s era (Ed Note: Fiasco is 25 years old). I just want everybody to understand that just because I messed up those two bars that I’m not pissing on Tribe and what they’ve accomplished.”
The VH1 Hip Hop Honors will air on the network Monday October 8th (check your local listings for show time) but you can judge for yourself with the video below…
Reported By: J-23
Updated By: Andreas Hale