Just as the Internet was instrumental in building Lupe’s career, it also derailed his debut album when it leaked months early and forced Lu to alter it. The Chicago emcee, who will release his third LP, Lasers, on March 8, recently spoke about downloading and the cost of making music.
“People are trapped in the culture where music needs to be free and you don’t need to pay for it,” he told The BoomBox. “I was just at Princeton, speaking at Cornel West’s class, and someone asked that. They asked about the relationship between blogs and artists. I told them, at a bare minimum it costs me, literally, out of my own pocket, it costs me $3,000 to $4,000 to make a song. It costs me about $700 to $800 to make a freestyle. I’m giving you that.”
“Just imagine if I work with The Neptunes,” Lupe continued. “Including studio time and everything that goes into it — flying people around — it gets up into the hundreds of thousands of dollars to make a song like ‘I’m Beamin’ or ‘I Gotcha.’ So to kinda see it on the Internet and, for some instances, for sale, who are you to have the right to tell me that I shouldn’t demand payment or feel a certain way for seeing people put my music out there like that? If I chose to do that, that’s one thing. But I didn’t choose to do that. That music was stolen.”