Lupe Fiasco struggled to release his third album on Atlantic Records. It took over three years and picketing from fans before Lupe followed up his gold-selling The Cool. Despite platinum singles, gold plaques and Grammy Awards, the Chicago native said his budget was cut and he was stiffled creatively.

“I was specifically told” — Fiasco chuckled — “‘Don’t rap too deep on this record.'” He laughed some more, telling the Chicago Sun-Times. “That was a specific order from the top. ‘You’re rapping too fast or too slow, or it’s too complex.’ … There are consequences and combat that comes from that process and the eventual compromise. With me, though, I’m not writing about someone else. I’m writing about me. This is my life. It’s very personal for me. So for somebody to kind of put their fingers in that and play with that, it becomes more damaging.”

“I am a hostage,” Fiasco continued. “I gave them what they wanted. If I didn’t, at the end of the day the album wasn’t coming out.” The potentially good news for fans is that Lupe was busy recording his next album The Great American Rap Album while he was working on Lasers. He hopes to have that out before the end of 2011.