July 28, 2021

LUPE FIASCO Cover Story Success (944 & XXL)


I picked up 944, a Fashion, Entertainment and Lifestyle magazine, in Vegas last week. It was “The Music Issue”.  It’s a great look and a great interview. Lupe talks about the making of his album Lasers and how he had a week of promo lined up, shows, interviews, etc. when he suddenly lost his voice. The doctor said he couldn’t talk for a week, to let his voice rest.

The first thing I thought was “Nice! Lupe got the cover.” Then I thought “The Source or XXL should give Lupe the cover. He deserves it.” When I landed back in New York, I saw the XXL Magazine with Lupe on the cover.

In the XXL Mag article, Lupe revealed that

” in 2009 Atlantic froze his budget on Lasers because they were unhappy with what they had heard so far of the album. The decision was crippling and Fiasco says caused him to contemplate suicide. … In the song “Beautiful Lasers,” from the disc, Lupe mentioned keeping a gun on his table. “That was literal,” he admits. “I own a ton of them.”

Lupe can be real unlucky at times (remember he lost 2 hit songs to label mates B.O.B and Bruno Mars – Nuthin’ On You and Airplanes were both originally on Lupe’s album, but were stripped off and given to the newcomers). Then again, maybe he isn’t (unlucky). His first week sales for the new album were over 200,000. His songs are getting radio play.

Lupe’s issues with Atlantic are what any artist signed to a major label can relate to: they want you to reacher a wider audience (sell out?), they want more pop records, they want you to use writers, singers and producers who are on the label (they probably own their publishing, so forcing their artists to use in-house people makes them more money). This doesn’t come easy for an MC like Lupe, who considers himself to be lyrically top tier.

“I can actually make the argument, seriously, that, Yo, I’m better than all y’all,” he boasted. “You have people who can say that. Jay-Z can say that. Eminem can say that. Canibus can say that—if we are going line for line. If you want to relate me to the newer cats, let’s go. Let’s go line for line and bar for bar. If it’s all about spitting and metaphors and MCing and lyrics and entendres, I will eat 99 percent of you dudes up.”

The articles are dope. I could say more, but I’ll let him tell it. Go read the interviews.

Big up to 944 for recognizing this skilled and talented MC. And big up XXL for giving the cover to a consummate MC, who’s only flaw thus far has been a reluctance to go pop.

INTERVIEWS:

One of Rap’s Brightest Stars Comes to Terms With His Own Voice on His New Record Lasers

Lupe Fiasco “Hit the Lights” [May 2011 Cover Story Excerpt]