[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Lupe Fiasco[/lastfm] in da building! Just not the AMP Radio building! I had the pleasure to crash Lupe’s rehearsal time at the famous SIR studios in Hollywood.
Artists like [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Katy Perry[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Snoop Dogg[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Miley Cyrus[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Motley Crue[/lastfm] call SIR studios home.
The day started out a little rough when Lupe lost his wallet and wasn’t able to make it to the AMP studios amidst the chaos.
AMP worked it out, taking the interview to Lupe where things got personal at a mini bar just outside one of the rehearsal rooms at SIR.
If you’re not familiar with the 28-year-old Chicago native who’s been in the business for almost as long as he’s been alive, then now’s the time to get to know Lupe Fiasco.
He’s a Grammy recipient for “Daydreamin” (ft. Jill Scott) and has been nominated a total of EIGHT times, including his win. Last year he climbed to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro on an expedition called “Summit on the Summit” with fellow friends Jessica Biel, [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Santigold[/lastfm] and group organizer Kenna in an effort to raise awareness of the billions of people in need of sanitary drinking water.
Lupe is also the CEO of his own company, “Righteous-Kung-Fu” that designs sneakers, comic books and skate decks. He also formed a super group with fellow artists [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Pharell Williams[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Kanye West[/lastfm] called [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]CSR[/lastfm] (Child Rebel Soldier).
Again, he’s only 28. With all his different ventures Lupe still found the time to record his latest Album “Lasers,” all ignited by the sparks of his fans. Before he took off to Australia Lupe had this to share.
McCabe: How do you think, with this album, you want it to translate to the people? ‘Cause I know it’s kind of different. It’s kind of like the “people’s album.” So how do you write something like this?
Lupe: It was really weird. Because the album, Lasers, was about um… I wanted the album to kind of have this positive, social, movement, message, radical, subversive, you know kind of stand up for what you believe in, and kind of appeal to it, kind of shine to it.
And as we were recording the record, the first thing we did was the Lasers Manifesto, which was we basically spoke on that. We based it off one of the manifestos for like the Black Panther Party, and what have you.
I mean it was kind of like all this stand up… stand up for yourself. Stand up for the injustice in the world, kind of goody two-shoes kind of stuff. And before any music had come out, well there was like a few leaks off the album, but before the album was out, in that time you know, you had kids who were demanding the album to come out through petitions, you know.
And they would do protests, and they would do all this kind of civil disobedience kind of stuff. And that was weird because that was the soundtrack of the album, the album would have been the soundtrack to that. Right, it was self fulfilling.
It’s like the stuff we wanted to inspire from the album was inspired before the album even came out. So it feels kind of like the work is already done for the most part. Now it’s just trying to get the music to catch up with the fans and catch up with the movement.
Um, but I think it should be cool. It should be fitting. Now it’s going to be fitting. Now I think when kids get the album, when fans get the album, and they hear it, it’ll be almost like the soundtrack to what they did four months ago.
McCabe: Right. And you know Lupe Fiasco, when you think, you’re an artist. You are an artist. You are very serious about your music. And so when something like that happens, and the people do stand up for wanting the album to be released, what’s your reaction to that?
Lupe: It feels good. It feels good for wanting to know that I have that support. And it surprised everybody. It surprised myself. It surprised the record label, because I didn’t have anything to do with it.
It wasn’t like a… me trying to galvanize and push the thing. The album was for that. But it wasn’t me for these particular instances behind it. And to see that the fans were doing that just on their own, and at the same time were seeing it through with such intensity.
And it was like, “We love this. This is what we’re fighting for. This is the stuff we really believe in,” to the point where we will take off work or skip school or do whatever to come down to this and protest for Lupe.
You know, it made me feel really good. And at the same time it kind of doubled my responsibility. ‘Cause now I’m even way more responsible now with stuff that I put out. And now I really have to mean it because like not that I didn’t before, but I really have to mean it now because now I know the fans are really listening, you know what I’m saying?
McCabe: Let’s talk about the first single, which I’m excited for, because Modest Mouse’s “Float On.”
Lupe: Shout out to [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Modest Mouse[/lastfm] for clearing that sample.
McCabe: Yes, thank you. Tell us about this song, the first single.
Lupe: It’s “The Show Goes On.” Quite fitting. You know there was a lot of kind of corporate back and forth between myself and the label about what the singles going to be, if the album was even ever going to come out, this, that, you know just kind of that traditional relationship between the artist and the label.
And it was fitting that kind of “The Show Goes On” was the compromise record. It was the one record that we all agreed on. You know what I’m saying, so it was “Okay, let that be the single.”
It was literally, “OK. ‘The Show Goes On’,” you know what I’m saying? And we hit kind of some impasses, but it’s was all good at the end of the day.
McCabe: It’s good. There’s some ripples, some dead ends that you can come to. But I’m glad it all worked out.
Lupe: Yeah. Yeah.
McCabe: And you can all agree.
Lupe: Produced by Kane Beats, by the way. Shout out to Kane Beatz.
McCabe: And that’ll be coming out soon. The album is March 8th.
Lupe: The album is March 8th. “The Show Goes On” is actually out now. You can get it on iTunes. Album is March 8th.
McCabe: Which, you have it crossed out ‘Losers’ in the Manifesto, I mean you do explain the difference between Lasers and Losers.
Lupe: Right. Right.
McCabe: For those who don’t have the Manifesto or haven’t read it, what can you touch on that?
Lupe: Well, you can go check it out at WEARENOTLOSERS.COM. You can see the whole manifesto. And we shout a little video for that and stuff like that. But it’s basically, kind of, you know, I wanted this album to be more popular than my other albums.
Not necessarily pop sounding, but just popular in the sense that it touches more people. And I felt that if we did something universal, like that manifesto, which touched on issues and problems and things that we all want to see.
No matter, we’re Republican, Democrat, White, you know, Latino, you know, Asian, human, fish, what have you. We can all agree on something in there. And we kind of led with that. Let that be the popular kind of part of the record.
The reaction to it has been really dope. It’s been really crazy. So its people who were probably never Lupe Fiasco fans, people who were expecting, like my last album was real visual, had a lot of characters, had a story line, all this other stuff.
So when people get the album, all they see is this manifesto on the back of it. And start to read it. People really get involved, and get engaged, and inspired, so we’ve been all over the country doing promotions and what have you and that’s been the reaction. People really really rock with it. Really appreciate it and you know, it’s dope.
McCabe – Well I was surprised when you walked in and you had the whole band and you guys do you rock out.
Lupe – Yeah we rock out
McCabe – You guys were rocking out and I look forward to it, and you know Lupe Fiasco fans are also fans of Kanye Pharell, what can you tell us about the side project and anything in the future with it?
Lupe – Um CRS Child Rebel Soldier, it’s a group with myself, Kanye West and Pharell Williams um, you know we’re working on it. Its one of those things where it’s kind of like [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]The Fugees[/lastfm] Reunion.
McCabe – I know you get asked in every interview about it.
Lupe – Its like The Fugees Reunion, ya know what im saying or its like Detox, like Dr. Dre’s album where it’s kind of like come on what’s going on.
McCabe- Or like [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Guns N Roses[/lastfm].
Lupe – Not Guns N Roses. I would say The Fugees, no but um, um its one of those things where it’s really about scheduling, getting everybody together.
Everybody is working on three different projects in three different corners of the world where we’re always moving around.
Um so you know hopefully we’ll get the opportunity to either jump back on the road and tour together and have the opportunity to put out a few more CRS records or you know just wait till the time is right, and see what happens.
McCabe – Alright wait it out, pick up the album Lasers
Lupe- Lasers, in stores March 8th, yeah
- Shout out to SIR Studios for letting us chill out at your bar and of course Lupe Fiasco for giving us his time, his single “The Show Goes On” is the real deal, get it on iTunes! His album, “Lasers” hits stores, March 8th.