Grammy-winning rapper Lupe Fiasco has reportedly explained where his rift with Atlantic Records stems from and the reason why they have not sought to put out his long-awaited Lasers album.
Based on Lupe’s RACC (Regional Academic & Cultural Collaborative) Dayton keynote speech over the weekend, his problems with Atlantic are contractual.
Lupe said Atlantic wanted him to sign a contract that would give them 25% of anything he makes from shows or deals with other companies like Nike or whatever. (Sean’s note: That’s a 360 deal) He told them NO so they threatened him by not pushing any of his new songs on the radio or giving him money to make the videos (the I’m Beamin’ video came out of his own pocket). Also they basically don’t like his music or the way Lupe put it ‘They think I’m whack’. So Atlantic sent him hooks they wanted him to do. He recorded them and sent them back but they didn’t like them anymore and tried to have him change the hooks like 60 different times. In the end he had enough. (The LupE.N.D.)
Recently, Lupe explained what actions he has taken since Lasers keeps getting delayed.
“It’s like Lasers, that’s one album that got disrupted in the business process. It’s a great album, but that album may not come out. But here’s Food and Liquor II. So what’s going to make you happy? What’s truly going to make the people happy? I’m giving you another album. I’m already past it. I’m not sitting around, ‘Oh man, I want Lasers. Why don’t they put out my songs?’ Crying. For what? You go in and put out another record. And that’s what I did.” (Complex)
Last November, Lupe said he had four more albums left on his Atlantic Records contract.
“The last six months, it’s been like, ‘I gotta really, really go out there and show that I’m nicer than all of them,’ ” Lupe explained in an interview. “It’s like, ‘All right, so be it. If it takes three more albums to do it, then so be it.’ That’s what I got left with Atlantic. Three more after Lasers. I’m already done with two. The mixtape is coming Thanksgiving. It’ll be another mixtape after that and an album after that. It’s really to get that status and lock it in and [and have people] be like, ‘Look at this positive dude, the underdog. The positive one who came and murdered all these dudes. And he’s there, and he’s good.’ I’m finnin’ to house every single mode and arena I can get into. If y’all had somewhere where it’s live performances, I’m finnin to have the best live performances. If it’s mixtapes, I’m finnin’ to have the best mixtapes. If it’s albums again, it’s gonna be the best verse. If it’s the best dressed, I’m going hard as well.” (MTV)
In light of the rapper’s quarrels with Atlantic, a rally is scheduled to take place at the label’s New York City office building next week.
“We’ve been waiting so long for this album, and Atlantic Records has been holding it back for such a long time without releasing any info about it, that now it’s just time to do something and to go out on the streets and to protest,” protester “Sean The Robot” said in an interview. “Everyone can sit behind a PC and sign an online petition…That’s probably not really impressing anyone at the label; but having people going out on the streets, protesting for something they believe in, that’s a much bigger statement.” (XXL Mag)
Check out some past Lupe Fiasco footage down below: