Grammy-winning rapper Lupe Fiasco has explained his recent comments about not wanting to reach Jay-Z‘s level of fame.
According to Lupe, artists like Jay and Lil Wayne should not be measuring tools for a person’s success.
“Jay-Z’s a personal friend of mine,” Lupe said in an interview. “[He] executive-produced my first album. [My comments were] just an example using him of how people rate success. There’s an idea of the status quo that every rapper wants to be Jay-Z. Nah. Every rapper does not want to be Jay-Z. Every rapper don’t wanna be Kanye West. Everybody don’t wanna be Lil Wayne. They wanna be who they are. … You’re a fool trying to chase that success down and manage it like that. I always look at my success as further than a dollar sign, further than record sales. … Everybody thinks because you’re black and you’re from the ‘hood, you wanna be Jay-Z. There’s kids who wanna be astrophysicists and don’t care about rap. That should be OK. You should be OK just being you, working your regular job and being happy. That’s why I made that statement. I felt it need to be said.” (MTV)
In Lupe’s original statement, he shared his views on what success is to him.
”There’s a misunderstanding with my fanbase,” he said in an interview. ”People [at Warner] feel they know my fans more than I do. They want me to step out of my comfort zone and step into theirs. I don’t have necessarily the celebrity success they want me to have but it’s more social success and being able to speak at a college about world affairs. That’s a success, to me. ‘I don’t want to be Jay-Z and be worth $400 million and perform on every awards show. It’s getting in touch with somebody who needs to improve their self-esteem. As opposed to driving a Bentley and putting some chains on.” (The Age)
Last December, Lupe addressed the accusations that he “sold out” by contributing a rock influenced track to the New Moon soundtrack.
“Hi guys…Lupe Here…,” he wrote. “There seems to be a lot…A LOT…of misconception and misguided info floating around the net…so for the sake of clarity and so that everyone (HOPEFULLY) will be on the same page let me reaffirm and debunk some things and just turn down the general noise that is surrounding Lupe Fiasco…thats me…”SOLAR MIDNITE” is NOT a single off of “LASERS”…Nor was it intended to be apart of “LASERS” project…”SOLAR MIDNITE” was exclusively done at the request of the Twilight: New Moon Team to be apart of their film, motion picture soundtrack and as a vehicle to promote the film…NOT TO PROMOTE “LASERS”…I produced “SOLAR MIDNITE” I’m not SELLING OUT by doing a song for NEW MOON…People thought I “SOLD OUT” when I did “Kick, Push”…I LOVE “SOLAR MIDNITE”…”SOLAR MIDNITE” is NOT a HIP-HOP RECORD…” (Lupe Fiasco’s Blog)
Lupe is most known for entering the rap game around 2006 with close ties to Jay-Z and Kanye West.
Thanks in part to the vocal support of Jay-Z, L.A. Reid signed Fiasco as a solo artist to Arista, but before anything of significance was able to happen (only a promo single and a couple guest appearances were set up), Reid was fired, leaving the MC without a label. Fiasco eventually landed at Atlantic. Preceded by the single “Kick, Push,” as well as several mixtapes and an appearance on Kanye West’s “Touch the Sky,” the album Food & Liquor was set to surface during early 2006, though an unfinished version leaked during the spring, pushing its official release back to September instead. The album earned Fiasco three Grammy nominations. A highly conceptualized follow-up, The Cool, was released in December 2007. (All Music)
Check out a recent Lupe Fiasco interview below: