Grammy-winning rapper Lupe Fiasco recently discussed his quest to end unauthorized music releases and how computer hackers are ultimately hurting artists’ careers.
According to Fiasco, music hackers do not consider the consequences when they release music without legal permission.
“When it’s something that’s done illegally or maliciously, it’s different,” Fiasco said in an interview. “It’s songs you don’t even have as the artist, and some dude in the middle of nowhere that hacked into a computer has it. It upsets the balance of what you want to do as an artist and how you want to roll your album out…People don’t really understand the ramifications when a song leaks. There are actually studios that are sued, and engineers that are fired.” (Billboard)
Fiasco previously called off plans to drop a mixtape due to his popularity amongst hackers.
“I was plotting on doing the follow-up to [Enemy of the State: A Love Story],” Lupe said in an interview. “Simply because [it] was short. And I felt like it was space to do another one. I was gonna do another one called Friend to the People, but I started to get wind that people had songs they shouldn’t have had. I was like, ‘This is just gonna open the floodgates if I come out with another record. I know these dudes are threatening to leak records and do crazy stuff.’ Sometimes I feel there may be too much Lupe music out there — whether it be old stuff or new stuff or freestyles. I don’t want to have a ton of music sitting out. I made the decision to fall back from it and really focus on the climb. We were a couple of weeks away from doing that.” (MTV)
In the past, Lupe resorted to legal action in hopes of handling illegal leaks.
“The track ‘I’m Beaming’ that was leaked last night was NOT authorized or intentionally leaked by myself or my company,” he wrote Christmas Eve. “Plain and simple its STOLEN property. And this goes for ANY record or track that leaks or is made available for illegal download from this day forward. Actions are being taken and the authorities have been notified. As a personal plea to all my fans PLEASE DO NOT share, stream, or download any unauthorized or stolen Lupe Fiasco music. A lot of time and energy goes into the creation of this music, not to mention large sums of money, money provided by my record company as well as from my own personal finances.” (Lupe Fiasco’s Blog)
In an attempt to cease the spread of unauthorized music, the government began shutting down websites last month.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), an agency of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), announced on Monday that it had executed court approved seizure orders “against 82 domain names of commercial websites engaged in the illegal sale and distribution of counterfeit goods and copyrighted works as part of Operation In Our Sites v. 2.0.” Operation In Our Sites is an ICE initiative aimed at Internet counterfeiting and piracy that began earlier this year with seizure warrants against nine domain names of websites that were offering first-run movies. The ICE press release for Operation In Our Sites v. 2.0 said that the “… operation targeted online retailers of a diverse array of counterfeit goods, including sports equipment, shoes, handbags, athletic apparel and sunglasses as well as illegal copies of copyrighted DVD boxed sets, music and software.” (IEEE Spectrum)
Check out some recent Lupe Fiasco footage down below: