Lupe Fiasco & the Interviewer, Erica
The interview with Musiq Soulchild was a smooth process. We sat down, talked and everything went pretty much as expected. If only that could be said for Lupe Fiasco. There is a reason why he has the Fiasco attached to his name.
This man put me through fire in order to interview him. I tried to interview him before the concert; he nonchalantly said afterward. Cool.
After his set, he tells me (twice) to give him 15 minutes. I'm still cool. Then things got a little different. Sensing my anticipation to get an interview, he signals me over to him. He then proceeds to use his Blackberry, walk around and then we sit down on the bleachers. Musiq Soulchild is about to go on any minute. He says to take a seat and relax.
Sitting next to him the entire Musiq set and feeling like a 4-year old, I do as I'm told and wonder when and if this interview will ever take place.
While I had to talk slowly, as Lupe did the robot for the duration of the interview, I cannot complain, because I finally got him.
So, how did you feel about performing tonight?
Good. Really nice. I don't really care about the crowd; they can all sit there. If I don't have the crowd, I entertain myself.
What genre of hip-hop would you place yourself in?
Non hip-hop, experimental hip-hop. I go against the grain.
Do you feel as though hip-hop has lost its place?
It's been monetarily driven. Don't take responsibility to be a hip-hop savior. It's all about what the consumer wants.
What do you seek for your music to do?
Do not want to lead people astray.
Do you ever feel like your material may be too heavy for listeners to digest?
Of course. I can't appreciate fine Swiss cheese and caviar. Even though it's the best, I can't appreciate because I don't like it. The same goes with music.
Do you ever feel as though you are in Kanye West's shadow?
No, I was never in his shadow. I was just featured on a track with him ["Touch the Sky"].
Being from Chicago, do you feel like you have to be socially conscious?
No. I have an intellectual background. [Through my music] I'm just trying to clean up my mistakes. I'm not trying to go to hell.
When you first came out, your image was very different, but now the skateboarder look is the hottest thing. Were you nervous about how your image would be perceived?
I was not nervous at all. I like what I like, people like it because it's fly. I have reached the epitome of flyness. I was GQ Man of the Year for 2006.
What is more important, packed concerts or album sales?
Packed concerts. You can make the same amount of money doing 15 shows as you do selling 500,000 copies.
Around this time, Musiq Soulchild comes backstage from his performance. He and Lupe start busting it up and laughing like the best of friends. Not to mention groupies have snuck backstage to get their bids in. It was time to go.
Here's Another Interview from that same night when Musiq & Lupe performed in the same show...
You and Musiq have a lot in common, and I saw you both talking and having a good time after the show. What do you think of him?
He's dope man. And he's been dope. What's he got, four albums now? And they're all solid. That's really hard to do.
Musiq and I were talking before about his interest in Hip-hop and I heard him joking that you'd better watch out. You were giving him some advice, and you were also saying you had a theory that Hip-hop would be changing in three months?
Hip-hop needs a booster shot. Like when they banned N.W.A., people wanted to get into rap because they wanted to be rebels. We're the most rebellious country in the world - this country was built on rebellion. But right now Hip-hop is rebelling against positivity, and it's gonna start destroying it systematically. They have the wrong people speaking for us. You see these guys on TV and they're not even aware, like when you know you have the whole world looking at you, and you still hear the shit that comes out of their mouths. It's a bad day to be a "bust-your-gun" rapper.
You were saying you would like to get into some other genres of music, too. What are you interested in?
Yeah man, Hip-hop is stale right now. I went over to Europe and mashed up [The Gorillaz]album and they loved it. I wanna try a lot of new things.
It's evident in your lyrics you're very political, and tonight during the show you said "fuck Bush" twice. So, it's apparent you're not happy with the current administration. Who will you be voting for?
Hillary Clinton. See people automatically think Barack Obama because he's black, but no, I want to see a woman run this country. That would be amazing to see, if the President of the United Sates was a woman. Why's that?It would rock the world. See, I would love to have Barack win because it would be a victory for black people, but if Hillary won, it would be a victory for mankind. Imagine if you could motivate all the women in the world. That would be a beautiful thing.
Well you seem to have a lot of strong, informed opinions. What to you is the biggest issue facing America right now?
Pop culture. How so?Because pop culture is the anti-Christ. In all cultures there is a God or some kind of religious figure, but in pop culture there is no God. It takes God away and you away from God. (Lupe stops to sign autographs and take pictures with fans. After a picture he turns and, as if he was either joking with his answer before or he changed his mind, simply says…) Education.
OK, well now that you say that, what do you have to say to students about it?
Share it. If they are going to get a $100,000 education, give it to someone who can't afford it. It's not that hard.