Lupe Fiasco

Lupe Fiasco: The Last Conscious Rapper

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The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of AllHipHop.com

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Recently, Lupe Fiasco took to Twitter to (what else) rant about a few things. “Violent music (and all violent media) effectively says its ‘OK’ to be violent. It provides positive reinforcement for negative actions,” Lupe said in a tweet. “If you rap and make violent music then own up to it. Stop hiding behind ‘art imitating life’ as a way to evade the guilt.” Lupe is one of hip-hop’s greatest Rant Artists so at this point nobody is shocked by what he’s saying. His tweets this time may even give you a little déjà vu because he went off on a similar tangent during a live performance a few weeks ago.

Lupe always has a lot on his mind. I did a search for his name on three different hip-hop related websites and each came back with dozens of hits. Oh so Lupe is beefing with his label. Lupe is retiring. Lupe is pushing his album back. Lupe is beefing with Pete Rock. Lupe doesn’t like “Birthday Song”. Lupe squashed the beef with Pete Rock. Lupe is scared of Chief Keef. Lupe is so scared of Chief Keef that he backed off of earlier comments saying Chief Keef was scary. Lupe is dissing on Obama on a record. Now Lupe is ranting against Obama on stage. Lupe says 97% of rap is weak. Lupe changed the name of his album again.

[ALSO READ: Lupe Fiasco Takes To Twitter To Address Violence In Rap Music]

Nope I didn’t make any of the previous paragraph up. All of those are ripped from real headlines. Some of you have been fooled. Some of you don’t realize what is going on. Lupe Fiasco is an evil genius. We might be fooled into thinking that Mr. Fiasco has some guiding principles that the rest of the hip-hop community doesn’t possess. Isn’t he the last bastion of conscious rap? He’s reinvented himself as some tortured militant soul, a provocateur of Sinead O’Connor proportions (I would love to see him rip up a picture of the pope on SNL). When he first came out though he was the nerd with the song about skateboarders who liked obscure Japanese denim and handheld Nintendo gaming consoles. I have to be honest I kind of miss the nerd.

But let’s not take anything away from Lupe. No other emcee understands his place in the game better. If you saw the one area of hip-hop that was under-served and they gave you a platform to serve it why wouldn’t you. There was a time when mainstream hip-hop was more diverse. Today all the major artists have pretty much taken the same position. By painting himself as the antithesis of this he can appease those who are fed up with the status quo. Sorry to say but among mainstream hip-hop the status quo is drugs, violence, and misogyny. How Lupe actually feels about the things he says is irrelevant. It’s important for him to say those things for the simple fact that nobody else with as high a profile as he has is saying it.

[ALSO READ: Hip-Hop Rumors: Chief Keef Threatens Lupe And Lupe Replies!]

I definitely don’t agree with everything that comes out of his mouth. And yes I don’t think his motives are 100 percent altruistic. He cares about his fans sure. But Rick Ross cares about his fans too. He rants against violence but doesn’t think twice about collaborating with the emcees that espouse that lifestyle. He saw the way hip-hop elevated Obama to Sainthood and decided to do the opposite. So props for being a great self-promoter are in order.

I would say the only problem with ranting is the limited appeal of a rant. When Lupe goes off on Twitter or on stage or in an interview there are certain subset of people that are going to agree with him wholeheartedly. But as I’ve learned from experience you don’t win any new people with a rant no matter how right you are. There’s a reason why someone like Killer Mike who raps about politics, history and religious themes can be seen as “one of us” by those associated with the street culture and Lupe is seen as a loud mouth blowhard. But then again Lupe sells more records and at the end of the day that’s all he’s really trying to do.

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E. Knight lives in Philadelphia. Check out his blog boxingwithgod.com. Read more of his AHH Blogs HERE

 

  • The last? He’s the first with a spotlight sharing the message that a legion of people are doing as well. The first one that comes to mind is ‘Christiano Can’. Google that name and listen to “CAN GOODS.” I need not say more.

  • Mike Swiff

    LUPE IS TRYING TO KEEP HIS NAME OUT THERE! YO EITHER MAKE SOME HITS OR KICK ROCKZ! IM DONE WITH THIS TIRED ARTICLE AND THIS IDIOT!

    • What is a hit? He made Lasers, went gold, and everybody said he fell off!!! Confused ass audience…smh

      • Apollo Showtime

        It went gold, but it was also wack…Who is wack and went gold? Shall we make a list?

  • anthony harris

    Man Lupe BEEN!!! speaking the truth…besides kick,push…most of the songs on his first album was enlighten the youth. Do you listen to music or just skim thru it??????

  • No, but he’s the only conscious rapper with mainstream appeal who is critical of Hip Hop. He’ll be crucified for it. Nas made an album called Hip Hop is Dead and got treated like he shot somebody.

  • There is a legion of conscious rappers. And I wouldn’t even count Lupe into that circle. Controversial yes. But Conscious, hell no!! He is as believable as “the Game” or “Rick Ross”. Please AHH. Do report on Hip-Hop and don’t act as if there are just a few rappers
    with meaningful content. You just don’t want to cover them because there is not much
    money for clicks on short terms when reporting about them. Think long term please…

    • Jay Aron

      u dont know what ur talking about fam…lupe not being conscious….only the track words i never said would prove u wrong

    • stealth

      Smh. u never heard “hurts me soul” ? “american terrorist” ?
      Please inform me what “conscience” means to u. Better yet go listen to
      the songs i just named

  • Apollo Showtime

    I’m sorry, but I must confess…Lupe is irrelevant today in music, he hangs on by a thread when he decides maybe he should make a (not radio friendly but) “GOOD” sounding record. the songs that people say are the best Lupe tracks are pretty trash to me and I LOVE boom bap, conscious rap. He raps over techno pop/japanese pop sounding records which aren’t bad, but certainly not high caliber, professional (RAP) production. His first album F&L was his best album solely because of the production, because he hasn’t changed his style much at all, the actual MUSIC is just weak with a strong message (Nacirema Dream like) There are so many better artists that can be put in his category honestly…

    No particular oder just throwing out names:

    Diggy (lol, yep)
    B.o.B
    Common
    J.Cole
    Freeway (he does say some real shit)
    Curren$y
    Mysonne ( :/ )
    Kendrick Lamar
    Nas

    Just to name a few, not saying they all rap particularly better, but the music sounds better.

    • stealth

      What does a beat have to do with being conscience or not?
      We talkin bout lyrics.
      As far as relevante, he gets more shine and outsales most of the guys
      you listed. So…i get the feelin u just dont like lupe. Lol just say dat

  • Taihair Djehuty

    I guess we’re ignoring Kendrick Lamar, J.Cole, Ice Cube, Pharoahe Monch, Talib Kweli, Immortal Technique, Dead Prez, The Roots, KRS-One, and Paris

    • Lamonte Johnson

      and me but yes u got the jist of it

      • RealMusicFag

        Who are you? Are you hung?

  • Just… Weird…

  • LiveurlifeThisyear

    LUPE not only speaks THE TRUTH, HE FEELS THE TRUTH. RICK ROSS DOESN’T care about his fans, he tells U what he cares about, THEIR MONEY. HE promotes the lifestyle of dope dealing and murder when he himself is an ex-prison po-po. Families of the hoods all across these United States R losing young male members in multiples. Who cares in Hip-Hop, LUPE CARES. I would also say DAVID BANNER CARES!!! YOU, E. Knight R just 1 of the many EVIL PEOPLE that 2 such CARING PEOPLE have 2 deal with!!!

    • Bundy Craig

      LOL. its so funny Lupe may be worse than Ross.. Because he has ties to drug trafficking on a major scale. His manager who was his best friend was busted with Pounds of Dope..I mean just cause some one says one thing doesn’t mean they are real. Being real works both ways. Not just simulating gangsters. Gangsters talking that we are the world is fake too. Fans get it all twisted they are all ENTERTAINERS period. Fans don’t want real. Drake sings and raps about being in love all the time because that’s who he is and he is bashed by so called HIP HOP heads wanting the real. LOL Its all just boils down to cats hate on the successful.

      • LiveurlifeThisyear

        Where are the articles about LUPE HAVING TIES 2 drug trafficking? IF such things R true then why hasn’t LUPE been crucified by them since HE SPEAKS the TRUTH about the U.S? DRAKE IZ A LAME DUCK and he’s “DOING” everybody not just love songs. I don’t HATE the lame duck OR the ex-prison po-po and I know THE LORD AND LUPE don’t want me to… BUT
        LUPE IZ My Hip-Hop Black Panther!!! These other rappers have given Hip-Hop
        THE CANCER!!!

  • Lupe is a revolutionary butt we know how rap is dumb down today the youth is hopeless. “Why explain the game? niggas ain’t listening”

  • JaffarR

    Lupe is one of the last realest to ever do it.

  • Jay Aron

    Lupe is one of the greatest dawg
    Lupe started off doing that shit kendrick is doing now…thats how i feel vote it down as much as u like

  • True_Fan

    Lupe is an idiot seeking attention, not a conscious rapper.

  • The Undisputed Leader

    I think the industry just has to have one “conscious” artist, just to make the industry look good.

    And actually, I think he does educate through his lyrics but it’s probably the stuff that he’s not sayin’ that’s the reason why they use that nigga. Basically, I’m sayin’ that he’s holding back because I definitely seen him throwing up the Devil horns before with some of the other industry puppets.

  • diggdoug

    THERE ARE OTHERS OUT HERE , ITS JUST THE DUMB DOWN WAVE IS STILL FLOODING THE SHORES OF THE HIP HOP CULTURE TODAY