Lupe Fiasco Talks “The Burden Of The Outspoken Artist”


Historically, all artists that have spoken their truth to power have paid some dire consequences. These ramifications often tear groups and individuals to shreds, both personally and professionally. History tells this tale over and over. So, with Lupe Fiasco being one most outspoken rappers of the young generation of Hip-Hop, what burden does he bear? AllHipHop asks. Lupe answers. What burden do you bear? Being this outspoken, honestly, there’s only a few artists that are this outspoken and really none on a “commercial level,” meaning out of the underground. Do you bear any particular burden? As a person or as a human, or even as an artist?

Lupe: I just think it’s a continuation of what I was meant to do as a child. I’ve always been somebody who’s been around people who’ve been outspoken, whether it was my father who was very active on all fronts that had to deal with justice and freedom, the things of organizing and doing and on your own and speaking out against the evils in this world. And whether it kills you. So that’s my lineage. That’s where I come from. So whether I was a rapper or a teacher or a chef or whatever I was, I was always going to be speaking out against what I thought was wrong and what I could prove was wrong, and using what I have to help someone else. I just look at it as Occupy Wall Street, when it first started, they wanted people to come in and help galvanize and spread the message. I looked at my Twitter page and said hey, I’ve got 800,000 people. Maybe they can use 800,000 people. I’m not using that to bring myself up or become a leader of the movement. I just happened to have 800,000 people, and here, you retweet and do whatever you need to do. Let me know what the message is and I’ll help that.

Then it expands out into what do you guys need? I’ve got a few thousand dollars sitting around I was going to buy some shoes with, but yo, I’ll buy a generator for you guys. You need that? What else do you need? I’m not trying to push my ideology or become the hero or become the face of it. It’s to the point where I wasn’t doing interviews, because I wanted the organizers to tell me what to say. I don’t want to disrupt the message. But then when it became understood this was open, it wasn’t a leader thing, it wasn’t a one agenda thing, this was something that’s open and the dialogue’s for everybody to have. Then it’s okay, cool. This is what I think, this is what it is, and it may be against what other people think but that’s the point. We’re having a conversation. So you know, I feel it’s everybody’s duty to better themselves and to help out their fellow human beings in whatever possible way they can.