Lupe Fiasco Talks The Occupy Movement


No need for long drawn out introductions. You know Lupe Fiasco. By now, you should have an idea his stance on politics, activism, and even the president of the United States. AllHipHop’s co-founder, Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur, interviewed the outspoken on the aforementioned topic and more progressive movement talk:

#TheOccupyMovement So I wanted to know, just to get things moving, what are your thoughts on the whole “Occupy Wall Street” movement as it spreads across the world, really, at this point?

Lupe Fiasco: Overall, I think it’s great. Being actually there from the beginning of it, and seeing it kind of mobilize into being something that was an idea or like a challenge, to see the people orchestrate it and to see it actually take place, then to see it kind of spread, and now seeing it become kind of more of a global kind of thing – I think overall, I think it’s great. It’s a great conversation, a great kind of place where people can go. I’ve been to like five of them in different cities, just checking up on them, just seeing what was needed from a support side, but at the same time, too, to take a temperature of exactly what was going on and to see.

I found myself in conversation circles where it’d be a socialist and a physics teacher and a guy who works pro bono — an immigrant lawyer who does pro bono work for immigrants, and then just a regular high school kid then a college guy who went to school and is currently unemployed and is looking for something to do. And with me, you’ve got some superstar rapper then you’ve got some dude from some union, all in a circle, discussing ideas and theories and thoughts. So I think it’s great. Where do you see the movement going?

Lupe Fiasco: That’s kind of been my thing, is going to different ones to get that on-the-ground kind of… doing some reconnaissance, I guess, and seeing exactly what the momentum was and what direction it was heading in and where it could, I guess, kind of make that same… for my own personal sake, to see exactly where this is going to go. I think it’s going to be something that is an institution, in the sense that it becomes how we hold dear things such as the Constitution, you know? Or we hold dear things such as the Declaration of Independence, or we hold things dear such as the Civil Rights Movement.

We always have these kinds of eras or these philosophies or these events that we kind of hold dear to and always go back to as we start to try and plan our future, what we use as kind of a precedent to make our decisions upon. I think the Occupy movement is going to be that. It’s going to be a precedent step, where normal people came out and voiced their opinion in a major way. Normal people came out and colluded and got together to discuss, openly, all their different ideas about the world. About themselves. The way society could be shaped. I think it’s that #occupy – Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Denver, Occupy Chicago, Occupy the hood, what have you – that Occupy is going to become a precedent for…remember we were going to use that as the flag. This is a new flag, representing the new kind of era or a new generation. The youth of the generation to come is going to use this as a precedent to deal with the way they live their lives. Do you think that Hip-Hop as a movement could symbolically need and be occupied as a movement?

Lupe Fiasco: No. And I say that because Hip-Hop, I think that Hip-Hop needs to be investigated by the Occupy movement. In the sense where I say that the Occupy movement breaks down, and if you go there for a few hours and you get in a conversation with a few people, you’ll see that it’s people dissecting everything. Taking it, whether it be the economy, whether it be the Federal Reserve. When people get even more specific, the relationship between politicians and corporations – things as general as the government itself.

It’s really, I think, Hip-Hop needs to be put into rotation and dissected, as far as ‘what is Hip-Hop?’ When we say “Occupy Hip-Hop,” what does that mean? Because I don’t think Hip-Hop is defined in the sense where, is it the commercial side? Is it the cultural side? Is it the media side? Is it the social media side? Is it the ills of Hip-Hop? Is it the positive sides of Hip-Hop? Is it the music, or is it the fashion? Is it the website? Is it the magazine? Is it MTV? Is it BET?

I think that’s what Occupy is, an investigation of certain things. I don’t think that Hip-Hop fits in that as far as… I think it’s bigger than Hip-Hop. I don’t think it’s necessarily something that Hip-Hop can come in and kind of coerce, or it can promote it. Just like I think punk rock can promote it or country music can promote it, or any kind of structure that has and is a mass, or is connected to the masses, can definitely do something to promote it. But I don’t think it’s as simple as saying Hip-Hop needs to come in and do something about this, because Hip-Hop will come in and see that it’s going to get ripped apart and put back together and criticized and thought about and really kind of put into the same kind of, I guess, the same kind of protocol they’re putting Wall Street through, and they’re putting Washington through. And they’re putting all those forces that come to bear in this world that affect us and shape us and move us. ll of that stuff is being rethought and re-dissected and redone. So if Hip-hop does play a part in it, it’s to be changed. It’s to open itself up to be changed, to be criticized, to be pulled apart, and put back together again.

This is one part of an unedited interview series with Lupe Fiasco. The upcoming segments include the Chi-Town activist/rapper’s thoughts on President Obama, Hip-Hop, and how things must change before they are to improve.