In a perfect case of know your guests before giving the invite, organizers for Sunday night’s StartUp RockOn Inauguration concert in Washington had to remove Lupe Fiasco after the Chicago lyricist went on a reported 30-minute anti-Obama rant after performing “Words I Never Said.”
Regardless of what you think about Fiasco’s stance on not voting and President Obama’s politics in Palestine and Israel, Lupe is has been very consistent on his views for the last several years. Although he no doubt laid it on extra thick knowing the Inauguration was today, I don’t think anyone there familiar with his music was surprised. And from the below clip, the crowd didn’t seem too irate with Lupe (who took a bow before leaving the stage).
Still, it’s completely understandable that a 30-minute Lupe could wear on the nerves. You can read Startup Rock On’s official statement on the controversy HERE.
Fabolous’s The Soul Tape II is scheduled to hit the net in time for Thanksgiving. Album Fab is one thing, but mixtape Fab is normally good money and this short track is promising in that regard. Gotta give a few extra points for the dope artwork as well.
Since Jeezy had one of the more popular Obama songs back in 2008, it’s only right that he drop another track in light of the President’s big win last night. Some of you may disagree, but I like the feel of this one way more than “My President Is Black.” Was waiting for a big beat drop, though.
Both Jon Stewart and Bill O’Reilly stood by their words and debated tonight on Common’s recent White House appearance.
Stewart appeared on The O’Reilly Factor and challenged O’Reilly and his Fox network for having “selected outrage” at Common’s appearance while ignoring those of other celebrated artists who supported subversive figures (Bono, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash etc.). O’Reilly countered that Common’s actions were much worse because he visited political exile Assata Shakur in Cuba. Shakur, a former member of the Black Panther and Black Liberation Army, has been under political asylum in Cuba since fleeing America after a controversial trial that convicted her killing a New Jersey State Trooper in 1973.
So who won the debate? To go further, was this even an issue worthy of the attention its received? The ultimate hilarity for Hip-Hop fans is someone like Common, one of our more accessible artists, being smeared as dangerous and a promoter of violence.
“Soul controllers on the shoulders of Moses and Noah…”
Despite vehement denouncements from some Republicans and right-wing commentators, the White House stuck with its invite for Common to perform poetry last night. The event went off without incident. The Obama administration invited the Chicago emcee for an event celebrating American poetry. Also, check out the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart closing the book on this so-called controversy.
“You should always criticize power even if you agree with it.”
Lupe Fiasco and Skylar Grey made a stop on Colbert’s Report to perform their hit “Word I Never Said.” Lupe sits down and also clarifies his views about President Obama, the War on Terror and Osama bin Laden.
To the victor goes the spoils… or the final trash talk. After putting the Birther movement to rest, President Obama couldn’t help but take a few, final pointed jabs at Donald Trump, who was in attendance for the White House’s correspondence dinner last night (April 30) in Washington, D.C. If American politics has shown anything in the last several decades, it’s that if you say almost anything loud and often with just enough spin, some of the unwashed masses will be naive enough to believe it. With dripping sarcasm, Obama puts the nonsense of the Birther Movement right where it belongs, alongside other conspiracy theories like the fake Moon landing and Roswell UFO incident. The Biggie and ‘Pac reference is priceless, so I won’t spoil it here. I wouldn’t expect any less from a president that keeps Nas and Jay-Z on rotation in his iPod.
Here’s the entire speech. And we have yet another Hip-Hop nod with a skit using ODB’s “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” at the 13:59 for a skit featuring Joe Biden. And the final clip has comedian Seth Meyers throwing some more dirt on Trump beginning at the 12:03 mark.
“You always wrestle with depression because the events and experiences are still there…recognize that happiness and love exist as well.”
Despite the mixed reviews, Lupe Fiasco’s Lasers is pacing to debut #1 next week on Billboard. It has to feel bittersweet for Lupe, who’s readily admitted the album’s process and final sound is more a product of label Atlantic’s meddling than his orginal intentions. In this in-depth interview with Tavis Smiley, the Chicago lyricist talks about how the near 4 year delay with Lasers helped drive him to depression and potential suicide. In addition, he clarifies his issues with Obama/voting, and the importance of a figure like Jay-Z in Hip-Hop.
Don King is still a quote machine after all these years. I interviewed him for the first time in January, and he’s prone to going into the stream of consciousness type monologues you see below. In the span of two minutes, he ties boxing to George W. Bush, Barack Obama, race, God and Othello’s Iago. How could he do this? Because “boxing is life,” according to Don. The most interesting thing I got is that King feels the “caucasianism degree” is essential to understanding the “sweet land of liberty” that is America.
“Gaza Strip was getting bombed/ Obama didn’t say shit/ That’s why I ain’t vote for ‘em…”
No one signs with a major label with the intention of being a regional artist. The deal is made because said artist wants national, if not international recognition for their work. But in order to achieve that, many times the artist is required to make concessions to the integrity of their work to obtain that tenuous mass appeal. Some do it happily, knowing that’s part of the game. Others dabble in it while trying to find ways to fight it. Count Lupe Fiasco in the latter, who just in the last few months has gone through a highly public rift with his label Atlantic, who flat-out directed him to make music he felt was trite and beneath his capabilities. A compromise was reached, and this latest single, “Words I Never Said,” is a clear indication of the dual nature we’re likely to hear plenty of on Lasers.
Fiasco is on record as stating the negotiation for this release resulted in the Lasers album being 70% his original vision, and 30% label ideas. You can bet the label rested their 30% on the singles. To that point, the production here comes from Alex Da Kid, and growing Hip-Pop chorus go to girl Skylar Grey. You can feel Atlantic’s hands all over this. When it comes to the rhythms and chorus, this is a mawkish power ballad in the vein of Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie” and Dr. Dre’s “I Need a Doctor.”
However, Lupe fans don’t have to throw up their hands in despair. The Chi-town lyricist has not degraded anything when it comes to words and flow. He spits highly challenging political and social lyrics at the listeners, who he feels are too complacent with inaction (“I think that all the silence is worse than all the violence…Fear is such a weak emotion/ That’s why I despise it”). He gives an opinion on 9/11 being a conspiracy, the inadequate education of our children, and even how the media has dumbed down the nation with the quality of its news coverage. These are heavy topics that come pointedly from Lupe and serve to remove the mindless pop expectations you initially have based on the production.
You child’s future was the first thing to go with budget cuts/ If you think that hurts/ Then wait here comes the uppercut/ The school was garbage is the first place/ That’s on the up and up…You get it/ Then they move it/ So you never keeping up enough/ If you turn on TV/ All you see is a bunch fo weather fucks/ Dude is dating so and so/ Babbling about such and such/ And that ain’t Jersey Shore/ Homie that’s the news!
There’s a lot of value here once you get past the production. Atlantic gets its single, and Lupe retains his original vision for Lasers, at least in content. One of the first things the mature adult learns in relationships is the importance of compromise. Lupe Fiasco may be on his way to mastering it when it comes to label politics.
LUPE FIASCO X SKYLAR GREY “WORDS I NEVER SAID” (PRODUCED BY ALEX DA KID)