Lupe Fiasco Defends Obama Critique, Talks Commercial Success

posted March 08, 2011 12:25:00 PM CST | 118 comments

Lupe Fiasco Defends Obama Critique, Talks Commercial Success

Lupe tells New York Magazine why it was necessary to call out President Obama on wax and says, "I haven't made any money with my record label."

It seems as if each additional week on Lupe Fiasco’s press run brings another revelation about the embattled Chicago emcee and his label, Atlantic Records. This week’s sound byte comes courtesy of New York Magazine’s Vulture blog. Despite all of the controversy about Lupe reportedly being pressured to make his music more commercially accessible, the demand to crossover hasn’t translated to his bottom line.

“I don't really care about the success anymore,” Lupe told Vulture. “I don't really care about the fame. Three, four years later, I look at my bank account statements, and I haven't made any money with my record label. You start to think a little bit differently about your motivations and why you're doing what you're doing.”

Lupe also explained how the changing climate of the industry factored in to his label conflicts. He said The Cool, selling an excess of 700,000 copies was originally thought of as a success. But he was asked to compete with other Hip Hop artists that successfully crossed over, thus creating a demand for him to make more radio-friendly singles. The result was a gold-selling single in “The Show Goes On” as well as nearly a dozen interviews featuring Lupe discussing his displeasure with how Lasers was created.

One issue that remains clear however, is Lupe’s political philosophy. Standing by his opinion that America’s political system his fundamentally flawed, Lupe shrugged off any notion of being disrespectful to President Obama. Many of the emcees that were so vocal about Obama’s 2008 election have seemingly gone mute, refusing to speak or rhyme about anything political. But Lupe stood firmly behind his bars on “Words I Never Said.”

“Was I disrespectful to Obama for saying that he didn’t say anything when the Israeli military bombed Gaza for seven days and killed 900 innocent civilians?” Lupe explained. “'Cause he didn’t. So that’s not disrespectful...that’s exercising my right to not cast a ballot for a system that I don’t necessarily believe in. It’s more of a corrective critique as opposed to me just trying to be an asshole.”

To read Vulture’s full interview with Lupe Fiasco, visit New York Magazine’s official site.

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