How Lupe got a release date
I was looking forward to Fiasco Friday, if only to see if anyone showed up other than the kid who's organizing it, who was born in the '90s and probably wouldn't know from good rap music.
Not that Lupe Fiasco is such a bad rappers. There was a time when he had as much potential as any rapper of his generation. Theoretically, he could still put out a great album, which would be his first. But the music he's been putting out lately hasn't been very good at all. Do Lupe stans even like "Shining Down" and "I'm Beaming?"
In a speech about why Atlantic Records has yet to release Lasers, delivered at a conference for people who need help getting their careers in order (I'm assuming - I didn't actually watch the video, I just read a brief recap over at MTV, because it's a Friday afternoon and it's about to be Miller Time), Lupe claimed that the reason you never heard either of those songs on the radio is because Atlantic Records didn't pay whoever you have to pay to get a song played on the radio (probably one of their cousins), because he refused to sign one of those ridonkulous 360 contracts, where the label gets a cut of every dollar you ever make for the rest of your life, in exchange for a few hundred grand upfront, which just ends up going back to them anyway. Lupe knew better than to sign such a deal, because he's mad intelligent. Remember that week they let him guest blog here, back in '06? Not just the post where he threatened to jump off in my ass, as if I were the white guy from 2dopeboyz [||], but the ones after that got very philosophical - and I'm pretty sure he doesn't even smoke weed.
Allah tends to frown on that sort of thing.
Lupe also claims that the only reason you see the videos for those songs - which he paid for out of his own pocket - on MTV is because is because he has friends over at MTV who told him they'd play them, even though they didn't receive the check that's necessary to have your video played on MTV. Because they're such good friends. This is news to me. Now, I don't keep my TV on and tuned to MTV at all hours of the day and night anymore like I did during entire 1990s, and for the two weeks a couple of years ago when Alexa Chung had a show, but I figure I see enough MTV these days, keeping up with Jersey Shore (a top priority, natch), the Real World New Orleans, which wasn't half that bad (either of them!), and, I'm not gonna lie, the occasional episode of I'm 16 and Pregnant, which fascinates me to no end. MTV is on in my house at least once every few days, and I don't recall seeing any Lupe Fiasco videos. Has Lupe himself actually seen his videos on MTV?
Muslims don't watch MTV, right, because they hate it? It was one of the reasons they attacked us on 9/11. [ED. NOTE: The views expressed within this blog are of the author, Bol, and do not reflect those of XXL or its staff.] Someone at MTV may have told Lupe Fiasco they would play his video, because they knew he'd have no way of knowing (c) early '80s-era Roxy Music. They may have even told him it was a Buzz Clip.
I heard about Lupe's little spiel (nullus) on Shade 45 the other day, on my way home from learning about how I might die, or go blind, or lose an eye as a result of my eye surgery next month. Plus, there wasn't anything good on XMU. It was an awful morning. I thought about going in re: Lupe yesterday, but then that Nas letter surfaced, and so of course Nas took precedence, for having one good album before a career of subsequent failure and disappointment. The Lupe situation is very similar to the Nas situation, which I just wrote about yesterday, but of course my lazy ass wasn't about to come up with something else to write about. On a Friday. No Radiohead before they were Radiohead. So, I started working my way through my Google Reader, which is filled with pr0n sites, preparing myself psychologically to write a post for this site, and wouldn't you know I stumbled upon a post over at the Village Voice about how Lupe and Atlantic Records have since reconciled. Laser is set to hit stores some time next March. There was even a picture of Lupe and one of the older white ladies from Atlantic looking like they just fucked. Huh?
The first possible explanation is that they really had just fucked. Lupe might be a Toure-style beast in the sack (no homo), from practicing all of that kung fu and shit, in case he ever has to take out Homeland Security. If Lupe Fiasco is willing to kick the living shit out of a blogger (jihad on him, if you will), what's there to say he wouldn't get it on with an older white lady. She looked like she may have had a surprisingly decent, Maryanne from Brooklyn-style body. I wonder if she has a similar voice. The second possible explanation is that they saw Lupe on the Internets complaining about those damn 360 deals, which really are highway robbery, and so they agreed to put out his album, just to shut him up. It's not coming out this holiday season, when it might draw attention and resources away from artists who have real commercial prospects. And it's still delayed for another six months or so, during which the white guy from 2dopeboyz will probably hack into his email and leak it, for revenge. I can't say that I'd blame him. There's a certain way to treat people.